solid-auth-client

A library for reading and writing to Solid pods

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The Solid project allows people to use apps on the Web while storing their data in their own data pod.

solid-auth-client is a browser library that allows your apps to securely log in to Solid data pods and read and write data from them.

Usage

In the browser, the library is accessible through solid.auth:

<script src="https://solid.github.io/solid-auth-client/dist/solid-auth-client.bundle.js"></script>
<script>
solid.auth.trackSession(session => {
  if (!session)
    console.log('The user is not logged in')
  else
    console.log(`The user is ${session.webId}`)
})
</script>

When developing for webpack in a Node.js environment, run npm install solid-auth-client and then do:

const auth = require('solid-auth-client')

auth.trackSession(session => {
  if (!session)
    console.log('The user is not logged in')
  else
    console.log(`The user is ${session.webId}`)
})

Note that this library is intended for the browser. You can use Node.js as a development environment, but not for actually logging in and out or making requests.

Functionality

This library offers two main types of functionality:

Reading and writing data

The fetch method mimics the browser’s fetch API. You can use it to access any kind of HTTP(S) document, regardless of whether that document is on a Solid pod:

solid.auth.fetch('https://timbl.com/timbl/Public/friends.ttl')
  .then(console.log);
const { fetch } = solid.auth;
fetch('https://timbl.com/timbl/Public/friends.ttl')
  .then(console.log);

If the document is on a Solid pod, and the user is logged in, they will be able to access private documents that require read or write permissions.

Logging in

Since Solid is decentralized, users can have an account on any server. Therefore, users need to pick their identity provider (IDP) in order to log in.

If your application asks them for the URL of their identity provider, then you can call the login method with the IDP as an argument:

async function login(idp) {
  const session = await solid.auth.currentSession();
  if (!session)
    await solid.auth.login(idp);
  else
    alert(`Logged in as ${session.webId}`);
}
login('https://solid.community');

Be aware that this will redirect the user away from your application to their identity provider. When they return, currentSession() will return their login information.

If you want solid-auth-client to ask the user for their identity provider, then you can use a popup window:

async function popupLogin() {
  let session = await solid.auth.currentSession();
  let popupUri = 'https://solid.community/common/popup.html';
  if (!session)
    session = await solid.auth.popupLogin({ popupUri });
  alert(`Logged in as ${session.webId}`);
}
popupLogin();

The popup has the additional benefit that users are not redirected away.

You can find a popup in dist-popup/popup.html.

Logging out

To log out, simply call the logout method:

solid.auth.logout()
  .then(() => alert('Goodbye!'));

Getting the current user

The current user is available through the currentSession method. This returns a session, with the webId field indicating the user’s WebID.

async function greetUser() {
  const session = await solid.auth.currentSession();
  if (!session)
    alert('Hello stranger!');
  else
    alert(`Hello ${session.webId}!`);
}
greetUser();

If you want to track user login and logout, use the trackSession method instead. It will invoke the callback with the current session, and notify you of any changes to the login status.

solid.auth.trackSession(session => {
  if (!session)
    alert('Hello stranger!');
  else
    alert(`Hello ${session.webId}!`);
});

Events

SolidAuthClient implements EventEmitter and emits the following events:

Advanced usage

Generating a popup window

To log in with a popup window, you’ll need a popup application running on a trusted domain which authenticates the user, handles redirects, and messages the authenticated session back to your application.

In order to tell the user they’re logging into your app, you’ll need to generate a static popup bound to your application’s name.

  1. Make sure you’ve got the solid-auth-client package installed globally.
    $ npm install -g solid-auth-client # [--save | --save-dev]
    
  2. Run the generation script to generate the popup’s HTML file.
    $ solid-auth-client generate-popup # ["My App Name"] [my-app-popup.html]
    
  3. Place the popup file on your server (say at https://localhost:8080/popup.html).

  4. From within your own app, call solid.auth.popupLogin({ popupUri: 'https://localhost:8080/popup.html' }).

Developing solid-auth-client

Developing this library requires Node.js >= v8.0.

Setting up the development environment

$ git clone https://github.com/solid/solid-auth-client.git
$ cd solid-auth-client
$ npm install
$ npm run test     # run the code formatter, linter, and test suite
$ npm run test:dev # just run the tests in watch mode

Demo app

You can test how solid-auth-client operates within an app by running the demo app.

Running the demo development server

$ POPUP_URI='http://localhost:8081/popup-template.html' npm run start:demo

Running the popup development server

$ APP_NAME='solid-auth-client demo' npm run start:popup