Boomack is an Hyper Media Display.

Its main purpose is to display hyper media content from a publisher in a way, that it is easily consumable by a viewer via a web browser. The publisher can be a developer, an administrator, or a scientist. The viewer can be the publisher himself in a local scenario, or anybody who has access to the Boomack Server via a web browser.

In contrast with a content management system, Boomack lacks the backend in form of a web UI where a user would manually manage the content. Instead, Boomack has the Boomack API, which is well suited for frequent and often automated updates.

Even if Boomack can be used to publish fairly static content it is far more suited for presenting frequently changing information. In that regard, it is more similar to a dashboard system. But other then a dashboard system, Boomack does not come with a limited set of predefined plots and UI components and a collection of data connectors. Instead, it aims to make displaying any hyper media content most easy, and leaves the preparation of the data mostly to the API user.

The fact that Boomack does not integrate a collection of data connectors is not seen as a limitation, but instead opens the door for all sorts of not yet imagined systems and tools feeding hyper media content to a Boomack Server.

Such systems or tools can be as simple as an interactive shell session with the Boomack Client CLI, useful as cron jobs executing scripts which e. g. feed monitoring data into the Boomack Server, or sophisticated like an IDE interactively sending code snippets or intermediate computation results to a Boomack Server for visualization.

Boomack lays some concepts on top of the web standards, simplifying the process which is necessary for a publisher to host content for the web browser.


The Boomack system consists of at least a Boomack Server, a web browser, displaying the web client of the Boomack Server, and an API client which controls the Boomack Server, e. g. the Boomack Client CLI.

In a local development, prototyping, or presentation scenario, all three components can run on the same machine. But the Boomack Server can of course be configured to be reachable from other machines. Then, many users can open the web client in their browsers, and one or many API clients can send configuration and display requests to the server.

System Overview

The browser, displaying the web client, requests the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript resources from the Boomack Server and establishes a Web Socket connection. The API client sends a configuration or display request via HTTP. The Boomack Server first processes the request, updates its inner state, and then pushes updates to all connected browsers via the open Web Socket connections. JavaScript code as part of the displayed content can trigger actions on the Boomack Server by sending messages back over the Web Socket connection.


There are a number of entities in a Boomack Server, which have an identifier (ID) for management and references. An identifier consist of the following character classes: a-z, A-Z, 0-9, -, and _.

Valid examples:

Invalid examples:

Hint: The reason for such strict limitations is to maximize the compatibility in different usage scenarios for these IDs. E. g. as file or foldername in a filesystem, as part of a URL — path, hash —, etc.
Compatibility Note: Before version 0.13 the restrictions for valid IDs where even stricter: Only a-z or A-Z was allowed as first character in an ID. In order to allow UUIDs, GUIDs and numbers to be valid IDs, this limitation has been lifted.


Some of the functionality of the Boomack Server is provided in the form of plug-ins. The Boomack Server comes with a couple of core plug-ins. Further the author of the Boomack Server provides a number of official plug-ins. And the community can of course publish their own plug-ins.

The plug-in page currently lists all core plug-ins and official plug-ins.

A plug-in can provide:

Text Transformation

Text transformations convert an input string into a different string.

The main purpose for text transformations is to convert non-HTML input text into HTML for the browser. Examples are syntax highlighting, wrapping plain text into <pre><code>...</code></pre>, or converting CSV data into an HTML table. More complex transformations are possible, but they should serve the purpose of visualizing the information in the input string without altering it.

E. g. filtering or aggregating input data or executing some kind of computations on it would be considered an anti-pattern. Such kind of pre-processing should be performed outside of Boomack.

Warning: Theoretically it is possible to produce something else than HTML with a text transformation and then use a renderer for presenting the transformation result is some way. But this approach is discouraged because in general, transforming and preparing hyper media content for display is out of the scope of Boomack as an hyper media display. Such transformations should be performed before sending the data to the Boomack Server for display.

Examples of text transformations are:


A renderer takes an URL as input and generates HTML for presenting the given URL. The URL can be a resource URL, or an external URL. The renderer itself does not fetch the resource behind the URL. Instead the web browser displaying the HTML — generated by the renderer — fetches the URL on demand.

