Table of Contents

xcxc#+TITLE: GNU Artanis web-framework Manual

1 Introduction

Copyright (C)  2015  Mu Lei known as NalaGinrut.
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3
or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation;
with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover
Texts.  A copy of the license is included in the section entitled ``GNU
Free Documentation License''.

This manual describes the use of GNU Artanis and its API.

A web application framework (WAF) is a software framework that is designed to support the development of dynamic websites, web applications, web services and web resources. The framework aims to alleviate the overhead associated with common activities performed in web development. GNU Artanis provides several tools for web development: database access, templating frameworks, session management, URL-remapping for RESTful, page caching, and so on.

Guile is the GNU Ubiquitous Intelligent Language for Extensions, the official extension language for the GNU operating system. Guile is also an interpreter and compiler for other dynamic programming languages except Scheme programming language.

Scheme is a functional programming language and one of the two main dialects of the programming language Lisp. Scheme follows a minimalist design philosophy specifying a small standard core with powerful tools for language extension.

1.1 Conventions used in this manual

In this manual the following syntax is used to demonstrate the use of the API:

(api-name arg1 arg2 #:key0 val0 ... [optional-arg1 <- default-value1] ...)

If you are new to Scheme, it is recommended that you read the Basic in Scheme chapter first.

1.2 No warranty

We distribute software in the hope that it will be useful, but without any warranty. No author or distributor of this software accepts responsibility to anyone for the consequences of using it or for whether it serves any particular purpose or works at all, unless they say so in writing. This is exactly the same warranty that proprietary software companies offer: none.

2 License

GNU Artanis is Free Software. GNU Artanis is under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License version 3 or later. See the files COPYING.LESSER and COPYING in toplevel of source code.

This manual is published under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License 1.3 or later.

You must be aware there is no warranty whatsoever for GNU Artanis. This is described in full in the licenses.

3 Installation

3.1 For users

Install GNU Guile-2.0.11 or higher version:

sudo apt-get install guile-2.0-dev guile-2.0
sudo zypper install guile guile-devel
sudo dnf install guile guile-devel
wget -c
tar xvzf guile-2.0.11.tar.gz
cd guile-2.0.11 && ./configure && make #(NOTE: this may take very long time even looks like halting)
sudo make install

I would NOT recommend you trying to compile/install Guile from Git repo, since it’ll take too much time of you.

Install dependencies:

wget -c
tar xvzf guile-dbi-2.1.5.tar.gz
cd guile-dbi-2.1.5 && ./configure && make
sudo make install
wget -c
tar xvzf guile-dbd-mysql-2.1.4.tar.gz
cd guile-dbd-mysql-2.1.4 && ./configure && make
sudo make install

MySQL is used for the examples in this manual. You may find dbd plugins for other databases at [BROKEN LINK: nil]. The installation process is identical.

Install the latest GNU Artanis:

wget -c
tar xvjf artanis-latest.tar.bz2
cd artanis-latest && ./configure && make
sudo make install

3.2 For contributors

First of all, thank you for contributing! You may clone the main git repository, or the mirror on GitHub:

git clone git://

# mirror on Github
git clone

4 Configuration

A configuration file is required when Artanis is run for the first time.

4.1 Database config

db.enable = enable | disable
db.dbd = mysql | postgresql | sqlite3
db.port = <integer>
db.addr = <string>
db.socket = enable | disable
db.username = <string>
db.passwd = <string> = <string>
db.engine = <string>

4.2 Server config = <string>
server.nginx = enable | disable
server.charset = <string>
server.syspage.path = /etc/artanis/pages
server.backlog = <integer>
server.workers = <integer>
server.wqlen = <integer>
server.trigger = <string>

4.3 Host config = enable | disable
host.addr = <URL> | <IP>
host.port = <integer> = ipv4 | ipv6

4.4 Session config

Session config may not work fine, since the session module hasn’t done well yet. You have to use ‘simple’ engine at present. And do not modify anything below.

session.path = <PATH>
session.engine = simple | db | redis | <certain-third-party>

4.5 Upload config

upload.types = <string>
upload.path = <PATH>

4.6 Cache config

cache.maxage = <integer>

4.7 Debug config

debug.monitor = <PATHs>

5 Hello World

5.1 Use Guile REPL and verify GNU Artanis installation

If you are already familiar with Guile, you may skip this section.

