@coolaj86/urequest

A lightweight drop-in replacement for request

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Readme

µRequest - Minimalist HTTP client

A lightweight alternative to (and drop-in replacement for) request.

Written from scratch.

Super simple to use

µRequest is designed to be a drop-in replacement for request. It supports HTTPS and follows redirects by default.

npm install --save @coolaj86/urequest
var request = require('@coolaj86/urequest');
request('http://www.google.com', function (error, response, body) {
  console.log('error:', error); // Print the error if one occurred
  console.log('statusCode:', response && response.statusCode); // Print the response status code if a response was received
  console.log('body:', body); // Print the HTML for the Google homepage.
});

Table of contents

Forms

urequest supports application/x-www-form-urlencoded and multipart/form-data form uploads.

application/x-www-form-urlencoded (URL-Encoded Forms)

URL-encoded forms are simple.

request.post('http://service.com/upload', {form:{key:'value'}})
// or
request.post({url:'http://service.com/upload', form: {key:'value'}}, function(err,httpResponse,body){ /* ... */ })

multipart/form-data (Multipart Form Uploads)

For multipart/form-data we use the form-data library by @felixge. For the most cases, you can pass your upload form data via the formData option.

To use form-data, you must install it separately:

npm install --save form-data@2
var formData = {
  // Pass a simple key-value pair
  my_field: 'my_value',
  // Pass data via Buffers
  my_buffer: Buffer.from([1, 2, 3]),
  // Pass data via Streams
  my_file: fs.createReadStream(__dirname + '/unicycle.jpg'),
  // Pass multiple values /w an Array
  attachments: [
    fs.createReadStream(__dirname + '/attachment1.jpg'),
    fs.createReadStream(__dirname + '/attachment2.jpg')
  ],
  // Pass optional meta-data with an 'options' object with style: {value: DATA, options: OPTIONS}
  // Use case: for some types of streams, you'll need to provide "file"-related information manually.
  // See the `form-data` README for more information about options: https://github.com/form-data/form-data
  custom_file: {
    value:  fs.createReadStream('/dev/urandom'),
    options: {
      filename: 'topsecret.jpg',
      contentType: 'image/jpeg'
    }
  }
};
request.post({url:'http://service.com/upload', formData: formData}, function optionalCallback(err, httpResponse, body) {
  if (err) {
    return console.error('upload failed:', err);
  }
  console.log('Upload successful!  Server responded with:', body);
});

See the form-data README for more information & examples.


HTTP Authentication

request.get('http://some.server.com/', {
  'auth': {
    'user': 'username',
    'pass': 'password',
    'sendImmediately': false
  }
});
// or
request.get('http://some.server.com/', {
  'auth': {
    'bearer': 'bearerToken'
  }
});

If passed as an option, auth should be a hash containing values:

  • user || username
  • pass || password
  • bearer (optional)

Note that you can also specify basic authentication using the URL itself, as detailed in RFC 1738. Simply pass the user:password before the host with an @ sign:

var username = 'username',
    password = 'password',
    url = 'http://' + username + ':' + password + '@some.server.com';

request({url: url}, function (error, response, body) {
   // Do more stuff with 'body' here
});

Bearer authentication is supported, and is activated when the bearer value is available. The value may be either a String or a Function returning a String. Using a function to supply the bearer token is particularly useful if used in conjunction with defaults to allow a single function to supply the last known token at the time of sending a request, or to compute one on the fly.

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Custom HTTP Headers

HTTP Headers, such as User-Agent, can be set in the options object. In the example below, we call the github API to find out the number of stars and forks for the request repository. This requires a custom User-Agent header as well as https.

var request = require('request');

var options = {
  url: 'https://api.github.com/repos/request/request',
  headers: {
    'User-Agent': 'request'
  }
};

function callback(error, response, body) {
  if (!error && response.statusCode == 200) {
    var info = JSON.parse(body);
    console.log(info.stargazers_count + " Stars");
    console.log(info.forks_count + " Forks");
  }
}

request(options, callback);

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UNIX Domain Sockets

urequest supports making requests to UNIX Domain Sockets. To make one, use the following URL scheme:

/* Pattern */ 'http://unix:SOCKET:PATH'
/* Example */ request.get('http://unix:/absolute/path/to/unix.socket:/request/path')

Note: The SOCKET path is assumed to be absolute to the root of the host file system.

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request(options, callback)

The first argument can be either a url or an options object. The only required option is uri; all others are optional.

  • uri || url - fully qualified uri or a parsed url object from url.parse()
  • method - http method (default: "GET")
  • headers - http headers (default: {})

  • body - entity body for PATCH, POST and PUT requests. Must be a Buffer, String or ReadStream. If json is true, then body must be a JSON-serializable object.
  • json - sets body to JSON representation of value and adds Content-type: application/json header. Additionally, parses the response body as JSON.

  • followRedirect - follow HTTP 3xx responses as redirects (default: true). This property can also be implemented as function which gets response object as a single argument and should return true if redirects should continue or false otherwise.
  • followAllRedirects - follow non-GET HTTP 3xx responses as redirects (default: false)
  • followOriginalHttpMethod - by default we redirect to HTTP method GET. you can enable this property to redirect to the original HTTP method (default: false)
  • maxRedirects - the maximum number of redirects to follow (default: 10)
  • removeRefererHeader - removes the referer header when a redirect happens (default: false). Note: if true, referer header set in the initial request is preserved during redirect chain.

  • encoding - encoding to be used on setEncoding of response data. If null, the body is returned as a Buffer. Anything else (including the default value of undefined) will be passed as the encoding parameter to toString() (meaning this is effectively utf8 by default). (Note: if you expect binary data, you should set encoding: null.)

Convenience methods

There are also shorthand methods for different HTTP METHODs and some other conveniences.

request.defaults(options)

This method returns a wrapper around the normal request API that defaults to whatever options you pass to it.

Note: request.defaults() does not modify the global request API; instead, it returns a wrapper that has your default settings applied to it.

Note: You can call .defaults() on the wrapper that is returned from request.defaults to add/override defaults that were previously defaulted.

For example:

//requests using baseRequest() will set the 'x-token' header
var baseRequest = request.defaults({
  headers: {'x-token': 'my-token'}
})

//requests using specialRequest() will include the 'x-token' header set in
//baseRequest and will also include the 'special' header
var specialRequest = baseRequest.defaults({
  headers: {special: 'special value'}
})

request.METHOD()

These HTTP method convenience functions act just like request() but with a default method already set for you:

  • request.get(): Defaults to method: "GET".
  • request.post(): Defaults to method: "POST".
  • request.put(): Defaults to method: "PUT".
  • request.patch(): Defaults to method: "PATCH".
  • request.del() / request.delete(): Defaults to method: "DELETE".
  • request.head(): Defaults to method: "HEAD".
  • request.options(): Defaults to method: "OPTIONS".

Debugging

There are at least two ways to debug the operation of request:

  1. Launch the node process like NODE_DEBUG=urequest node script.js (lib,request,otherlib works too).

  2. Set require('@coolaj86/urequest').debug = true at any time (this does the same thing as #1).

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If you find any bugs or have a feature request, please open an issue on github!

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