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smoke-screen
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1.1.6 • Public • Published

Smoke Screen

SmokeScreen Build Status at Travis CI

Strongly typed validation for JavaScript runtime.

In a Nutshell

Smoke Screen is a lightweight JS library allowing seamless schema validation and class instantiation. Smoke Screen is designed to serialize and deserialize JavaScript objects and JSON strings while enforcing validation, and performing property filtering and modification.

Getting Started

Installation via npm:

$ npm install smoke-screen --save

The following sections explain the main features of Smoke Screen.

Comparability Note: Smoke Screen library depends on EcmaScript decorators. While EcmaScript doesn't officially support decorators yet, the examples below are implemented in TypeScript, but may also be implemented in any other way that compiles decorators.

Basic Serialization and Deserialization

By default, all properties are transient, meaning they will not get exposed unless explicitly decorated with an @exposed decorator.

Since JavaScript does not keep typing information at runtime, if we would like to perform runtime validations, we will have to explicitly pass validation information to the runtime environment. In the following examples we will see how to do it. For now, let's just see how the basic serialization and deserialization works.

class Person {
 
    @exposed
    name: string;
 
    transientProperty: string;
 
    whatsMyName() {
        console.log(this.name);
    }
 
}
 
// let's serialize a Person object into a JSON string
const person = new Person();
person.name = "john";
person.transientProperty = "will not get exposed";
const smokeScreen = new SmokeScreen();
smokeScreen.toJSON(person); // -> '{"name":"john"}'
 
// let's deserialize a JSON string into a Person object
const json = JSON.stringify({name: "steve", age: 57.3, transientProperty: "value"});
const person2 = smokeScreen.fromJSON(json, Person);
console.log(person2); // -> Person { name: 'steve' }
person2.whatsMyName(); // -> 'steve'

Exposure Settings

By default, properties are not validated or translated in any way.

To allow for those, we have to pass some information to JS runtime. We can do it by passing an ExposureSettings object to the @exposed decorator.

class Person {
 
    @exposed({
        as: "myAge",
        type: Number,
        validator: value => {
            if (value < 18) {
                throw new Error("must be at least 18");
            }
        }
    })
    age: number;
 
}
 
// let's serialize a Person object into a JSON string
const person = new Person();
person.age = 56.8;
const smokeScreen = new SmokeScreen();
smokeScreen.toJSON(person); // -> '{"myAge":56.8}'
 
// let's deserialize a JSON string into a Person object
let json = JSON.stringify({myAge: 19});
const person2 = smokeScreen.fromJSON(json, Person);
console.log(person2); // -> Person { age: 19 }
 
// let's see the typing validation in action
json = JSON.stringify({myAge: "oops"});
smokeScreen.fromJSON(json, Person); // Error: illegal input - property 'myAge' must be a number
 
// let's see the custom validator in action
json = JSON.stringify({myAge: 17});
smokeScreen.fromJSON(json, Person); // Error: illegal input - property 'myAge' must be at least 18
 
// let's see property naming in action
json = JSON.stringify({age: 27});
smokeScreen.fromJSON(json, Person); // Error: illegal input - property 'myAge' is required
 
// unless otherwise specified, exposed properties are required
json = JSON.stringify({});
smokeScreen.fromJSON(json, Person); // Error: illegal input - property 'myAge' is required
 
// unless otherwise specified, exposed properties may not be null
json = JSON.stringify({myAge: null});
smokeScreen.fromJSON(json, Person); // Error: illegal input - property 'myAge' may not be null

As can be seen in the example, exposed properties are by default required and non-nullable. A property can become optional by setting the optional flag to true, and optionally set the default property value in the constructor, like so:

class Person {
 
    @exposed({
        as: "myAge",
        type: Number,
        optional: true 
    })
    age = 42.3;
 
}
 
const json = JSON.stringify({});
const person = smokeScreen.fromJSON(json, Person);
console.log(person); // -> Person { age: 42.3 }

A property can also become nullable:

class Person {
 
    @exposed({
        as: "myAge",
        type: Number,
        nullable: true
    })
    age: number | null;
 
}
 
const json = JSON.stringify({myAge: null});
const person = smokeScreen.fromJSON(json, Person);
console.log(person); // -> Person { age: null }