Type ‘guile’ in your console to enter the Guile REPL. You should see the following text displayed on your screen:

GNU Guile 2.0.11
Copyright (C) 1995-2014 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

Guile comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY; for details type `,show w'.
This program is free software, and you are welcome to redistribute it
under certain conditions; type `,show c' for details.

Enter `,help' for help.

Welcome to Guile world! We are now going to play with GNU Artanis. Before we start, we need to check that GNU Artanis is installed correctly:

(Just type them, you don’t have to understand them at present)

,use (artanis artanis)

The expected output should be similar to this:

$1 = "GNU Artanis-x.x.x"

5.2 Simple HTTP server

Run this code in your console:

guile -c "(use-modules (artanis artanis))(init-server)(run)"
## You'll see this screen:
Anytime you want to Quit just try Ctrl+C, thanks!

Assuming there’s a file named "index.html" in the current path. Now you may try http://localhost:3000/index.html in your browser. It’s simple to fetch static file with the path in URL: http://localhost:3000/path/filename

5.3 Try simple URL remapping

Type these code in Guile REPL:

(use-modules (artanis artanis))
(get "/hello" (lambda () "hello world"))
(run #:port 8080)

Now you can visit http://localhost:8080/hello with your browser, and see the result.

If you encounter "[EXCEPTION] /favicon.ico is abnormal request", please ignore it.

Let me explain these code.

You may type Ctrl+C to quit the server according to the hint from your screen.

5.4 More complex URL remapping

Try this code:

(get "/hello/:who"
  (lambda (rc)
    (format #f "<p>hello ~a</p> " (params rc "who"))))
(run #:port 8080)

Now you can try http://localhost:8080/hello/artanis in your browser.

There’re two differences:

And format is a Scheme lib function. It is similar to sprintf in C language, which outputs with a formatted pattern. The second argument #f (means FALSE) indicates that returning the result as string type rather than printing out.

5.5 Regex in URL remapping

You can use regex in the URL rule.

(get "/.+\\.(png|gif|jpeg)" static-page-emitter)

static-page-emitter is an GNU Artanis API which emits a static file like images to the client.

5.6 Database operating

GNU Artanis supports mysql/postgresql/sqlite3, we use mysql as a example here.

Please ensure that your DB service was started before you try.

If you encountered any problems, please check your config of DB first. You can use DB without running a server.

(use-module (artanis artanis))
(define conn (connect-db 'mysql #:db-username "your_db_username"
                         #:db-name "your_db_name" #:db-passwd "your_passwd"))
(define mtable (map-table-from-DB conn))
((mtable 'create 'Persons '((name varchar 10) (age integer) (email varchar 20))) 'valid?)
;; ==> #t
(mtable 'set 'Persons #:name "nala" #:age 99 #:email "")
(mtable 'get 'Persons #:columns '(name email))
;; ==> ((("name" . "nala") ("email" . "")))

Here’s just simple introduction. You may read the DB section in this manual for detail describing.

Of course, you can use DB in your web application.

(get "/dbtest" #:conn #t ; apply for a DB connection from pool
  (lambda (rc)
    (let ((mtable (map-table-from-DB (:conn rc))))
        (mtable 'get 'Persons #:columns '(name email))))))

(run #:use-db? #t #:dbd 'mysql #:db-username "your_db_username"
     #:db-name "your_db_name" #:db-passwd "your_passwd" #:port 8080)

Now, try http://localhost:8080/dbtest in your browser.

Here’re some explains:

Exercise: Return a beautiful table in HTML rather than using object->string.

6 Basic in Scheme

This chapter introduces some useful documents to help you understand Scheme language well. Feel free to come back here if you have any problem with Scheme syntax.

If any possible, read them again and again.

Scheme was introduced in 1975 by Gerald J. Sussman and Guy L. Steele Jr. and was the first dialect of Lisp to fully support lexical scoping, first-class procedures, and continuations. In its earliest form it was a small language intended primarily for research and teaching, supporting only a handful of predefined syntactic forms and procedures. Scheme is now a complete general-purpose programming language, though it still derives its power from a small set of key concepts. Early implementations of the language were interpreter-based and slow, but Guile Scheme is trying to implement sophisticated compiler that generate better optimized code, and even a plan for AOT compiler generated native code in the future.

