An extensible transformer for Hiccup(-like) data structure

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  • Updated at: 2018-07-03 15:30:28

Kuuga https://circleci.com/gh/ayato-p/kuuga/tree/master.svg?style=svg https://codecov.io/gh/ayato-p/kuuga/branch/master/graph/badge.svg https://img.shields.io/badge/License-MIT-blue.svg

“I don’t want to see people crying anymore because of those evil monsters! I want everyone to be happy! So look… at my… transformation!” ―Yusuke Godai’s words to Kaoru Ichijo before transforming into Mighty Form for the first time

Kuuga is an extensible transformer for Hiccup(-like) data structures, where the transformation rules can be defined freely.

NOTE: Kamen Rider Kuuga is a very famous/awesome Tokusatsu TV series/movie from Japan. If you have not watched it yet, you should :)

Problems with HTML forms

HTML forms end up being verbose.

For example:

  • When there is a validation error, we need to render the errors on the form as well as the previous input values
  • Each CSS framework defines their own way of indicating an error, forcing the developer to customize the form accordingly.

Below is a easy form using Bootstrap4.

(defn naive-form [{:keys [errors values] :as opts}]
  [:form {:method :post}
    [:label {:for "input-email"} "Email address"]
     {:type :email :name :email
      :class (if (contains? errors :email) "is-invalid" "is-valid")
      :value (:email values)
      :placeholer "Enter email"}]
    [:div.invalid-feedback (:email errors)]
     "We'll never share your email with anyone else."]]
    [:label {:for "input-password"} "Password"]
     {:type :password :name :password
      :class (if (contains? errors :password) "is-invalid" "is-valid")
      :value (:password values)
      :placeholer "Password"}]
    [:div.invalid-feedback (:password errors)]]
   [:button.btn.btn-primary {:type :submit} "Submit"]])

You can see full example under the examples/bootstrap directory.

If the input tag was an error, you need to assign an is-invalid class and if there was a previous value you must specify it as the value etc… One needs to repeat this excercise for every input in every form. This gets depressing after a certain amount of repetitions. Do you enjoy it? I don’t. Kuuga is a solution to this problem that allows you to describe a form like this.

[:form {:method :post}
  [:label {:for "input-email"} "Email address"]
   {:type :email :name :email :placeholer "Enter email"}]
   "We'll never share your email with anyone else."]]
  [:label {:for "input-password"} "Password"]
   {:type :password :name :password :placeholer "Password"}]]
 [:button.btn.btn-primary {:type :submit} "Submit"]]

Now the form can be defined with a succinct Hiccup data, without writing anything related to errors. Please take a look at the Usage for full details.


Add the following dependency to your project.clj file:



Kuuga allows you to describe transformation rules against any HTML tag, id attribute, and class attribute. Transformation rules require the tagname in the tag vector. Below is a transformation rule for a input tag.

(require '[kuuga.growing :as growing]
         '[kuuga.tool :as tool])

(defmethod growing/transform-by-tag :input
  [_ options tag-vector]
  (let [values (:values options)
        [tag-name tag-options contents] (tool/parse-tag-vector tag-vector)
        tname (:name tag-options)
        tag-options (cond-> tag-options
                      (get values tname) (assoc :value (get values tname)))]
    [tag-name tag-options contents]))

All extension points for Kuuga are included in the kuuga.growing namespace. We have transform-by-tag, transform-by-id, transform-by-class and they are all defined as multimethods.

New transformation rules will be added using defmethod. Each multimethod takes the dispatch value as the first argument, transformation options for the second argument, the tag vector as the third argument, and returns a transformed tag vector (will mention later, but does not need to return a tag vector). The keyword dispatch value will be passed into each multimethod, so when adding a new transformation rule you must specify the keyword value as a dispatch value.

A given tag vector will first be transformed based on the tag, followed by transformation based on the id attribute, followed by the transformation based on the class attribute.

Kuuga has the function flavor and the macro flavor of transformations with subtle differences when writing the transformation rules.

Function version

The function version is located in the kuuga.mighty namespace. By default using kuuga.mighty/transform is recommended. Using the function version is easy. The first example in the Usage works with the function version.

Use like the following:

(require '[kuuga.mighty :as mighty])

(def tagvec [:input {:name :username}])

(def transformed
  (let [opts {:values {:username "ayato-p"}}]
    (mighty/transform opts tagvec)))

;;=> ([:input {:name :username, :value "ayato-p"} nil])

(require '[hiccup2.core :as hiccup])

(str (hiccup/html {:mode :html} transformed))
;;=> "<input name=\"username\" value=\"ayato-p\"></input>"

Macro version

The macro version is located in the kuuga.ultimate namespace. By default using kuuga.ultimate/transform is recommended. The macro versions do the transformation at macro expansion time, requiring a bit of trickery.

(require '[kuuga.growing :as growing])

(defn update-input-opts [options tag-options]
  (let [values (:values options)
        tname (:name tag-options)]
    (cond-> tag-options
      (get values tname) (assoc :value (get values tname)))))

(defmethod growing/transform-by-tag :input
  [_ options tag-vector]
  (let [[tag-name tag-options contents] (tool/parse-tag-vector tag-vector)]
      (update-input-opts ~options ~tag-options)

These multimethods are used during macro expansion, so note that the arguments for the multimethod’s options could be a symbol instead of a map.

Following is the usage.

(require '[kuuga.ultimate :as ultimate])

(def transformed
  (let [opts {:values {:username "ayato-p"}}]
    (ultimate/transform opts [:input {:name :username}])))

;;=> ([:input {:name :username, :value "ayato-p"}])

(require '[hiccup2.core :as hiccup])

(str (hiccup/html {:mode :html} transformed))
;; "<input name=\"username\" value=\"ayato-p\">"

Note that the macro version transformers needs to directly accept hiccup data structures. You can check that the transformation is taking place during macro expansion time as the following.

(require '[clojure.walk :as walk])

 '(ultimate/transform opts [:input {:name :username}]))
;;=> (clojure.core/list [:input (user/update-input-opts opts {:name :username})])

Bonus Stage

Earlier I mentioned the transformation rules do not necessarily need to return a tag vector. Something like the folloing can be done.

(require '[kuuga.growing :as growing]
         '[kuuga.mighty :as mighty])

(defmethod growing/transform-by-tag :comment
  [_ _ _])

(mighty/transform* [:comment "This is comment"])
;;=> nil

(defmethod growing/transform-by-tag :+
  [_ _ tag-vector]
  (when-let [numbers (next tag-vector)]
    (apply + numbers)))

(mighty/transform* [:+ 1 2 3])
;;=> 6

(defmethod growing/transform-by-tag :field
  [_ _ tag-vector]
  (let [[_ label name] tag-vector]
     [:label label]
     [:input {:name name}]]))

(mighty/transform* [:field "Name" :username])
;; [:div.form-group
;;  [:label "Name"]
;;  [:input {:name :username})]]


  • Q. So you like Kuuga?
  • A. It is the best
  • Q. Why name this Kuuga?
  • A. transform -> Kamen Rider -> Kuuga


  • 👍 iku000888 for the first version of the English README