A very simple example of a renderer is the default download button. It is displayed by Boomack if the server is given non-text content for display, but the media type is unknown. The by default a hard-coded download renderer is used, which generates a simple link with the given URL in the href attribute:

<a class="ui large button" href="...">...</a>

Other examples of renderers are:

Client Resource Group

To support text transformations and renderers with dependencies, a plug-in can provide

These dependencies are called client resources and are grouped under an ID for certain applications. If e. g. a renderer needs a JavaScript library and a CSS file, these two client resources can be grouped under a common ID. If the display options, then require the group ID, the web client automatically loads both client resources.

Action Type

Boomack allows JavaScript code in the web client or in the displayed HTML content to call actions on the Boomack Server. To be open for a large number of different kinds of actions, they are implemented by action types from plug-ins.

Examples for action types are:

Hint: Actions must be configured either through the initial configuration or with the management routes of the API. The management routes however, are disabled in the server configuration by default for security reasons and need to be activated when starting the server.


Panels are similar to web pages in that a browser window or tab can only display one panel at a time. But it comes with a lot of prepared features, to make the process of displaying content more easy then with a bare HTML page and a CSS framework.

Every panel has an ID, which must be unique among all panels on the Boomack Server. And every Boomack Server has at least one panel with the ID default. This default panel can not be deleted.

A Panel has multiple predefined layout systems. Content is not displayed in the panel directly but in slots, which are arranged by the layout system. A panel has an optional header with the title, some controls for navigation, theme selection, and export. The panel header is displayed by default but can be deactivated in the panel layout configuration. It comes with an extensive CSS framework, an icon library, multiple themes — bright and dark —, and a couple of versatile JavaScript libraries readily available.

Currently implemented layout systems are:

Currently used CSS framework is Fomantic UI with the icon library Font Awesome 5.

Currently preloaded JavaScript libraries are:

Currently implemented themes are:

Name ID Brightness
Default default
Dark dark 🌙
Science science
Iron iron 🌙
Green Night green-night 🌙
Red Night red-night 🌙
Blue Night blue-night 🌙
Hint: Themes can be loaded with all features of the CSS framework, or — to improve performance in the browser — in a slimed down variation, containing only the most used features.

Grid Layout

The grid layout system divides the visible area of the browser window or tab into rows and columns. The number of rows and columns is set by the API user who configures the layout for a panel. A grid layout hosts a fixed number of slots specified by the API user. For every slot, the position and extent (span) in the grid must be specified by the API user. Slots in a grid layout may overlap.

Grid Layout

The grid layout system is well suited for dashboard or presentation scenarios where a viewer can not or does not want to scroll down a page.

Document Layout

The document layout system arranges slots in a vertical stack. It can be equipped with a couple of predefined slots by the API user. But its real power lies in the fact that any number of additional slots can be created by simply sending a display request. A template for the additional slots can be configured.

Document Layout

The document layout is well suited for scenarios where more area is required to display the content, than the usual browser window or tab can provide. And, where the viewer is able and willing to scroll down the page.

Layout Request

A layout request configures an existing or a new panel. The minimal example of a layout request is in fact an empty map. Which is completed with defaults as a grid type layout with 1 row, 1 column, and one default slot. The minimal document layout is {"type": "document"}, which has no predefined slots and uses a default slot template for additional slots.

For a detailed listing of all layout properties, see Panel Layout Structure.

Example of a layout request configuring a grid layout with three slots:

title: My Panel
type: grid
  columns: 3
  rows: 4
defaultSlot: b
  a: { columnSpan: 3, toolbar: false, border: false }
  b: { column: 1, row: 1, rowSpan: 3, history: 100 }
  c: { column: 3, columnSpan: 2, row: 1, rowSpan: 3 }
  "title": "My Panel",
  "type": "grid",
  "grid": {
    "columns": 3,
    "rows": 4
  "defaultSlot": "b",
  "slots": {
    "a": { "columnSpan": 3, "toolbar": false, "border": false },
    "b": { "column": 1, "row": 1, "rowSpan": 3, "history": 100 },
    "c": { "column": 3, "columnSpan": 2, "row": 1, "rowSpan": 3 }

Given the layout from above is stored in a file called layout.yaml, the layout of a panel with the ID demo-panel can be updated with the Boomack CLI as follows:

Shell / Command Line
boom panel layout demo-panel layout.yaml

A new panel with the ID demo-panel, using the layout from above, can be created with:

Shell / Command Line
boom panel add demo-panel layout.yaml
Hint: Both sub-commands boom panel layout ... and boom panel add ... use an HTTP request to the route PUT /v1/panels/{panelId}/layout on the server. Therefore, they can be used interchangeably. But for the sake of easily readable scripts and idiomatic commands on the shell, both sub-commands exist.