6.1 For newbies

If you’re not familiar with Guile Scheme, here’s a simplest tutorial for you.

If you know basics of Scheme language, please skip this section.

I would recommend newbies to type/paste the code in Guile REPL following the guide in tutorial: Learn Scheme in 15 minutes

And here’s a nice section in Guile manual for basics in Scheme: Hello Scheme

Please don’t spend too much time on these tutorials, the purpose is to let newbies get a little familiar with the grammar of Scheme.

6.2 For Pythonistas

These are good articles for Pythoners:

  1. Guile basics from the perspective of a Pythonista
  2. Going from Python to Guile Scheme

Still, please don’t spend too much time on them, the purpose is to let newbies get a little familiar with the grammar of Scheme.

6.3 For Rubyist

Here’s a great article for Rubyist to learn Scheme:

  1. Scheme for ruby programmers

6.4 For deep learners

These two books are very good for learning Scheme seriously:

  1. The Scheme Programming Language
  2. Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs(SICP)

Please don’t read them if you just want to use GNU Artanis to build your web application/site in few minutes.

If you really want to try these books seriously, please ignore GNU Artanis before you done them.

But once you’ve done them carefully, you may want to write a new GNU Artanis all by yourself.

Hold your horses. ;-)

7 Basic in GNU Artanis

7.1 How to run a site with GNU Artanis

This is the simplest case to run a site:

#!/bin/env guile
(use-modules (artanis artanis))
(get "/hello" (lambda () "hello world"))

7.2 Initialization

It’s better to use (init-server) to init GNU Artanis.

(init-server #:statics '(png jpg jpeg ico html js css) #:cache-statics? #f #:exclude '())

#:statics specifies the static files with the extension file. GNU Artanis is based on URL remapping, so this keyword let you avoid to handle each static file types. In default, it covers the most static file types. So you may ignore it usually.

#:cache-statics? indicates if the static files should be cached.

#:exclude specifies the types should be excluded. This is useful when you want to generate image files dynamically. Even JavaScript/CSS could be generated dynamically, depends your design.

7.3 Registering handler of HTTP methods

Please read URL handling.

7.4 Emit Response

(response-emit body #:status 200 #:headers '() #:mtime (current-time))

body is the response body, it can be bytevector or literal string (in HTML).

#:status is HTTP status, 200 in default, which means OK.

#:headers let you specify customized HTTP headers. The headers must follow certain format, you have to read about the Response Headers.

#:mtime specifies the modify time in the response. GNU Artanis will generate it for you if you just ignore it.

(emit-response-with-file filename [headers <- '()])

filename is the filename to be sent as a response.

[headers] is the customized HTTP headers.

7.5 Running server

(run #:host #f #:port #f #:debug #f #:use-db? #f
     #:dbd #f #:db-username #f #:db-passwd #f #:db-name #f)

You may see all the keyword is #f in default, this means these items will be gotten from config file.

But you can specify them as will.

#:host specify the hostname.

#:port specify the socket port of the server.

#:debug set #t if you want to enable debug mode. Maybe verbose.

#:use-db? set #t if you want to use DB, and GNU Artanis will init DB config for you.

#:dbd choose dbd, there’re three supported dbd: mysql, postgresql, and sqlite3.

#:db-username specify the username of your DB server.

#:db-passwd the DB password.

#:db-name specify DB name.

7.6 Working with Nginx

You may try GNU Artanis+Nginx with so-called reverse proxy.

I would recommend you use Nginx as the front server, since GNU Artanis hasn’t done its own async server-core which will be based on delimited-continuations. The current server has some caveats, in spite of the performance, you may suffer from slow-header-ddos if you use GNU Artanis to serv you site directly. But it’s fine when you use Nginx in front of GNU Artanis.

For example, you may add these lines to your /etc/nginx/nginx.conf:

location / {
        proxy_set_header Host $host;
        proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;

Then restart you Nginx:

sudo service nginx restart

And run GNU Artanis:

(run #:port 1234)

8 The Art command line

GNU Artanis provides art command line tool to save users’ time.

