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Created November 26, 2011 20:02
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The beginnings of a declarative model syntax for CoffeeScript.
# The beginnings of a declarative model syntax for CoffeeScript.
# SEE:
# Thomas Parslow
# Email:
# Twitter: @almostobsolete
# The top part is the setup, see below that for the demo
# To see this run right away try copy pasting it into the 'Try
# CoffeeScript' box at
# Please consider this code to be public domain. I'd appreciate it if you'd tell me if you use it but that's not at all required
# In the browser we use alert but on Node.JS (which doesn't have alert) let's use console.log instead
alert ?= console.log
isFunction = (obj) -> == '[object Function]'
class Model
# This is the CoffeeScript syntax to declare a class method
@field: (name, options) ->
@fields ?= {}
@fields[name] = options || {}
@has_many: (klass, options) ->
options ?= {}
options.klass = klass ?= + 's'
@collections ?= {}
@collections[] = options
constructor: (attributes) ->
@attributes = {}
# Copy in attributes passed in or defaults from the fields as appropriate
for name, options of @constructor.fields
# Defaults can be specified as values or as functions
@attributes[name] = attributes?[name] || if (isFunction(options.default)) then options.default() else options.default
# Set up collections
for name,options of @constructor.collections
@[name] = new Collection(@, options)
@listeners = {}
# Events
bind: (event, listener) =>
(@listeners[event] ?= []).push(listener)
emit: (event, args...) =>
listener(args...) for listener in @listeners[event] if @listeners[event]
# Getters and setters
get: (name) =>
set: (name, value) =>
field = @constructor.fields[name]
throw Error('Trying to set an non-existent property!') if not field
# Ignore a re-setting of the same value
return if value == @get(name)
@attributes[name] = value
# Emit change events!
@emit('change', name, value)
@emit("change:#{name}", value)
# A collection class for has_many relations
class Collection
# Using CoffeeScript destructuring bind to extract the bits we need from options
constructor: (@parent, {as: @field_name, klass: @klass}) ->
@members = []
create: (attributes) =>
@add(new @klass(attributes))
add: (thing) =>
@parent.emit("add:#{@field_name}", thing)
remove: (thing) =>
for _thing, i in @members when _thing == thing
delete @members[i]
@parent.emit("remove:#{@field_name}", thing)
all: =>
length: =>
at: (index) =>
# Demo
class Post extends Model
@field 'title', default: 'New post!'
@field 'body'
# the default is supplied as a closure which is evaluated at object creation time
@field 'created_at', default: -> new Date()
class User extends Model
@field 'username'
@field 'twitter'
@has_many Post, as: 'posts'
# Create a new user
user = new User(username: 'tom', twitter: 'almostobsolete')
# Bind to the change event for the title property
user.bind 'change:username', (value) =>
alert "Username updated to #{value}"
# Print out details of posts when they are created by the user
user.bind 'add:posts', (post) =>
alert "Post titled #{post.get('title')} was written at #{post.get('created_at')}"
# Print out details of posts when they are created by the user
user.bind 'remove:posts', (post) =>
alert "Post titled #{post.get('title')} was removed"
# Change the user's username (which will trigger the event bound above)
user.set('username', 'thomas')
# Create a blog post associated with the new user (which will trigger the other event)
post = user.posts.create
title: 'Declarative Models'
body: 'One of the useful additions....'
alert "There are now #{user.posts.length()} posts by #{user.get('username')} and the first is called #{'title')}"
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pke commented Feb 4, 2012

How would you specify a has_and_belongs_to_many relationship? I am using TaffyDB as backend, and have setup the join tables for Posts and Tags like this
{ post_id: "T00000R000003", tag_id: "T00001R000002"}
So both Post and Tag model would habtm on this join table.
A Post.find(1).tags should return Tag objects fetched from the TaffyBD like this:
joinTable({post_id: doc.___id}).get()

Any ideas?

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DSL is so beatiful & powerful, good try.

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sukima commented Jul 18, 2013

Fsck'ing impressive 👍

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grant commented May 9, 2014

I made the npm package coffee-script-model that implements this functionality. Feel free to fork it for your needs or improve it.

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