Property Types

Setting the exposure type allows us to enforce strong typing and to translate input and output values. A property type must be an object implementing the PropertyType interface. This is very simple to implement in case you want to achieve any custom behavior you like; However, Smoke Screen provides out-of-the-box implementation for all major types under the PropertyTypes namespace:

  • StringPropertyType
  • NumberPropertyType
  • BooleanPropertyType
  • ObjectPropertyType
  • ArrayPropertyType
  • EnumPropertyType
  • MapPropertyType
  • SetPropertyType

For example:

class Pet {
 
    @exposed({type: StringPropertyType})
    name: string;
    
}
 
class Person {
 
    @exposed({type: NumberPropertyType})
    age: number;
    
    @exposed({type: ArrayPropertyType(ObjectPropertyType(Pet))})
    pets: Pet[];
    
    @exposed({type: SetPropertyType(StringPropertyType)})
    favoriteFoods: Set<string>;
    
    @exposed({type: MapPropertyType(StringPropertyType, BooleanPropertyType)})
    likesAndDislikes: Map<string, boolean>;
 
}

Note that instead of referencing these PropertyType classes directly, its possible to use a short writing as follows:

  • Instead of referencing StringPropertyType, we can simply reference the native String class.
  • Instead of referencing NumberPropertyType, we can simply reference the native Number class.
  • Instead of referencing BooleanPropertyType, we can simply reference the native Boolean class.
  • Instead of referencing ObjectPropertyType, we can simply reference object class itself.
  • Instead of referencing EnumPropertyType, we can simply reference enum class itself.
  • Instead of referencing ArrayPropertyType, we can simply create an array containing exactly one property type, stating the array type.

Let's see all of this in action:

enum Mood {
 
    HAPPY, SAD
 
}
 
class Animal {
 
    @exposed({type: String})
    name: string;
 
}
 
class Person {
 
    @exposed({type: String}) // string short writing
    name: string;
 
    @exposed({type: Number}) // number short writing
    age: number;
 
    @exposed({type: Boolean}) // boolean short writing
    isFunny: boolean;
 
    @exposed({type: Mood}) // enum short writing
    mood: Mood;
 
    @exposed({type: Animal}) // object short writing
    favoritePet: Animal;
 
    @exposed({type: [Animal]}) // array and object short writing
    pets: Animal[];
 
    @exposed({type: [String]}) // array and string short writing
    speaks: string[];
    
    @exposed({type: SetPropertyType(String)}) // string short writing
    favoriteFoods: Set<string>;
    
    @exposed({type: MapPropertyType(String, Boolean)}) // string and boolean short writing
    likesAndDislikes: Map<string, boolean>;
 
}

To enable custom property types, any implementation of the PropertyType interface may be passed to the @exposed type field.

Naming Translators

Smoke screen allows for automatic translation of property names. For instance you may want to expose all property names using camel_case. To achieve any custom translation, an implementation of a NamingTranslator function must be created which receive an internal property name, and returns the external name to expose; However, Smoke Screen provides out-of-the-box implementation for all major naming conventions under the NamingTranslators namespace:

  • upperCamelCase - WhichLooksLikeThis
  • lowerSnakeCase - which_looks_like_this
  • upperSnakeCase - WHICH_LOOKS_LIKE_THIS
  • lowerKebabCase - which-looks-like-this
  • upperKebabCase - WHICH-LOOKS-LIKE-THIS Let's see that in action:
class Person {
 
    @exposed
    firstName: string;
 
    @exposed
    lastName: string;
 
}
 
// let's see the result without any naming translation
const person = new Person();
person.firstName = "John";
person.lastName = "Doe";
let smokeScreen = new SmokeScreen();
console.log(smokeScreen.toJSON(person)); // -> '{"firstName":"John","lastName":"Doe"}'
 
// let's see the result with lower snake case naming translation
smokeScreen = new SmokeScreen(NamingTranslators.lowerSnakeCase);
console.log(smokeScreen.toJSON(person)); // -> '{"first_name":"John","last_name":"Doe"}'
 
// let's see the result with upper kebab case naming translation
smokeScreen = new SmokeScreen(NamingTranslators.upperKebabCase);
console.log(smokeScreen.toJSON(person)); // -> '{"FIRST-NAME":"John","LAST-NAME":"Doe"}'
const json = JSON.stringify({"FIRST-NAME": "John", "LAST-NAME": "Doe"});
console.log(smokeScreen.fromJSON(json, Person)); // -> Person { firstName: 'John', lastName: 'Doe' }

To enable custom naming translators, any implementation of a NamingTranslator type may be passed when instantiating a new SmokeScreen object.

