Shpadoinkle: A programming model for declarative, high performance user interface.

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Shpadoinkle is an abstract frontend programming model, with one-way data flow, and a single source of truth. This module provides a parsimonious implementation of Shpadoinkle with few implementation details.

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Change log
Dependencies base (>=4.12.0 && <4.16), category (>=0.2 && <0.3), ghcjs-dom (>=0.9.4 && <0.20), jsaddle (>=0.9.7 && <0.20), jsaddle-warp (>=0.9.7 && <0.20), text (>=1.2.3 && <1.3), transformers, unliftio [details]
License BSD-3-Clause
Author Isaac Shapira
Category Web
Source repo head: git clone
Uploaded by fresheyeball at 2020-10-07T14:51:52Z


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Shpadoinkle Core

Goldwater Haddock BSD-3 built with nix Hackage Hackage Deps Hackage CI

Shpadoinkle is a programming model for UI development, oriented around simplicity, performance, and ergonomics.

The core concept

Is to model the user interface as a pure function from some model a to Html. This is not a new idea in the slightest. Declaratively describing the view in terms of the model through a data structure is the dominant approach in UI today. And for good reason.

If all we need is to render something based on some a we can have Html be a simple data structure where Html :: Type:

view :: a -> Html

This might look something like:

view :: Text -> Html
view username =
  H "div" [ ("class", "greeting") ] [ Text $ "Hi there!" <> username ]

Events and effects

Which is all well and good, and something we might expect from a static renderer, like Heist, or Blaze. Shpadoinkle handles this by allowing for Html to have two type variables associated with events, Html :: (Type -> Type) -> Type -> Type.

The first is typically some Monad you want to use in response to events m, and the second is the payload of those events, typically the model for your view a.

These variables in Html m a are strickly about event listeners, so any view that doesn't have event listeners should be parametic in both m and a.

look at a toggle as an example:

toggle :: Applicative m => Bool -> Html m Bool
toggle b = h "div" []
  [ text $ "Currently it's " <> if b then "ON" else "OFF"
  , h "button" [ listen "click" (not b) ] [ text "Toggle" ]

That's it, we have a stateful view. When the user click's on the "Toggle" button the state will switch. Because we do a pure state transition in this function, m need only be Applicative. We could put Identity here if we wanted to, but keeping m general helps our views compose.

But what if we need to do more? Well we can update our m to have more functionality. We can add some logging to the console:

toggle :: Bool -> Html IO Bool
toggle b = h "div" []
  [ text $ "Currently it's " <> if b then "ON" else "OFF"
  , h "button"
    [ listen' "click" $ do
        putStrLn "We toggled!"
        return $ not b
    ] [ text "Toggle" ]

What if we want to access some record of capabilities? Or update some concurrent memory thing? Let's say we have an enterprise grade Monad:

newtype App a = App { runApp :: RIO (TVar Metrics) a }
  deriving (Functor, Applicative, Monad, MonadReader (TVar Metrics), MonadIO, MonadJSM)

toggle :: Bool -> Html App Bool
toggle b = h "div" []
  [ text $ "Currently it's " <> if b then "ON" else "OFF"
  , h "button"
    [ listen' "click" $ do
        metrics <- ask
        liftIO $ do
          atomically . modifyTVar metrics $
            \m -> m { toggleCount = toggleCount m + 1 }
          putStrLn "We toggled!"
        return $ not b
    ] [ text "Toggle" ]

Composing views

In Shpadoinkle we can compose views without impedance if the types match, or are parametric. For example:

hero :: Html m a
hero = h "h1" [] [ text "Online String Reverse" ]

input :: Html m Text
input = h "input" [ onInput id ] []

view :: Text -> Html m Text
view s = h "div" []
  [ hero  -- no impedance, this Html is fully generic
  , input -- no impedance, this Html has matching types `(Text ~ Text)`
  , text $ "Reversed: \"" <> reverse s <> "\""

If you have nesting, with different types, we can resolve the mismatch using 'fmap' like so:

input :: Html m Text
input = h "input" [ onInput id ] []

view :: (Int, Text) -> Html m (Int, Text)
view (i,t) = h "div" []

  -- here we update the `Text` side of the model
  -- with the value produced by `input`, and we
  -- increment the `Int` as well.
  [ (\t_ -> (i + 1, t_)) <$> input
  , text $ "Reversed: \"" <> reverse t <> "\""
  , text $ "you have reversed " <> pack (show i) <> " strings"

The primitive

The Shpadoinkle programming model core primitive is the shpadoinkle function.

  :: (Shpadoinkle b m a, Territory t, Eq a) =>
  => (m ~> JSM) -> (t a -> b m ~> m) -- How to render
  -> a -> t a                        -- What is our model
  -> (a -> Html (b m) a)             -- What to render
  -> b m RawNode -> JSM ()           -- Actually render

This is the machine that runs a Shpadoinkle view. To run we need the following ingredients:

m ~> JSM

We need a Natural Transformation from our m to JSM, so that we can perform the needed JavaScript effects in JSM from the m you provide.

t a -> b m ~> m

This a function that takes a state container of some kind t, and returns a Natural Transformation from our Shpadoinkle backend b, to our monad m. Backends kind of works like Monad Transformers, where b wraps our Monad m, and needs to be unwrappable.


This is the initial value of our model. This will be passed to our view for the first render.

t a

This is the state container t that will drive the view. When the state changes, we should re-render the view. The semantic behind determing when to do this, is upto you via the Territory type class. Typically this is just a TVar as that is the provided cannonical implimentation.

a -> Html (b m) a

This is the view function, you actual application to render. It takes the model and returns the html to render, such that it's events produce the same model.

b m RawNode

This is the raw node we that will wrap our view. If you want the Shpadoinkle view to be the entire page, then you want to pass document.body as this node. You could use this to embed a Shpadoinkle application into another application, (such a Reflex-dom or Miso).