8.1 art create

If you want to set up your site/app within an application folder, and take advantage of MVC, you have to use this command to create the application folder first.

art create proj_path

8.2 art draw

This command will generate the specified component:

  art draw <component> NAME [options]

component list:

  -h, [--help]     # Print this screen
  -d, [--dry]      # Dry run but do not make any changes
  -f, [--force]    # Overwrite files that already exist
  -s, [--skip]     # Skip files that already exist
                   # If -s and -f are both provided, -f will be enabled
  -q, [--quiet]    # Suppress status output                   

  art draw model myblog

Please see MVC to learn more about how to use these components.

8.3 art migrate

Migrate is used for Database migration.

  art migrate operator name [OPTIONS]



Please see Migration for more detail.

8.4 art work

This command is used to start the server to run your site in the application folder:

  art work [options]

  -c, [--config=CONFIG]          # Specify config file
                                   Default: conf/artanis.conf
                                            if no, /etc/artanis/artanis.conf
  -h, [--host=HOST]              # Specify the network host
  -d, [--usedb]                  # Whether to use Database
                                   Default: false
  -b, [--dbd=DBD]                # Specify DBD, mysql/postgresql/sqlit3
                                   Default: mysql
  -n, [--name=DATABASE_NAME]     # Database name
                                   Default: artanis
  -w, [--passwd=PASSWD]          # Database password
                                   Default: none
  -u, [--user=USER]              # Database user name
                                   Default: root
  -p, [--port=PORT]              # Specify listening port
                                   Default: 3000
  -g, [--debug]                  # Debug mode
                                   Default: disable
  -s, [--server=SERVER]          # Specify server core
                                   Default: inner (Guile built-in server)
  --help                         # Show this screen


MVC is Model-Views-Controller, the most classic architectural pattern for implementing user interfaces. It divides a given software application into three interconnected parts, so as to separate internal representations of information from the ways that information is presented to or accepted from the user.

9.1 Controllers/Views

When you run it to generate a controller named article:

art draw controller article show edit

show and edit are the name of methods for the controller named article.

And it’ll generate both controller and view for article:

drawing    controller article
working    Controllers `article.scm'
create     app/controllers/article.scm
working    Views `article'
create     app/views/article/show.html.tpl
create     app/views/article/edit.html.tpl

As you may see, there’re three files were generated:


This means the controller article has two methods mapped to URL rule named show and edit. And view component will generate HTML template for each method, say, show.html.tpl. For example, the controller article generate show method handler automatically:

(article-define show
  (lambda (rc)
  "<h1>This is article#show</h1><p>Find me in app/views/article/show.html.tpl</p>"
  ;; TODO: add controller method `show'
  ;; uncomment this line if you want to render view from template
  ;; (view-render "show")

Of course, it depends on you whether to use these template. If you want to use view template, just uncomment the last line (view-render "show").

For more detail about template in Views, please see Layouts and Rendering in GNU Artanis.

9.2 Models

Models contains operations of database.

For modifying tables, you should read Migration.

For other DB operation, please read FPRM.

(To be continue…)

10 URL remapping

10.1 Introduction to URL remapping

URL remapping is used to modify a web URL’s appearance to provide short, pretty or fancy, search engine friendly URLs. It’s largely used in modern WAF(web application framework) to provide RESTful web APIs.

10.2 URL handling

According to RFC2616, there’re GET, POST, PUT, PATCH and DELETE methods. You may register handler for specified URL rule to these methods.

There would be HEAD method, but in GNU Artanis, HEAD method is handled by the server, users can’t use it.

The usage:

(method rule handler)

And the handler could be two types, depends on your need:

(lambda ()

(lambda (rc)

ret also has two types:

(get "/hello" (lambda () "hello world"))

For POST method:

(post "/auth" (lambda (rc) ...))

10.3 Get parameters from URL

(params rc name)
;; e.g 
(get "/hello/:who" (lambda (rc) (params rc "who")))

10.4 Redirect link

(redirect-to rc path #:status 301
                     #:scheme 'http)
;; e.g
(get "/aaa" (lambda (rc) (redirect-to rc "/bbb")))
(get "/bbb" (lambda () "ok bbb"))

11 Layouts and Rendering in GNU Artanis

11.1 Templating

Templating provides a way to mix programming code into HTML.

11.2 Templating for Pythoners

If you’re familiar with Django, which implemented a DSL(Domain Specific Language) to express presentation rather than program logic. You may realize that the templating of GNU Artanis has different philosophy.

