Eduard Florinescu Eduard Florinescu - 4 months ago 16
HTTP Question

Node: How can I use pipe and change one file from a multipart

I have a http service that needs to redirect a request, I am not using streams because I deal with big files in multipart and it overwhelms RAM or disk(see How do Node.js Streams work?)

Now I am using pipes and it works, the code is something of this sort:

var Req = getReq(response);

The only shortcoming of this is that in this multipart I resend in the pipe contains one JSON file that needs a few fields to be changed.

Can I still use a pipe and change one file in the piped multipart?


You can do this using a Transform Stream.

var Req = getReq(response);
var transformStream = new TransformStream();

// the boundary key for the multipart is in the headers['content-type']
// if this isn't set, the multipart request would be invalid
Req.headers['content-type'] = request.headers['content-type'];

// pipe from request to our transform stream, and then to Req
// it will pipe chunks, so it won't use too much RAM
// however, you will have to keep the JSON you want to modify in memory

Transform Stream code:

var Transform = require('stream').Transform,
    util = require('util');

var TransformStream = function() {, {objectMode: true});
util.inherits(TransformStream, Transform);

TransformStream.prototype._transform = function(chunk, encoding, callback) {

// here should be the "modify" logic;

// this will push all chunks as they come, leaving the multipart unchanged
// there's no limitation on what you can push
// you can push nothing, or you can push an entire file

TransformStream.prototype._flush = function (callback) {
    // you can push in _flush
    // this.push( SOMETHING );      

In the _transform function, your logic should be something like this:

  1. If, in the current chunk, the JSON you want to modify begins


    then this.push(SOME_DATA_BEFORE_JSON); and keep MY_JSON_START in a local var

  2. While your JSON hasn't ended, append the chunk to your local var

  3. If, in the current chunk, the JSON ends:


    then add JSON_END to your var, do whatever changes you want, and push the changes: this.push(local_var); this.push(SOME_DATA_AFTER_JSON);

  4. If current chunk has nothing of your JSON, simply push the chunk


Other than that, you may want to read the multipart format. SOME_DATA_BEFORE_JSON from above will be:

Content-Type: text/plain


Other than Content-Type, it may contain the filename, encoding, etc. Something to keep in mind the chunks may end wherever (could end in the middle of the frontier). The parsing could get quite tricky; I would search for the boundary key (frontier), and then check if the JSON starts after that. There would be two cases:

  1. chunk: <SOME_DATA> --frontier <FILE METADATA> <FILE_DATA>
  2. chunk 1: <SOME_DATA> --fron chunk 2: ier <FILE METADATA> <FILE_DATA>

Hope this helps!