A slot is a rectangular area inside a panel. Its position and size is controlled by the layout system of the panel. A slot has an ID, which must be unique inside the panel.

A slot is the target for a single item of hyper media content. With the exception of extensions, a slot can display only one hyper media item at a time. But, because every HTML code fragment can be seen and displayed as one hyper media item, this restriction is not a strong limitation in practice.

A slot comes with a couple of optional features:

Most of them are activated by default. The features can be activated or deactivated with the slot properties as part of the panel layout.

Some features are not available in all layout systems.

Slot History

A slot can be configured to keep a history of the displayed hyper media content. The history is activated and set to a certain size with the slot property history. Setting the size history to 0 deactivates the feature.

Given the history of a slot is set to a size of 3, and 5 different images are send sequentially to the slot by display requests, then a viewer can use the history navigation controls in the toolbar of the slot to switch between 3 former images and the current image. The first image then was already dropped when displaying the fifth.

Hint: When a viewer has navigated back in the history of a slot and new content is displayed in the slot, it automatically shows to the new current content. To prevent the slot from automatically showing new content, the pause button can be used, which must be activated by setting the slot property noPause to false.

Display Request

In order to display some hyper media content on a panel inside of a slot, a display request must be send to the Boomack Server.

There are two ways to send a display request:

  1. Standard request
  2. Stream request

Standard Display Request

In a standard request, a JSON or YAML structure is send to the route /v1/display as a POST request. The actual hyper media content is embedded or referenced in the structure and usually annotated with a MIME media type. In addition, a display request contains the IDs of target panel and target slot, the IDs of presets, and display options.

The complete structure of a display request is documented in the API reference.

There are three options for encoding a hyper media item in a display request:

Example for an HTTP request with three JSON encoded display requests:

POST /v1/display HTTP 1.1
Content-Type: application/json
Content-Length: 1068

    "panel": "default",
    "slot": "a",
    "type": "text/html",
    "text": "<h1>Example for a Display Request</h1>"
    "panel": "default",
    "slot": "b",
    "title": "PNG Image",
    "type": "image/png",
    "data": "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"
    "panel": "default",
    "slot": "c",
    "title": "Not from here",
    "type": "image/jpeg",
    "src": "",
    "options": { "scale": "none", "align": "center" }

Example of a display request with the Boomack CLI:

Shell / Command Line
boom display -l default/b -t text/html -s "<h1>Example for a Display Request</h1>"

Stream Display Request

For large media content, the standard request is not the best choice. Because binary data must be BASE64 encoded to get transported inside a JSON or YAML formatted data structure, a considerable overhead — times 1.5 — is introduced in terms of data size. But even more important is the fact, that the Boomack Server has to hold the complete JSON or YAML encoded request in memory (RAM) to be able to parse and decode it.

A stream request on the other hand, can be processed without holding all data of the request in memory. By default, the Boomack Server caches large media content on disk. If a stream request is received, only a small chunk of the received data is hold in memory and then stored on disk at every given point in time. When a viewer then opens a panel in his browser and wants to display a large media item like a video, the browser requests the media item from the Boomack Server, which streams the data directly from disc. Again, without holding the whole media item in memory.

Stream display requests are HTTP POST requests to the routes:
/v1/panels/{panelId}/display, and

The details of how to build a stream display request are described in the API reference.

Example of a truncated HTTP request:

POST /v1/panels/default/slots/main/display HTTP 1.1
Content-Type: image/png
Content-Length: 12034
X-Boomack-Title: My%20Image
X-Boomack-Options: eyJjYWNoZSI6ImVtYmVkIn0=


Streaming a large file with the Boomack CLI:

Shell / Command Line
boom display -l default/b -t video/mp4 -f large-video.mp4

The Boomack CLI automatically chooses between standard and stream request.