In templating of GNU Artanis, it’s simply embedded Scheme code into HTML. Why? Because of the philosophy of FP(Functional Programming), everything could be a function. So obviously, (filesizeformat size) is enough for understanding, and it’s just simple function calling in prefix-notation. There’s no need to implement DSL like size|filesizeformat to increase the complexity of code. Let alone the syntax is very different from Python.

The syntax like size|filesizeformat is postfix-notation used in stack-based languages, say Forth. Such a language used to delegate another programming paradigm named concatenative programming. It’s very different from the paradigm of Scheme(functional programming), and the paradigm of Python(imperative programming).

The philosophy of GNU Artanis templating is to bring it into correspondence with the paradigm of the language. And reduce the unnecessary complexities. KISS.

11.3 Templating for Rubyists

Templating in GNU Artanis looks very similar to Rails.

The Rails code:

<% if( @fullscreen == 1 ) %>
<%= "<div class='full'><p>...</p></div>" %>
<% end %>

And the same function in GNU Artanis code:

<% (if (= fullscreen 1) %>
<% "<div class='full'><p>...</p></div>" %>
<% ) %>

11.4 Templating APIs

(tpl->response filename/sxml [environment <- (the-environment)] [escape? <- #f])
(tpl->html filename/sxm [environment <- (the-environment)] [escape? <- #f])

The difference is that tpl->html returns a string, but tpl->response will return HTTP response.

[environment] is the environment you want to pass in. We often ignore it. But if you want to ref some vars defined outside your template string, you should pass (the-environment).

[escape?] If you want to HTML char-escaping with the returned string, set it to #t.

There’re two kinds of different templating:

11.5 Embedded Templating

Example: Write a tpl file named "my.tpl":

  <p> <%= "This is tpl test!" %> </p>
  <p> <% (format #t "And this is ~a" (getcwd)) %> </p>
  <p> <%= external-var %> </p>

Of course, the ext filename ".tpl" is trivial, you may name it whatever you like.

(get "/test"
  (lambda (rc)
    (let ((external-var 123))
      (tpl->response "my.tpl" (the-environment)))))
(run #:port 8080)

In this case, make sure to put my.tpl to the same path with your GNU Artanis code.

Because external-var is defined outside the file "my.tpl", and it’s bound in let with 123, you have to pass (the-environment). Or the template render will blame that it can’t find variable named external-var.

If you don’t have any external var needs to be referenced, just use (tpl->response "file.tpl") is fine.

Then see http://localhost:3000/test in your browser.

11.6 SXML Templating

SXML is an alternative syntax for writing XML data, using the form of S-expressions.

SXML is to Scheme as JSON is to ECMAScript(the so-called Javascript). Maybe this explains clearer.

The benefit of SXML is to take advantage of quasiquote in Scheme. If you no little about it, then you may google "scheme quasiquote" for more details.

(tpl->response '(html (body (p (@ (id "content")) "hello world"))))

You would get a html string "<html><body><p id=\"content\">hello world</p></body></html>".

Let’s see an example of quasiquote:

(let ((content "hello world"))
  (tpl->response `(html (body (p (@ (id "content")) ,content)))))

12 Database

12.1 Migration

Migration provides a way do complicated modification of tables in database automatically. Here’s an example.

First, draw a migration:

# art draw migration person
drawing    migration person
working    Migration `20151107040209_person.scm'

You’ll see something similar like above.

In this case, you may edit file db/migration/20151107040209_person.scm:

   '(id auto (#:primary-key))
   '(name char-field (#:not-null #:maxlen 10))
   '(age tiny-integer (#:not-null))
   '(email char-field (#:maxlen 20))))

  (drop-table 'person))

Now you may run up command of migration:

art migrate up person

Then migrate-up function will be called, and this will create a table named person:

| Field | Type                | Null | Key | Default | Extra          |
| id    | bigint(20) unsigned | NO   | PRI | NULL    | auto_increment |
| name  | varchar(10)         | NO   |     | NULL    |                |
| age   | tinyint(4)          | NO   |     | NULL    |                |
| email | varchar(20)         | YES  |     | NULL    |                |

If you run down command of migration:

art migrate down person

Obviously, the table person will be dropped.

12.2 ORM problem

ORM stands for Object Relational Mapping, which is a popular approach to handle relational DB nowadays, in OOP.

