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ectoplasm

Alternative bridge between NodeJS and PhantomJS

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6

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7yrs ago

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1

License

MIT

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ECTOPLASM

This is yet another bridge between NodeJS and PhantomJS.

Build Status

Why is this needed?

node-phantom is all nice and good but the callback system does get a bit clunky, e.g. if you're setting a bunch of properties at the same time. Plus, it lacks the flexibility you'd get from using PhantomJS direct.

Using PhantomJS on its own is all good and nice but calling exec all the time and dealing with stdout and stderr is a faff, plus there's a noticeable delay every time you fire up PhantomJS. This is annoying if you need to run your scripts multiple times in a row.

Ectoplasm tries to hit a happy middle, using node-phantom's sockets method to manage a continuous Phantom process but allowing you to run your own scripts.

Installing

npm install --save ectoplasm

API

initialise(scripts, [options], callback) or initialize(scripts, [options], callback)

Pass your script names as an object, for instance:

var ecto = require("ectoplasm"),
  scripts = {
    doThings: "/absolute/path/to/doThings.js"
  };

ecto.initialise(scripts, function (err) {
  // err is populated if it can't find the scripts
});

options is an object. The options supported for the moment are phantomPath and debug.

phantomPath

Set this if your PhantomJS binary is not in your $PATH:

For instance, if you're using the excellent phantomjs module, you'd do:

var ecto = require("ectoplasm"),
  phantomjs = require("phantomjs"),
  scripts = {
    doThings: "/absolute/path/to/doThings.js"
  };

ecto.initialise(scripts, { phantomPath: phantomjs.path }, function (err) {
  // ...
});

debug

Set this to true for detailed debugging information. It also enables tracing of all console messages from the Phantom process.

cleanup(callback)

Kills the Phantom process and stops the internal servers.

run(scriptName, [args ...], callback)

Runs a script that you've previously loaded, for example:

var ecto = require("ectoplasm"),
  scripts = {
    "doThings": "/absolute/path/to/doThings.js"
  };

ecto.initialise(scripts, function (err) {
  ecto.run("doThings", { foo: "bar" }, function (err, result) {
    // things have been done
  });
});

args is optional, and you can have as many of them as you want (or none at all) between your script name and callback.

NOTE: args is serialized to JSON as it's passed to the Phantom side. Be wary of trying to pass values that can't be serialized. For example:

var args = {
  foo: "bar",
  baz: function () { return "Hello!"; }
};

// the frontend will only receive { foo: "bar" }

Scripts

Your script must expose a single method called run, for example:

// inside doThings.js
exports.run = function (args, callback) {
  if (args.foo === "bar") {
    callback(null, "yay!");
  } else {
    callback("error!");
  }
};

You can pass any number of arguments back in your script.

Two scripts are already made available:

  • ping simply returns your args back to you - in case you want to test things.
  • addScripts adds scripts at runtime, much like initialise:
ecto.run("addScripts", {
  doSomethingElse: "/absolute/path/to/doSomethingElse.js"
}, function (err) {
  // you can now run doSomethingElse, too
});

License

MIT

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