Hint: If the Content-Length header field is not set — this is e. g. the case if you pipe data into the Boomack CLI — and therefore the Boomack Server does not know how much data to expect in the request, it can not apply the caching thresholds to automatically determine the best way for holding the media content. Therefore, it automatically streams the media content into a file on disc. That way it is always prepared for a large amount data. If you are sure your data is small enough and you want the Boomack server to hold the media content in memory (RAM) instead, use the display option cache = memory.

Piping a resized image into the Boomack CLI:

Shell / Command Line
magick large-image.png -resize 240 jpg:- | boom display -l default/b -t image/jpeg -o cache=memory

ImageMagick is used for resizing the image.

Warning: Piping binary data inside of PowerShell does not always work as expected.

Display Command

The display request can not be delivered to the web client in a browser as it is. It needs to be processed in some way. The included or referenced media content potentially needs to be transformed and stored by the Boomack Server for later requests by the web client. The request must be normalized and complemented with defaults. And the sometimes HTML code for presenting a resource needs to be rendered. A part of this process is the media processing pipeline.

The result of the media processing pipeline is a display command. It contains the HTML code, which will be send to the web client to be inserted into the target slot. And optionally links to a resource, which can be requested by the HTML code — and potentially included JavaScript code — with a resource URL.

Further the display command contains some instructions for the web client about how to set up the slot when inserting the HTML code.


A resource in the Boomack Server is some media content which can be requested from the web client with a normal HTTP GET request. For that purpose every resource has a resource URL. A resource is generated when processing a display request and linked to the resulting display command.

There are three kinds of resources:

An in-memory resource references a BLOB in the memory (RAM). A file resource references a cache file in the filesystem of the Boomack Server. A path resource references an arbitrary file in the filesystem of the Boomack Server.

Resources are discarded at some point. A reason to discard a resource can either be that it is not needed anymore, or that it needs to be deleted to respect the caching limits from the server configuration. A resource is not needed anymore if the display command, linking to the resource is discarded.

Anyways, the three kinds of resources are handled differently when discarded. An in-memory resource releases the allocated memory, freeing it up for other in-memory resources. A file resource deletes the associated cache file. A path resource just discards the path to the associated file — the file stays in tact.

Media Processing Pipeline

When a display request is received by the Boomack Server, it is processed by the media processing pipeline. The output of the pipeline is a display command, which is associated with the target slot. The display command contains HTML code to be put into the target slot. And optionally, a resource is generated, holding media data to be rendered by a renderer. The following diagram shows the pipeline with its alternative paths for the media content.

Media Processing Pipeline

Media content can be included or referenced in a display request. In a standard request, the content can be included as string in the text property or as BLOB in the data property. Alternatively, the content can be referenced by the src property. In a stream request, the content is included in the HTTP request body, and processed as a stream.

In the beginning of the pipeline, the system makes the following decisions:

Then the pipeline is executed in the following phases:

Hint: To see what path a display request takes through the media processing pipeline, you can set the the display option debug to true. Then the metadata of the display request processing is displayed as a YAML document with syntax highlighting. Under pipeline you can see which action takes place in each phase of the pipeline.

Example for HTML content

Given the following display request:

  "type": "text/html",
  "text": "<h1>My Headline</h1>"

With the default configuration of the Boomack Server, the resulting display options would look like this:

  "transformation": null,
  "cache": "embed",
  "renderer": null,

And the pipeline would look like this:

Example for Highlighted Text

Given the following display request:

  "type": "text/x-yaml",
  "src": "file:///home/me/projects/awesome/my-config.yml",

With the default configuration of the Boomack Server, the resulting display options would look like this:

  "transformation": "highlight",
  "syntax": "yaml",
  "cache": null,
  "renderer": null,

And the pipeline would look like this:

Example for an Image

  "type": "image/jpeg",
  "src": "file:///C:/Users/Me/Pictures/Vacation.jpg",
  "options": {
    "cache": "file"

With the default configuration of the Boomack Server, the resulting display options would look like this:

  "transformation": null,
  "cache": "file",
  "renderer": "image",

And the pipeline would look like this:

Display Option

Display options influence the way how the media content from a display request is processed and presented by the web client. They are stored in the options property of a display request as JSON/YAML map.