Exposing Properties

Exposing properties is done using the @exposed decorator, which accepts an optional ExposureSettings object:

  • as?: string - May be specified to override the exposed property key
  • type?: PropertyType - A property type to perform typing validation and translation. (Further reading in PropertyType the JSDocs)
  • validator?: (value: any) => any - A further validation function to perform a more specific validation and translation if needed. Note that a validation is performed only on deserialization and not on serialization. Validation may be performed by inspecting the input value parameter, if the value is invalid, the function should throw an error describing the invalidity. Translation may be performed by returning a value different than the given one. Skipping translation may be performed by simply not returning any value from the function, or by returning the given one.
  • optional?: boolean - May be used to allow the property to not appear in the source of the deserialization process. By default, exposed properties are required on deserialization, unless this is set to true.
  • nullable?: boolean - May be used to allow the property a null value when deserializing. By default, exposed properties are may not receive null value on deserialization, unless this is set to true.

Smoke Screen Lifecycle

The exposed decorator allows for simple and flexible validation of each property; However, it does not provide any means of validating the entire object. For that end, Smoke Screen provides an additional interface SmokeScreenLifecycle which allows to register for certain events in the lifecycle of the screening process:

  • beforeSerialize - To validate an entire object before its being serialized, a zero arguments beforeSerialize method must be implemented, validating the object, and throwing an error in case it is not valid.
  • afterDeserialize - To validate an entire object after it has been deserialized, a zero arguments afterDeserialize method must be implemented, validating the object, and throwing an error in case it is not valid.
// note that it is not required to state `implements SmokeScreenLifecycle`,
// but merely to implement any of it's methods
class Person implements SmokeScreenLifecycle {
 
    @exposed
    age: number;
 
    @exposed
    drinksAlcohol: boolean;
 
    constructor(age: number, drinksAlcohol: boolean) {
        this.age = age;
        this.drinksAlcohol = drinksAlcohol;
    }
 
    beforeSerialize() {
        if (this.age < 18 && this.drinksAlcohol) {
            throw new Error("invalid during serialization");
        }
    }
 
    afterDeserialize() {
        if (this.age < 18 && this.drinksAlcohol) {
            throw new Error("invalid during deserialization");
        }
    }
 
}
 
const smokeScreen = new SmokeScreen();
 
// validate on deserialize
const json = JSON.stringify({age: 17, drinksAlcohol: true});
smokeScreen.fromJSON(json, Person); // -> Error: invalid during deserialization
 
// validate on serialize
const person = new Person(17, true);
smokeScreen.toJSON(person); // -> Error: invalid during serialization

The Smoke Screen Interface

To use Smoke Screen features, e.g. serialization and deserialization, an instance of SmokeScreen class must be first created. Once an instance is available, it provides the following methods:

  • toJSON(object: any): string - Serializes the given object to a JSON string. Filtering properties and translating property names and their values if needed.
  • fromJSON<T>(json: string, instanceClass: Constructable<T>): T - Deserializes the given JSON string into a fresh instance of the given class and returns it. Filtering properties, validates and translates the property names and their values if needed. throws an Error in case of invalid input.
  • updateFromJSON<T>(json: string, instance: T): void - Deserializes the given JSON string into the given instance. Filtering properties, validates and translates the property names and their values if needed. throws an Error in case of invalid input.
  • toObject(object: any): {[key: string]: any} - Serializes the given object to a generic JS object containing the exposure. Filtering properties and translating property names and their values if needed.
  • fromObject<T>(exposure: {[key: string]: any}, instanceClass: Constructable<T>) - Deserializes the given generic JS object into a fresh instance of the given class and returns it. Filtering properties, validates and translates the property names and their values if needed. throws an Error in case of invalid input.
  • updateFromObject<T>(exposure: {[key: string]: any}, instance: T): void - Deserializes the given generic JS object into the given instance. Filtering properties, validates and translates the property names and their values if needed. throws an Error in case of invalid input.

Useful Links

License

Smoke Screen is registered under MIT license.

Contribution

Really, any kind of contribution will be warmly accepted. (:

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