package multipart_form-cohttp-lwt

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Multipart-form for CoHTTP


Dune Dependency






Published: 16 Apr 2024



multipart_form is a little library which allows to parse and generate the body of an HTTP request with several parts. The library wants to be agnostic to the underlying HTTP implementation used. As far as the HTTP implementation is able to give you a stream of the body and the Content-Type value, you are able use multipart_form.

multipart_form is specially designed to stream the process to parse or emit a multipart/form-data body.

For example, if you want to upload a file, with others implementations, you are mainly limited by the memory consumption. If you want to upload a file of 4 Go for example, you need 4 Go in memory...

multipart_form wants to pass to a /stream/ as soon as it can parts. The best example is available with multipart_form.lwt:

val stream :
  ?bounds:int ->
  ?identify:(Multipart_form.Header.t -> 'id) ->
  string Lwt_stream.t ->
  Multipart_form.Content_type.t ->
  [ `Parse of ('id Multipart_form.t, [> `Msg of string ]) result Lwt.t ]
  * ('id * Multipart_form.Header.t * string Lwt_stream.t) Lwt_stream.t

With such function, the user is able to pass a stream of the body (which can be directly connected to the read syscall). Then, the function return a stream of parts and a promise of the end of the parsing. By this way, the user can concurrently execute both:

val save_into_a_file : filename:string -> string Lwt_stream.t -> unit Lwt.t
val random_unique_filename : unit -> string

let request_handler content_type body =
  let identify _ = random_unique_filename () in
  let `Parse th, stream = stream ~identify body content_type in
  let rec saves () = Lwt_stream.get stream >>= function
    | None -> Lwt.return_unit
    | Some (filename, _hdr, stream) ->
      save_into_a_file ~filename stream >>= saves in
  Lwt.both th (saves ()) >>= fun (res, ()) ->
  Lwt.return res

Such code saves parts into files and it runs concurrently with the parsing th. /streams/ are bounded (see Lwt_stream.create_bounded). So, if one is full, we enforce lwt to execute save_into_a_file to consume it. By this way, we keep a stable usage of memories.

Agnostic to the scheduler

Even if multipart_form.lwt is easy to use, the distribution comes with a lower level of abstraction without lwt. By this way, the user is able to extend multipart_form with async or something else if it want.

The lower-level of the API provides multiples functions to help to user to manipulate the result:

type 'id t =
  | Leaf of 'id elt
  | Multipart of 'id t option list elt
and 'id elt = { header : Header.t; body : 'id }

val map : ('a -> 'b) -> 'a t -> 'b t
val flatten : 'a t -> 'a elt list

An encoder

The library is able to generate a multipart/form-data if you wants. You can create several parts which contain a stream of their bodies. Then, you are able to compose these parts into one a single multipart object. Finally, multipart_form is able to produce a stream:

val stream_of_string : string -> (string * int * int) stream
val stream_of_file : string -> (string * int * int) stream
val rng : int -> string

let part0 = part
  ~disposition:(Content_disposition.v ~filename:"image.png" ~kind:`Attachment "my-image"
  (stream_of_file "image.png")

let part1 = part
  ~disposition:(Content_disposition.v ~kind:`Inline "my-text"
  (stream_of_string "My super image!")

let contents = multipart ~rng [ part0; part1 ]

let rec to_output stream oc = match stream () with
  | Some (str, off, len) ->
    output_substring oc str off len ; to_output stream oc
  | None -> ()

let () = to_output (to_stream contents) stdout

Dependencies (5)

  1. multipart_form-lwt = version
  2. multipart_form = version
  3. cohttp-lwt >= "5.3.1"
  4. dune >= "2.0.0"
  5. ocaml >= "4.08.0"

Dev Dependencies


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