The following display options are considered by the media processing pipeline:

Text transformations and renderer are provided by plug-ins.

The following display options are instructions for the web client:

Hint: When presenting HTML code in a slot, sometimes it is useful to set the height of some element relative to the height of the slot. But by default the content of a slot can grow vertically and a scrollbar is shown if the content exceeds the height of the slot. Therefore, the slots height can not be referenced, e. g. by height: 100% in nested elements. To make use of the height of the slot in CSS styles, the scale option can be set to contain. That way the are for the content in the slot is set to a fixed height and can be used as a vertical reference in nested HTML elements.
Hint: To display HTML code without influence from the existing CSS rules of the Boomack web client, the iframe option can be used.

All other display options, not listed here, are interpreted by the activated transformation or renderer.

Content Extension

Usually, if some media content is displayed in a slot, the old content of the slot either is pushed onto the slot history or is discarded. In both cases the slot shows only the new content afterwards.

There are applications however, where you want to extend the already existing content with some more, without loosing it. One useful application for this feature are log messages. You do not only want to see the last log message. But instead you like to see e. g. the last 20 messages. Normally you would have to implement a FIFO buffer in some way. And with every new log message, you would send all messages currently in the buffer to the Boomack Server for display.

Content extensions are an elegant way to implement such behavior without complex buffering in the API client: Setting the display option extend to "begin" prepends the new HTML content to the existing one. Setting it to "end" appends the new content.

Boomack tracks the number of extensions for the current slot content. And with the slot property extensions you can specify the maximum number of extensions allowed in the slot. If the limit is reached, the oldest part of the content is discarded — essentially realizing a FIFO queue of HTML fragments inside the slot.

Important: Content extensions do not always work in combination with renderers. Meaning, if a display request leads to creating a resource which then is presented by a renderer, the content in the slot is always replaced by the new content. This is due to the fact, that every slot content can only be associated with at most one resource. A renderer can only be used in combination with content extensions, if the media content is embedded in a data URL.
Limitation: Using content extensions for very fast and frequent updates has its limitations. Not so much on the server side, but in the web client inside the browser. A considerable amount of work needs to be done to update the view, every time an extending update arrives. A performance test with a high throughput of extending display requests is advised. This way you can find out early, if this feature is a good fit for your use case.

Example for a Content Extension

In this example we limit the number of extensions in the slot to 4, allowing for 5 HTML fragments in total. Then we display the current time every second.

Command Line
boom panel layout default "{slots: {default: {extensions: 4}}}"
while true; do
    boom -s "<div>$(date +%H:%M:%S)</div>" -t text/html -o extend=begin
    sleep 1
boom panel layout default '{slots: {default: {extensions: 4}}}'
while ($true) {
    boom -s "<div>$(Get-Date -Format 'HH:mm:ss')</div>" -t text/html -o extend=begin
CALL boom panel layout default "{slots: {default: {extensions: 4}}}"
CALL boom -s "<div>%TIME:~0,8%</div>" -t text/html -o extend=begin
GOTO loop
Hint: An alternative form to set the display option extend with the Boomack CLI are the command line switches --prepend and --append.

The display request used by the Boomack CLI here looks like the following:

  "type": "text/html",
  "text": "<div>00:00:00</div>",
  "options": {
    "extend": "begin"


Display options can be prepared and stored in the Boomack Server for reference in following display requests.

Sometimes, certain combinations of display options are used very frequently, and sometimes, they can get very large. In both situations it would be helpful if display options could be reused, without transmitting them with every display request.

Presets are exactly that. A preset is a map with display options stored on the Boomack Server. It has an ID and can be defined in the initial server configuration under init.presets. After the server has startet, presets can be managed with the Boomack API and with the Boomack CLI boom preset.

Presets can be used in a display request in the property presets. And they can be used in media types as well.

Presets have a lower priority then explicit display options. Therefore, if a display request references a preset — setting an option to value A —, and the same display requests sets the same option to value B, value B takes precedence.

