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The Cro::HTTP::Message role is done by both Cro::HTTP::Request and Cro::HTTP::Response. It factors out the many aspects that requests and responses have in common, including handling of headers and bodies. Cro uses the same request and response classes for both client and server use cases, which besides giving less to learn also eases the writing of HTTP intermediaries.


Retrieving headers§

The headers method gets a List of Cro::HTTP::Header objects. This gets the headers in the order they were originally received. If multiple headers with the same name were sent, they will have multiple entries in the list. This is both the most precise and least convenient way to access headers.

my @links = $resp.headers.grep(* eq 'link').map(*.value);

When expecting a single header with a particular name, use the header method to retrieve its value. If there are multiple headers of the same name, their values will be joined by commas. The header name is matched case-insensitively. If there is no such header, then Nil will be returned.

my $content-type = $resp.header('Content-type');

To get a list of header values matching a particular name (case-insensitive), use header-list. This will return an empty list if there is no header with the specified name.

my @links = $resp.header-list('link');

The has-header method is useful for checking if a header is present in the request without caring about its value; again, matching is case-insensitive.

if $resp.has-header('expires') {

Setting headers§

Headers can be added to the response object using the append-header method. This can take either a Cro::HTTP::Header object:

    name => 'ETag',
    value => '"737060cd8c284d8af7ad3082f209582d"'

Or the header in string format, which will be parsed into name and value (this is the slowest way due to the need for parsing):

$resp.append-header('ETag: "737060cd8c284d8af7ad3082f209582d"');

Or by specifying the header name, which must be a Str, and the header value, which can be any Cool type and will be coerced to a Str:

$resp.append-header('ETag', '"737060cd8c284d8af7ad3082f209582d"');

Removing headers§

The remove-header method can be used to remove one or more headers. There are a number of overloads. The simplest takes a Str containing the header name to remove. All headers with this name, matched case-insensitively, will be removed. The number of headers removed will be returned.


Alternatively, a predicate may be passed; all headers that match it will be removed. Again, the number of headers removed will be returned.

$resp.remove-header(* eq 'link');

Finally, a Cro::HTTP::Header object may be passed to remove that specific header.

my $header = $resp.headers.pick; # Pick a random header to remove
$resp.remove-header($header);    # And remove it

Content type§

The content-type method obtains the Content-type header, if any, and parses it into a Cro::MediaType instance. If there is no Content-type header, then Nil is returned. If for some reason the header value is not a valid media type then an exception will be thrown.


Retrieving the body§

Cro provides access to the message body at a range of abstraction levels, from low-level ("give me bytes as they arrived") to high level ("automatically parse application/json and give me an object"). Note that each of these will "sink" the body bytes, meaning that only one of them may be used on a given HTTP message.

As a byte stream§

The body-byte-stream method returns a Supply containing the bytes making up the message, as they are received over the network. Transfer encoding (such as "chunked") will already have been applied, as will handling of known length content (marked by the presence of the Content-length header). When the body has been full received, then a done will be emitted on the Supply.

react {
    whenever $resp.body-byte-stream -> $blob {
        say "Got bytes: " ~ $blob.gist;

As a binary Blob§

The body-blob method returns a Promise that is kept with all of the data emitted on body-byte-stream joined into a single Blob.

my Blob $bytes = await $resp.body-blob();

As a text Str§

The body-text method returns a Promise that is kept when all of the data emitted on the body-byte-stream has been received and then decoded to a Str.

my Str $text = await $resp.body-text();

This uses the charset on Content-type as its primary means of knowing what encoding to use. If that is missing, but the content starts with a recognized BOM, then this will be taken as the encoding to use. Failing that, the default-enc named parameter will be used, if passed:

my Str $text = await $resp.body-text(:default-enc<latin-1>);

If it is not passed, the a heuristic will be used: if the body can be decoded as utf-8 then it will be deemed to be utf-8, and failing that it will be decoded as latin-1 (which can never fail as all bytes are valid, although the result may not be meaningful).

As an object§

Implementations of the Cro::BodyParser role are used to parse a HTTP message body into an appropriate object. Examples of what a body parser might do include:

  • Parsing the application/x-www-form-urlencoded and multipart/form-data request bodies, most typically used by browsers to transmit form data

  • Parsing an application/json body using a JSON library such as JSON::Fast either in a request or a response, giving a hash/array representation of the data

  • Parsing an application/json into an appropriate object using JSON::Class

  • Parsing text/html using the Gumbo library to get a DOM

Cro provides a number of body parsers, which it enables by default. They can also be provided externally.

