Midgard, JavaScript Cleanup


I’ve been focusing mostly on the C++ side of the program, using the JavaScript entirely for rendering.

First up, allowing for a better file structure. Currently, all the Javascript is inside a single .js file. While this is easy to embed into a website, it is not the greatest for maintenance. While I could add several <script> tags, that would be tedious as well. If I were doing this professionally, I would set up a Javascript bundler, to read in files, follow all calls to require(), pull from npm, and output a single minified .js file. Since none of that sounds interesting for a hobby project, let’s throw a kludge together instead.

Since C++17, the std::filesystem can be used to list files. Rather than generating a minified .js files, I’m going to cat them all together on request. That way, I can edit the .js file, refresh the page, and immediately see updates.

std::string cat_js_files(const std::string& dir) {
  std::vector<std::string> js_files;
  for(auto& p : fs::directory_iterator(dir)) {
    if(p.path().extension() == ".js") {

  std::sort(js_files.begin(), js_files.end());

  std::vector<char> text;
  for(auto& filename : js_files) {
    std::ifstream ifile(filename);

  return std::string(text.begin(), text.end());

With this change, I can now split the single javascript file up into separate files for the websocket connection, the canvas drawing, and the user interaction.

Next up on the cleaning path, making the creature-drawing be more sensible. The first implementation had the size of the world hard-coded, because that was available only from the grass growth messages. Now, the world state, including its size, is remembered and used in the draw step. This also has the possibility of future improvements, such as only sending changes, and not the full state of the world.

The end result of this refactoring has the exact same display as it did previously, so all is well in the world.