Example for Using a Preset

First the preset needs to be created. Here we use the Boomack CLI for that:

Shell / Command Line
boom preset add my-csv "{transformation: csv-table, compact: true, sortable: true, striped: true}"

Then we can use it in a display request:

Shell / Command Line
boom display -f my-data.csv -p my-csv

Which results in the following display request:

  "type": "text/csv",
  "src": "file:///home/me/my-data.csv",
  "presets": ["my-csv"]
Hint: The Boomack CLI can read display options from a JSON or YAML file. This is true for boom display, as well as for boom preset:
E. g. boom preset add my-csv "D:\Projects\My-Project\my-csv-preset.yaml".

Media Type

A media type connects a MIME type of the form <main type>/<sub type> with three pieces of information:

  1. Is the media content text?
  2. What presets should be applied by default?
  3. What individual display options should be applied by default?

If a media type is marked as text, then Boomack uses different defaults to present the content — showing the content as plain text instead of a download button from the fallback renderer. A media type with the main type text is marked as text by default.

Media types can be defined in the initial server configuration under init.types. Plug-ins can extend the initial configuration with their own media types. This is especially useful, if a plug-in provides a transformation or renderer for a certain media format and additionally provides a media type to activate and configure the transformation or renderer with associated display options. After the server has startet, presets can be managed with the Boomack API and with the Boomack CLI boom type.

You can easily specify your own media types or override media types provided by the Boomack Server or loaded plug-ins. There is an official registry for MIME types, which should be considered when choosing a main and sub type for a certain media format. If there is no existing MIME type to be used, you can define your own. But make sure to use the x- prefix in front of your own main or sub types. Instead of defining a custom main type, it is often enough to use the fairly generic application main type.

Hint: To understand how the current configuration of a Boomack Server affects the display request processing, the Boomack CLI can be used: boom type ls lists all media types in the Boomack Server, and boom type get mainType/subType gives you the YAML representation of the media type.

Example for a Media Type

An example for a user-defined media type is a custom text format. The csv text transformation from the core-csv plug-in does support custom delimiters for records and fields. One can utilize that, to support a hypothetical tabular text format for geo locations in the following style:

Berlin:52.5186:13.4083|Tokyo:35.6838:139.7744|Cape Town:-33.9252:18.4238

The display options for the media type would look like this:

transformation: csv-table
columns: [ Name, Latitude, Longitude ]
recordDelimiter: '|'
delimiter: ':'
striped: true
  "transformation": "csv-table",
  "columns": [ "Name", "Latitude", "Longitude" ],
  "recordDelimiter": "|",
  "delimiter": ":",
  "striped": true

If the display options are stored in the file geo-location-options.yaml the type can be installed in the Boomack Server with the Boomack CLI:

Shell / Command Line
boom type add application/x-geo-locations geo-location-options.yaml --text

To try out the new type we can display some geo locations in the specified format and apply the new media type:

Shell / Command Line
boom display -t application/x-geo-locations -s "Berlin:52.5186:13.4083|Tokyo:35.6838:139.7744"

The result is a nice HTML table with striped rows.


An action is some kind of program that is executed inside, or called by, the Boomack Server. An action has an ID, takes a JavaScript value as input and returns a JavaScript value as output. Input and output can be anything from strings, or JSON objects, to typed arrays. The implementation of an action is defined by its action type.

An action is called from JavaScript in the browser with the function boomack.action(id, payload[, cb]). It takes the input for the action as payload parameter. It also takes an optional callback function with the signature function (error, result). And to support the await keyword, it returns a promise.

By default, a Boomack Server has a couple of action types from the core plug-ins, but no actions using them. Plug-ins can provide initial actions, but usually do not. The server configuration can contain initial actions as well under init.actions.

After the Boomack Server has started, actions can be managed — created, updated, and deleted — with the Boomack API and with the Boomack CLI boom action.

Important: Some action types can be a security thread to the system. The shell action type from the plug-in core-shell e. g. allows the execution of shell commands on the Boomack Server. This can be very useful in some scenarios and very dangerous in others. Therefore, the API routes for managing actions are deactivated by default and only the initial configuration can be used to set up actions. You must activate the API routes with the configuration option api.enable.actions. E. g. on the command line: boomack -o api.enable.actions=true.

Example for a Shell Action

To use actions in practice the following steps must be taken:

  1. Start the Boomack Server with api.enable.actions=true
  2. Create an action with the Boomack CLI
  3. Display HTML with JavaScript code, calling boomack.action(...)