Of course, Guile has it’s own Object System named GOOPS. Users may use OOP with it. And it’s possible to implement ORM in GNU Artanis as well.

However, FP fans realized that they don’t have to use OOP if they can use FP features reasonably.

Besides, there’re some criticism pointing to ORM:

And here’re some known ways for trying to solve the problems of ORM:

Basically, GNU Artanis has no ORM yet, and maybe never. GNU Artanis is trying to experiment new ways to solve the problems of ORM.

GNU Artanis provides three ways to complete this mission. All of them, are experimental at present.

12.3 SSQL (experimental)

The concept of SSQL is very easy. Write SQL in S-expr.


(->sql sql-statement)
(where #:key val ... [literal string])
(having #:key val ... [literal string])
(/or conds ...)
(/and conds ...)

For example:

(->sql select * from 'Persons (where #:city "Shenzhen"))
(->sql select '(age name) from 'Persons (where "age < 30"))

12.4 FPRM (experimental)

FPRM stands for Functional Programming Relational Mapping. It’s a new word I invented. But it’s not new concept. FP here indicates stateless.

FPRM is still experimental and work-in-progress.

12.4.1 Connect to DB server

;; usage 1:
(connect-db dbd init-str)

;; usage 2:
(connect-db dbd #:db-name "artanis" #:db-username "root" #:db-passwd "" #:proto "tcp" #:host "localhost" #:port 3306)
(connect-db "mysql" "root:123:artanis:tcp:localhost:3306")

12.4.2 Map DB table

This step will generate an new instance (as a closure) mapped to database table or view. In ORM, it is often called Active Record which maps the database view to an class object.

And there’re two differences:

These two points may decrease the power of FPRM, but our main philosophy in GNU Artanis is that

That means we’re not going to develop a complicated ORM in GNU Artanis, but a promising way to interact with SQL easily. This is what SQL Mapping provided. FPRM aims to reduce states & complexity to provide reliability, and SQL-Mapping will provide a convenient way to handle complex SQL for better performance and security (from SQL-Injection).

(define m (map-table-from-DB rc/conn))

rc/conn can be route-context or connection of DB.

map-table-from-DB returns a function, we named it m here for explaining.

12.4.3 Create table

(m 'create table-name defs #:if-exists? #f #:primary-keys '() #:engine #f)
'((name varchar 10) (age integer) (email varchar 20))

12.4.4 Get columns from table

(m 'get table-name #:columns '(*) #:functions '() #:ret 'all #:group-by #f #:order-by #f)
#:functions '((count Persons.Lastname))

For example, to get Lastname and City column, and return the first result.

(m 'get 'Persons #:columns '(Lastname City) #:ret 'top)

12.4.5 Set values to table

(m 'set table-name . kargs)

kargs is a var-list to accept the key-value arguments.

For example:

(m 'set 'Persons #:name "nala" #:age 99 #:email "")

12.4.6 Drop a table

(m 'drop table-name)

12.4.7 Check existence of table

;; case sensitive
(m 'exists? table-name . columns)
;; or for case-insensitive
(m 'ci-exists? table-name . columns)

For example:

(m 'exists? 'Persons 'city 'lastname)

12.4.8 Get schema of a table

(m 'schema table-name)

NOTE: all the returned name of schema will be down-cased.

12.5 SQL Mapping (experimental)

To be continued …


#:mime method is used to return the proper MIME type in the HTTP response.

#:mime type ; for registering type
(:mime rc body) ; for emit the reponse with the proper MIME

13.1 JSON

GNU Artanis integrated the third-party module guile-json. You may use #:mime method to handle JSON:

(get "/json" #:mime 'json
  (lambda (rc)
    (let ((j (json (object ("name" "nala") ("age" 15)))))
      (:mime rc j))))

For example:

(define my-json
  (json (object ("name" "nala") ("age" 15)
                ("read_list" (object ("book1" "The interpreter and structure of Artanis")
                                     ("book2" "The art of Artanis programming"))))))
(scm->json my-json) ; scm->json will print json
;; ==> {"name" : "nala",
;;      "age" : 15,
;;      "read_list" : {"book2" : "The art of Artanis programming",
;;                     "book1" : "The interpreter and structure of Artanis"}}

scm->json will print the result directly.

If you need to format JSON as a string to return to clients, please use scm->json-string.

