Draft Mini Web Framework

The core Fantom web pod defines a very useful set of APIs for building web-based apps. In particular the WebMod API provides a simple yet powerful mechanism to compose multiple apps into a single site.

WebMod is intentionally left as simple as possible in order to not impose any particular design pattern on the world. However there does happen to be a small amount of boilerplate code developers end up having to write to get going.

Draft is intended to notch in right above WebMod. It does just enough to cut out the boiler plate, plus provide what I believe is most useful for simple to moderately complicated web apps:

  • Auto restart web server when a pod has been modified for rapid development
  • Route mechanism for mapping web reqs to method handlers
  • Simple handling and customization of error messages/responses
  • Rails-style Flash one-time message API
  • Pre/post service hooks for wrapping request handling
  • Simple setup of a public resource directory


fanr install -r http://repo.status302.com/fanr/ draft

API Documentation:



const class MyMod : DraftMod
  ** Constructor.
  new make()
    pubDir = `/Users/andy/proj/example/pub/`.toFile
    logDir = `/Users/andy/proj/example/log/`.toFile
    router = Router {
      routes = [
        Route("/", "GET", #index),
        Route("/echo/{name}/{age}", "GET", #print),

  ** Display index page.
  Void index()
    res.headers["Content-Type"] = "text/plain"
    res.out.printLine("Hi there!")

  ** Print URL args.
  Void print(Str:Str args)
    name := args["name"]
    age  := args["age"].toInt
    res.headers["Content-Type"] = "text/plain"
    res.out.printLine("Hi $name, you are $age years old!")


Simplest way to run Draft is to just pass in the pod containing your DraftMod subclass:

$ fan draft mypod

When running Draft this way, a proxy server is spun up ahead of your website. This proxy monitors pod changes and will automatically restart your server when a pod becomes out of date. So no need to restart your server during development.

Type fan draft to see list of options:

$ fan draft
usage: fan draft [options] <pod | pod::Type>
  -prod          run in production mode
  -port  <port>  port to run HTTP server on (defaults to 8080)


While the draft::DevMod greatly improves development efficiency, running a proxy server in front of your site probably isn't what you want to do in production :) To run your DraftMod directly for production environments, use the -prod flag when launching:

$ fan draft -prod mypod


Some parameters can be defined in etc/draft/config.props (see docLang::Env and sys::Env#config for more info):

// configures `DraftMod.pubDir`


Draft requires Fantom 1.0.62 or higher. For best results always use the latest Fantom version available.