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verum

1.3.0 • Public • Published

Verum Backend

Join the chat at https://gitter.im/freechat-project/Verum-Backend Backend Node.JS module for Verum.

NPM

Overview

The Verum NodeJS module is a combination of two different JavaScript classes: Client and Server. See the below sections for in-depth explanations of each class, their methods, events, et cetera.

Please be aware that there may be more methods than are described in these docs that are used internally by Verum. You would be advised to check the source methods if these do not satisfy your needs.

Server

The Server class, which is what is used to set up a new Verum Node, is (ironically) the simpler of the two clients -- especially for developers. It exposes a total of four methods, on top of the standard constructor (most users are not expected to use three of the methods provided).

An example Server script (this is as simple as it gets, and it doesn't get much more complex):

const verumServ = require("verum").Server; // import the Server class from the verum module.
var serv = new verumServ(); // create a new Verum Server object, assigned to `serv`
serv.websock.listen(); // start listening

new Server (port=9873, config={public: true, source: "https://github.com/freechat-project/Verum-Server"})

When creating a new instance of this class, the constructor accepts two parameters:

  • port [int] (defaults to 9873) - this is the port that the Verum Node will listen on
  • config [object] (defaults to null) - a value of null will make Verum resort to its default configuration settings, or an object with the fields below may be used (all fields are required, as the default config will be used if any are missing):
    • public [boolean] (defaults to true) - whether or not users may register to the Node or not. Most Nodes should be true here, to allow new users.
    • source [string] (defaults to https://github.com/freechat-project/Verum-Server) - a url to where the Node's source may be found; used for easy compliancy with the GNU AGPL.

Server.listen()

This method does not accept any parameters, and will start the server listening on the port specified in the class construction.

Server.saveData()

This is an internal method used to save user data to users.json and configuration data to conf.json. While verum.Server does not read conf.json, its output can be useful to persist config data. (asynchronous)

This method accepts no parameters, and is automatically called every five minutes.

Client

The Client class is significantly more advanced in functionality than the rather simplistic (to use) Server class, and is used to create a Verum-Compliant client to communicate with a Verum Node.

All Client events (event handler exposed as Client.Events) should be handled in clients.

new Client (nodeAddr, nodePort=null)

This class accepts the following parameters when being constructed:

  • nodeAddr [string] (required) - this is the internet address of the Node, and may be either an IP address (eg, 123.123.123.123) or a domain name that points to an IP address (eg, node.verum.damianheaton.com)
  • nodePort [int or null] (defaults to null) - this is the port number that the Node listens on. A value of null (or, for that matter, anything not truey (0, -1, etc)) will default to 9873.

The Client will automatically connect to the server on creation (unless this isn't possible, in which case the Client will basically sit there trying to connect: a timeout check is advised).

Client.register (username, password, publicKey)

This will attempt to register a new user username with a password of password on the Node, assigning it a public key of publicKey. All parameters are required.

An error Event will be raised by the Node if a user already exists with that username (User Already Exists) or the Node is not set to public (Private Node).

A registered Event will be raised by the Node once / if the registration is successful.

Client.updatePubKey (username, password, publicKey)

This will attempt to change the public key attached to your account on the Node to publicKey. All values are required, and password is used to authorise the action on your account.

An error Event will be raised by the Node if the password does not match the one associated with your Node account (Incorrect Password) or if a user with the username does not exist on the Node (User Doesn't Exist).

An updated Event will be raised by the Node if / when the public key is updated.

Client.sendEncMsg (recipient, message, from, secretKey)

This will attempt to encrypt and send message to the recipient (should be a string of form user@node, as these are parsed to determine Node connection details), with a header detailing that from sent it.

from MUST be your Verum ID (of form user@node) which is associated with the secretKey's public key. secretKey is used to sign the message, as the recipient's client will use your account's associated public key to verify that the message truly came from you and not a spoofed header. Clients are generally advised to treat spoofed headers as spam or malicious.

This method will automatically get the recipient's public key for encryption.