13.2 CSV

GNU Artanis integrated the third-party module guile-csv. You may use #:mime method to handle CSV:

(get "/csv" #:mime 'csv
  (lambda (rc)
    (:mime rc '(("a" "1") ("b" "2")))))

13.3 XML

In Scheme, XML is handled with SXML. Another way is to use strings appending method.

(get "/xml" #:mime 'xml
  (lambda (rc)
    (:mime rc '(*TOP* (WEIGHT (@ (unit "pound")) (NET (@ (certified "certified")) "67") (GROSS "95"))))))

13.4 SXML

You can use SXML to replace XML for exchanging data format. This way saves some bandwidth.

(get "/sxml" #:mime 'sxml
  (lambda (rc)
    (:mime rc '((a 1) (b 2)))))

14 Upload files

If you want to deal with uploading files, store-uploaded-files would be you friend.

14.1 Receive upload from client

(store-uploaded-files rc #:path (current-upload-path)
                         #:uid #f
                         #:gid #f
                         #:simple-ret? #t
                         #:mode #o664
                         #:path-mode #o775
                         #:sync #f)

rc is the route-context.

#:path is specified path to put uploaded files.

#:uid is new UID for uploaded files, #f means don’t change the default UID.

#:gid specifies new GID.

#:simple-ret? specifies the mode of return:

#:mode chmod files to mode.

#:path-mode chmod upload path to mode.

#:sync sync while storing files.

14.2 Send upload to Server

Although GNU Artanis is often used in server-side, we provide this function for users to upload files from client.

(upload-files-to uri pattern)

uri is standard HTTP URL:


pattern should be: ((file filelist …) (data datalist …)), for example:

(upload-files-to ""
 '((data ("data1" "hello world"))
   (file ("file1" "filename") ("file2" "filename2"))))

15 Sessions

You have to use #:session mode while you defining URL rule handler.

(post "/auth" #:session mode
  (lambda (rc) ...))

mode could be:

And the APIs of session is :session

(:session rc cmd)

cmd could be:

16 Cookies

You have to use #:cookies mode while you defining URL rule handler.

(get "/certain-rule" #:cookies mode
  (lambda (rc) ...))

mode could be:

And the APIs:

(:cookies-set! rc cookie-name key val)

(:cookies-ref rc cookie-name key)

(:cookies-setattr! rc cookie-name #:expir #f #:domain #f #:path #f #:secure #f #:http-only #f)

(:cookies-remove! rc key) ; remove cookie from client

(:cookies-update! rc) ; cookies operations won't work unless you update it

NOTE: You don’t have to call :cookies-update! yourself, since it’ll be called automatically by the hook before response.

For example:

(get "/cookie" #:cookies '(names cc)
  (lambda (rc)
    (:cookies-set! rc 'cc "sid" "123321")

(get "/cookie/:expires" #:cookies '(names cc)
  (lambda (rc)
    (:cookies-set! rc 'cc "sid" "123321")
    (:cookies-setattr! rc 'cc #:expir (string->number (params rc "expires")))

Now you may use this command in the console to see the result:

curl --head localhost:3000/cookie
# and
curl --head localhost:3000/cookie/120

17 Authentication

17.1 Init Authentication

GNU Artanis provides flexible mechanism for authentication.

You have to use #:auth mode while you defining URL rule handler.

(get "/certain-rule" #:auth mode
  (lambda (rc) ...))

mode could be:

Available crypto-proc helper functions listed here:

17.2 Basic Authentication

HTTP Basic authentication (BA) implementation is the simplest technique for enforcing access controls to web resources because it doesn’t require cookies, session identifier and login pages. Rather, HTTP Basic authentication uses static, standard HTTP headers which means that no handshakes have to be done in anticipation.

The BA mechanism provides no confidentiality protection for the transmitted credentials. They are merely encoded with Base64 in transit, but not encrypted or hashed in any way. Basic Authentication is, therefore, typically used over HTTPS.

GNU Artanis doesn’t support HTTPS at present, it’s planned to support it in the future.

Let’s see a simple example:

(get "/bauth" #:auth `(basic ,(lambda (rc u p) (and (string=? u "mmr") (string=? p "123"))))
  (lambda (rc) 
    (if (:auth rc)
        "auth ok"

You have to define your own checker with the anonymous function (lambda (rc u p) ...). #t for succeed, #f for failed.


