Caveman - A micro web framework for Common Lisp

Caveman is a micro web framework for Common Lisp, based on Clack.


@url GET "/hi"  
(defun say-hi (params)  
  "Hello, World!") 

What's Caveman

Caveman is a micro web framework on Clack.

Why we should use "Framework" or something even if we already have Clack. You know Clack provides a very extensible environment for web application. We can build applications from isolated parts of Clack like kneading dough clay.

But Clack isn't a real framework. If you say that Clack is a collection of cells, Caveman is a newborn baby. Caveman provides a minimum set for building web applications. You can decorate the baby as you like, of course, and also you can replace any parts in it.

Caveman has following features:


Caveman is available on Quicklisp.

(ql:quickload :caveman) 

Getting started

First, you have to generate a skeleton project.

(caveman.skeleton:generate #p"lib/myapp/") 

Then a project skeleton is generated at lib/myapp/. The new project can be loaded and runs on this state.

(ql:quickload :myapp)  

Now you can access to http://localhost:5000/ and then Caveman may show you "Hello, Caveman!".


Caveman provides an useful annotation "@url" to define a controller (You don't already know the meaning of "annotation"? Check cl-annot out). It has same rules to Clack.App.Route, it is an HTTP method paired with URL-matching pattern.

@url GET "/"  
(defun index (params) ...)  
@url POST "/"  
(defun index (params) ...)  
@url PUT "/"  
(defun index (params) ...)  
@url DELETE "/"  
(defun index (params) ...)  
@url OPTIONS "/"  
(defun index (params) ...) 

Route pattern may contain "keyword" to put the value into the argument.

@url GET "/hello/:name"  
(defun hello (params)  
  (format nil "Hello, ~A" (getf params :name))) 

The above controller will be invoked when you access to "/hello/Eitarow" and "/hello/Tomohiro", and then (getf params :name) will be "Eitarow" and "Tomohiro".

Route patterns may also contain "wildcard" parameters. They are accessible to run (getf params :splat).

@url GET "/say/*/to/*"  
(defun say (params)  
  ; matches /say/hello/to/world  
  (getf params :splat) ;=> ("hello" "world")  
@url GET "/download/*.*"  
(defun download ()  
  ; matches /download/path/to/file.xml  
  (getf params :splat) ;=> ("path/to/file" "xml")  


Normally, routes are matched in the order they are defined. Only the first route matched is invoked and rest of them just will be ignored. But, a route can punt processing to the next matching route using next-route.

@url GET "/guess/:who"  
(defun guess-me (params)  
  (unless (string= (getf params :who) "Eitarow")  
  "You got me!")  
@url GET "/guess/*"  
(defun guess-anyone (params)  
  "You missed!") 

Return Value

You can return following format as the result in actions.


Caveman adopt CL-EMB as the default template engine. A package, named myapp.view.emb, will be generated in your project which has one function render. It is simply execute emb:execute-emb and return the result as a string.

Of course, you can use other template engines, such as "cl-markup".


Caveman uses ".lisp" file as configuration file in #p"config/" directory. When a project is just generated, you might be able to find dev.lisp in it. It will be used when "start" the project application with "dev" mode.

;; config/dev.lisp  
`(:static-path #p"static/"  
  :log-path #p"log/"  
  :template-path #p"tmpl/"  
  :application-root ,(asdf:component-pathname  
                      (asdf:find-system :myapp))  
  :server :hunchentoot  
  :port 5000  
  :database-type :sqlite3  
  :database-connection-spec (,(namestring  

Obviously, this is just a plist. You can use following keys in there.

And following stuffs will be used by Clack.Middleware.Clsql for integrating CLSQL.

You can access to the configuration plist anywhere, by using caveman:config.

;;=> (:static-path #p"public/" :template-path ...)  
(caveman:config :server)  
;;=> :hunchentoot 



caveman:*session* is a hash table which represents a session for the current user.

More practical

Extend the Context






Copyright (c) 2011 Eitarow Fukamachi


Licensed under the LLGPL License.

API Reference