Yesod's new scaffolding

December 3, 2014

GravatarMichael Snoyman

After lots of discussion and testing, I'm happy to announce a significant update to the Yesod scaffolded site. You can see some mailing list discussions on this at:

The newest version of yesod-bin (and all versions going forward) will ship with this newly minted scaffolding. There is no migration guide for existing sites; scaffoldings aren't the kind of things to be easily migrated, and all existing sites will continue to function due to lack of breaking API changes. Nonetheless, if people are excited enough about these changes that they'd like to integrate them into their existing sites, please start up a discussion on the mailing list.

The primary motivation in this change is an overhaul to the settings system. The new system is much more modular regarding environment variables, config files, and hard-coded settings. It's also much simpler to determine where a setting value comes from, and to configure things differently in different environments. Since I've already described these changes in quite some detail, I will instead point you to the second mailing list thread linked above.

To give an example of how this works, take a look at the following lines from the new settings.yml file:

host:           "_env:HOST:*4" # any IPv4 host
port:           "_env:PORT:3000"
approot:        "_env:APPROOT:http://localhost:3000"

In the old scaffolding, both PORT and APPROOT were recognized environment variable names, that would override whatever was defined in settings.yml. However, that overriding occurred in a library (Yesod.Default.Config) and was not obvious to users, which led to many bug reports/support questions. Additionally, there was no way to override the host/interface binding via environment variables. In the new system:

  • It's obvious from reading the config file which settings can be overridden via environment variables, and what the names of those variables are.
  • It's trivial to change the names, or disable environment variable overriding (e.g., replace the approot line with approot: http://localhost:3000).
  • New arbitrary settings can be added at will, and easily use environment variables to override their values.

The other change is that we've replaced the ad-hoc Import prelude replacement previously found in the scaffolding with ClassyPrelude.Yesod. For users not interested in classy-prelude, it should be trivial to replace import ClassyPrelude.Yesod with import Prelude, import Yesod, and whatever else you want. Greg has also spent quite some time in the past week improving the documentation for both classy-prelude and mono-traversable, which will help things out considerably.

Besides that, I've done a bunch of minor maintenance on the scaffolding, cleaning up import lists, adding some missing documentation, and so on.

Like any new release, it's certainly possible that there are some issues, so if you notice any, please feel free to bring them up. Also, documentation fixes are great as well. As always, please send any pull requests against the postgres branch of the yesod-scaffold repo, from which we automatically merge changes to all other versions of the scaffolding.

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