17.3 Common Authentication

Actually, there’re various authentication methods could be used by developers. Most of them are sort of tricky hacks. Here, we only introduce the most common way.

The most common and relative safe way for authentication is to use POST method. And check username and passwd from a table in DB.

Here is a simple example:

(post "/auth" #:auth '(table user "user" "passwd") #:session #t
  (lambda (rc)
     ((:session rc 'check) "auth ok (session)")
     ((:auth rc)
      (:session rc 'spawn)
      "auth ok")
     (else (redirect-to rc "/login?login_failed=true")))))

NOTE: The passwd will be encrypted by default algorithm.

18 Cache

18.1 On web caching

Web caching is very important nowadays. This section raises a discussion on proper web caching. It couldn’t be guide for product. But may help you to understand how to use cache in GNU Artanis.

(to be continued…)

18.2 Cache APIs

You have to use #:cache mode while you defining URL rule handler.

(get "/certain-rule" #:cache mode
  (lambda (rc) ...))

NOTE: the default value of maxage is defined by cache.maxage in /etc/artanis/artanis.conf. The default value is 3600 seconds.

mode could be:

Let’s see the simplest cache test (for dynamic content):

(get "/new" #:cache #t
  (lambda (rc)
    (:cache rc "hello world")))

If you want to cache a static file, and permit proxies cache the content:

(get "/hide" #:cache '(public "pub/some.html")
  (lambda (rc)
    (:cache rc)))

But, if your current URL rule is used for authentication (once you use #:auth), the cache will be changed to private even if you specify public.

(get "/pauth"
  #:auth `(basic ,(lambda (rc u p) (and (string=? u "nala") (string=? p "123"))))
  #:cache '(public "pub/some.html") ; will be changed to 'private' automatically.
  (lambda (rc) (:cache rc)))

19 Utils

The functions introduced here need to import (artanis utils) module.

19.1 String Template

GNU Artanis provides Python3-like template strings:

(make-string-template tpl . vals)

For an example:

(define st (make-string-template "hello ${name}"))
(st #:name "nala")
;; ==> "hello nala"

;; or you may specify a default value for ${name}
(define st (make-string-template "hello ${name}" #:name "unknown"))
;; ==> "hello unknown"
(st #:name "john")
;; ==> "hello john"

19.2 Random Number Generator

Get random number string from /dev/urandom.

(get-random-from-dev #:length 8 #:uppercase #f)

19.3 Encryption

;; hash a string with MD5
(string->md5 str)
;; hash a string with SHA-1
(string->sha-1 str)

19.4 Stack & Queue

GNU Artanis provides simple interfaces for stack & queue:

;; stack operations
(stack-pop! stk)
(stack-push! stk elem)
(stack-top stk)
(stack-remove! stk key)
(stack-empty? stk)

;; queue operations
(queue-out! q)
(queue-in! q elem)
(queue-head q)
(queue-tail q)
(queue-remove! q key)
(queue-empty? q)

20 Debug mode

GNU Artanis provides debug-mode for more convenient debug. You may enable it easy.

For the simplest way, pass #:debug #t when calling run function:

(run #:debug #t)

If you use MVC or created an app folder, just pass –debug or -g:

# In app folder
art work --debug
# Or
art work -g

When you enabled debug-mode, the Model and Controller modules written by you will be reloaded automatically on the fly.

If not, you have to Ctrl+C to quit GNU Artanis server and start it again. This saves your time.

And you may add paths to monitor certain files (for an instance, JSON as config file to be reloaded on the fly) if you want to be notified when they’re changed. Just put the paths here:

debug.monitor = my/lib/json, my/lib/modules

21 Appendix A GNU Free Documentation License

Version 1.3, 3 November 2008 Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2008 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this license document, but changing it is not allowed. PREAMBLE The purpose of this License is to make a manual, textbook, or other functional and useful document free in the sense of freedom: to assure everyone the effective freedom to copy and redistribute it, with or without modifying it, either commercially or noncommercially. Secondarily, this License preserves for the author and publisher a way to get credit for their work, while not being considered responsible for modifications made by others.

This License is a kind of “copyleft”, which means that derivative works of the document must themselves be free in the same sense. It complements the GNU General Public License, which is a copyleft license designed for free software.

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