The Node may raise an error Event if the recipient could not be found on the Node (User Doesn't Exist).

The Node will raise a message_sent Event if / when the message has been sent (however, there is no notification of when the Recipient retrieves or reads the message; sent Events are raised when the Node has logged the message.)

Client.getEncMsgs (username, password, secretKey=null)

This will attempt to retrieve your unread messages from the Node, authorised by your username and password provided. Be aware that, once the messages are retrieved, all compliant clients will report the retrieval to the Node, to which all compliant Nodes will subsequently permanently delete the messages. (This method does this process for you.)

This method DOES NOT decrypt or verify the signature of any messages: this should be done by the larger client, as Verum attempts to avoid Secret Keys as much as possible (partly for security, partly for simplicity). (correction: as of version 1.2.0, Client.getEncMsgs includes an optional secretKey parameter. If this is specified, the messages will be decrypted with the provided secret key. A successfully decrypted message will raise a message_decrypted Event.)

The Node may raise an error Event if the password is incorrect (Incorrect Password) or if the user does not exist on the Node (User Doesn't Exist).

For each message that is retrieved from the Node, this method will emit a message event, providing the encrypted message data, the message sender's Verum ID, the timestamp of the message's receipt by the Node, and the sender's public key (this may be null if the public key could not be retrieved).

Client.Events

This is the Client's Event Handler, and will emit various Events. These Events can be found detailed below (of the format event => arguments passed by the event):

error => title, explanation

This event is raised whenever the Node encounters an error or issue which means that it cannot complete the task requested. title is a very short error 'code' (human readable), which is advised for use in a switch statement, for example. explanation is a longer explanation of the error, which may be displayed to the user (or ignored, if you want); this is provided by the Node.

See each different error title and what it means:

Bad Format

This error means that the JSON string that was sent by the client could not be parsed by the Node. This usually doesn't occur when using the standard Client methods described previously.

User Doesn't Exist

This error means that the username provided for an operation could not be found on the Node. Common causes are that the username was misspelt, or that the user is querying the wrong Node.

Incorrect Password

This error means that the password provided for an authenticated operation did not match the password attached to the operative account. Common causes are a misspelling of the password.

Private Node

This error occurs when a client attempts to register a new user on a Node which has the public configuration setting set to false, making it private. Such Nodes do not accept new registrations.

welcome => node_source_url

This Event is raised when the Node intimates that the connection has been successfully established, providing the URL to the source code of the Node. The URL is provided for compliance with the GNU AGPL.

registered => welcome_msg

This Event is raised when the Client has successfully registered a new account on the Node, which in turn provides a welcome message. This message may be ignored if wished, but sometimes may include quite important information (restart times for the Node, for example, may sometimes be provided here [though is better on the Node's official website, if applicable]).

message_sent => sent_msg

This Event is raised when a message sent by the Client has been successfully received by the recipient's Node.

message => encrypted_message_data, message_sender_id, message_timestamp, message_sender_pubkey

This Event is raised when a message is received from the Node (after the client has requested them). message_sender_id is the message's sender's Verum ID, of the form user@node. message_timestamp is the timestamp of when the Node received the message. message_sender_pubkey is the public key of the message sender, used for verifying the signature of the encrypted message data -- be aware, however, that this may be null if the public key could not be retrieved.

Unverified signatures on messages, or unsigned messages, should usually be treated as spam, as they may be spoofed from headers!

ADDED IN 1.2.0 message_decrypted => plaintext_message_data, message_sender_id, message_timestamp, message_signature_valid

This Event is raised once a message has been decrypted, should a Secret Key have been provided in Client.getEncMsgs(), and is quite similar to the message event, with two key differences:

  • the first parameter contains the decrypted plaintext message data, NOT the encrypted ASCII armored data, and
  • the fourth parameter contains a Boolean value describing whether the sender's signature was valid / could be verified, NOT the sender's public key.

(this variation to the Client.getEncMsgs() function was completed for development convenience.)

Install

npm i verum

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Version

1.3.0

License

GPL-3.0

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