Grunt or Gulp alternative - serving static files in a web application - rendering and/or transforming and caching resources JIT.
Last updated 4 years ago by trenskow .
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A middleware inspired by static-serve, but with support for JIT compilation.

Can be used as Express or Connect middleware - or with just plain http.

How it Works

donot is an engine. Build-in is the ability to serve static files, just like static files - being able to serve a local directory as a directory of an http server.

But being smart, it also supports plug-ins for transforming files - which means it automatically compiles and renders local templates, and/or transforms files (eg. ES6 to ES5, Stylus to CSS or pug to HTML).


donot is created like this.

var donot = require('donot');

donot(root, options)

Returns a route to be used with Express, Connect or http.


Consider the following example.

var http = require('http');

var donot = require('donot');

var PugTransform = require('donot-transform-pug');
var StylusTransform = require('donor-transform-stylus');

var server = http.createServer(donot(__dirname + '/public', {
	transform: [
	    new PugTransform(),
	    new StylusTransform()


Now an http server is listening on port 8000 with the content of local directory /public being served at http://localhost:8000/.

But beyond serving static files it will automatically render templates when requested, so the above example will map the local file structure like below.

/public/index.html      as     http://localhost:8000/index.html
/public/images/my.png   as     http://localhost:8000/images/my.png
/public/about.pug       as     http://localhost:8000/about.html
/public/style/my.styl   as     http://localhost:8000/style/my.css

index.html and images/my.png are served as-is, but about.pug and style/my.styl are served as their rendered content - all automatically because of the transforms added above.


Currently pug and Stylus transforms are available. Also a minifier and an ES2015 transform is available.

See section "Customizing" below on how to implement your own transforms.


The build-in default of donot is to just re-transform files whenever they are requested. This might work with small websites with relative small amounts of users, but transforming can be an expensive task - so caching them is a good idea.

As with transforms - donot also supports cache plug-ins.


Below we have extended the above example with caching.

var http = require('http');

var donot = require('donot');

var PugTransform = require('donot-transform-pug');
var StylusTransform = require('donot-transform-stylus');

var MemoryCache = require('donot-cache-memory');

var server = http.createServer(donot(__dirname + '/public', {
	transforms: [ new PugTransform(), new StylusTransform() ],
	cache: new MemoryCache()


Now all transformed files will be cached in memory and served from there - if the source files has not been modified.

Currently a memory, file system and redis cache plug-in are available.

See the "Customizing" section below on how to implement your own cache plug-ins.


donot supports some options - some of them you've already seen practiced above - more specifically the transforms and cache option.

Currently these options are available.

Option Type Dafault Description
transforms Array None An array of transforms.
cache Object None A cache plug-in to provide caching
etag Boolean true Use Etag for HTTP cache control
lastModified Boolean true Send Last-Modified header. Uses source file or transformed files modification date.
index Array ['index.html'] An array of file names to be tested for and used - in prefered order - when directories are requested.
serveDir String '/' Serve files from a subdirectory.
allowDotFiles Boolean false Allow access to hidden (dot) files.
allowTemplates Boolean false Allow access to template files.
accessControl Object None Specify access (see section Access Control)

Access Control

Besides the allowHidden and allowTemplates options, donot also supports more fine-grained control through the accessControl option.

An example below.

    accessControl: {
        deny: [

The above example denies access to files with the .ext extension or with filenames that match the regular expression ^.?\.ext2$ - all other files are allowed. If you replace deny with allow it turns around - allowing only the files specified and denying all others.

The array can contain strings which match file extensions, or regular expressions which are matched against the entire filename.


See Transform or Cache.



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