A Cro::HTTP::Message has a Cro::BodyParserSelector, which picks the appropriate Cro::BodyParser implementation to use. This may be changed at any point before body is called. Body parser selectors can come from a range of places:

  • The Cro::HTTP::ResponseParser and Cro::HTTP::RequestParser objects have a default set of body parsers. They may be constructed with extra body parsers too. This will often be specified as part of the configuration for a Cro::HTTP::Server.

  • The Cro::HTTP::Router can add body parsers within a certain group of routes.

  • A Cro::HTTP::Client can be constructed with extra body parsers to use.

The following body parsers are provided by default for requests:

  • Cro::HTTP::BodyParser::WWWFormUrlEncoded - used whenever the content-type is application/x-www-form-urlencoded; parses the form data and provides it as an instance of Cro::HTTP::Body::WWWFormUrlEncoded

  • Cro::HTTP::BodyParser::MultiPartFormData - used whenever the content-type is multipart/form-data; parses the multipart document and provides it as an instance of Cro::HTTP::Body::MultiPartFormData

  • Cro::HTTP::BodyParser::JSON - used whenever the content-type is either application-json or anything with a +json suffix; parses the data using the JSON::Fast module, which returns a Hash or Array

  • Cro::HTTP::BodyParser::TextFallback - used whenever the content-type has a type text (for example, text/plain, text/html); uses body-text

  • Cro::HTTP::BodyParser::BlobFallback - used as a last resort and will match any message; uses body-blob

The final 3 body parsers are in the default set for parsing responses:

  • Cro::HTTP::BodyParser::JSON
  • Cro::HTTP::BodyParser::TextFallback
  • Cro::HTTP::BodyParser::BlobFallback

Setting the Body§

The set-body method can be used to set the body. The Cro::HTTP::Message will typically then reach either a Cro::HTTP::ResponseSerializer (servers) or Cro::HTTP::RequestSerializer (clients), which call body-byte-stream. At this point, an instance of Cro::BodySerializerSelector will be used to pick a Cro::BodySerializer to use. Applications can change the selector in order to add extra body serializers at any point before the message is serialized to be sent over the network.

The following body serializers are in the default set for serializing requests:

  • Cro::HTTP::BodySerializer::WWWFormUrlEncoded - used when the content-type header has been set to application/x-www-form-urlencoded and the body was set to a List or a Hash, or when the body is an instance of Cro::HTTP::Body::WWWFormUrlEncoded. If a List is provided then all of the list elements must be pairs. If there is no content-type header, it will be added.

  • Cro::HTTP::BodySerializer::MultiPartFormData - used when the content-type header has been set to application/x-www-form-urlencoded and the body was set to a List, or when the body is an instance of Cro::HTTP::Body::MultiPartFormData. If a List is provided then all of the list elements must be either Cro::HTTP::Body::MultiPartFormData::Part instances or pairs (a mix of the two is allowed). Any content-type header will be removed and replaced with one containing the boundary parameter.

  • Cro::HTTP::BodySerializer::JSON - used when the content-type header has been set to application/json or any media type with the +json suffix. The body will be passed to JSON::Fast to serialize.

  • Cro::HTTP::BodySerializer::StrFallback - used whenever the body has been set to Str. If the content-type contains a charset parameter, it will be used to decide on the encoding of the string; the default will be UTF-8. If there is no content-type header then a text/plain one will be added.

  • Cro::HTTP::BodySerializer::BlobFallback - used whenever the body has been set to a Blob. If there is no content-type header than an application/octet-stream one will be added.

All of these will set a Content-length header.

The default set of serializers for a response are:

  • Cro::HTTP::BodySerializer::JSON (described above)
  • Cro::HTTP::BodySerializer::StrFallback (described above)
  • Cro::HTTP::BodySerializer::BlobFallback (described above)
  • Cro::HTTP::BodySerializer::SupplyFallback - used when the body has been set to a Supply. This Supply must emit Blobs; anything else will result in an error. This is the only built-in body serializer that does not add a content-length header (meaning that the response serializer will use the chunked encoding).