Creating an action with Boomack CLI:

Shell / Command Line
boom action add my-action "{type: shell, command: node, args: ['my-script.js']}"

You can use an absolute path for my-script.js here if you like. If it is relative, it is interpreted relative to the working directory of the Boomack Server. Do not worry about the fact, that the file does not exist yet. We will create it later.

When the action is called, a new node process is started with the command line argument my-script.js.

To call the action from JavaScript in the browser, the following code can be used:

const result = await boomack.action('my-action');

To display a button which triggers the action and shows the result, you can use the following HTML snippet:

  async function triggerUpdateAction() {
    const result = await boomack.action('my-action');
    document.getElementById('result-status').innerText = result.status;
    document.getElementById('result-stdout').innerText = result.stdout;
    document.getElementById('result-stderr').innerText = result.stderr;
<a class="ui button" href="#" onclick="triggerUpdateAction()">
  Run My Script
<p>Exit Status: <span id="result-status"></span></p>
<h3 class="ui blue header">STDOUT</h3>
<pre><code id="result-stdout"></code></pre>
<h3 class="ui red header">STDERR</h3>
<pre><code id="result-stderr"></code></pre>

You can save the HTML snippet to a file action-trigger.html and display it with the Boomack CLI:

Shell / Command Line
boom display -f action-trigger.html -o iframe=false
Hint: The display option iframe=false is needed here, to deactivate some default behavior of the Boomack Server: If the Boomack CLI detects, that the Boomack Server runs locally, and therefore, can reach the file action-trigger.html directly in the filesystem, it transmits the path of the file as file URL. And if the Boomack Server gets a display request with an URL and the media type text/html, it assumes the target of the URL is a complete web page and automatically activates the iframe display option. The iframe=false essentially tells Boomack to handle the file as an HTML fragment instead of an HTML page.

If you now click on the button Run My Script in the browser, an error will be displayed below “STDERR”, because the my-script.js script does not exist yet. The NodeJS process started but could not find the script, and therefore, wrote the error on its error stream.

Now, save the following file my-script.js under the path you used in the args property when creating the action:


console.log('I am the running action!')

Click the button Run My Script again, and you will see the output of my-script.js below “STDOUT”.

Evaluation Request

An evaluation request sends JavaScript code to all browser tabs or windows, currently showing a specific panel — and are connected to the Boomack Server with healthy a Web Socket connection. The browser simply evaluates the given code in the context of the panel page.

This feature can be used for updates on the panel, which are supposed to be volatile. An evaluation request does not change the state of the slots content on the Boomack Server. As a result, a reload of the panel in the browser will discard any potential changes made by the evaluated code.

Evaluation requests can be made with the Boomack API and the Boomack CLI boom eval.

Evaluation requests are blind fire-and-forget requests. A large number of browsers could be showing a panel at the same time. And there is no result returned from all of these browsers back to the Boomack Server after evaluation of the sent script. Therefore, the route does not return any result. In fact, currently, the implementation of the eval routes, does not even wait for the evaluation in the browsers. It just queues the eval commands in the Web Socket connections to the web clients and returns immediately.

Hint: If a feedback from an evaluation request is desired, the evaluated JavaScript code can call boomack.action(...) and send data back through an action this way.

Example for an Evaluation Request

The following request sets the color of the panel title to green and then shows a message box. It actually contains two evaluation requests to target all browser tabs or windows, which are currently showing the panels default or panel-X.

- script: |-
    document.querySelector('.panel-header h1')
    alert('Hello Default Panel');
- panel: panel-X
  script: |-
    document.querySelector('.panel-header h1')
    alert('Hello Panel X');

    "script": "document.querySelector('.panel-header h1')\n\t.classList.add('green');\nalert('Hello Default Panel');"
    "panel": "panel-X",
    "script": "document.querySelector('.panel-header h1')\n\t.classList.add('green');\nalert('Hello Panel X');"

The Boomack CLI does not support sending multiple evaluation requests in one request. Therefore, two calls are needed to target both panels:

Shell / Command Line
boom eval "document.querySelector('.panel-header h1').classList.add('green'); alert('Hello Default Panel');"
boom eval -l panel-X "document.querySelector('.panel-header h1').classList.add('green'); alert('Hello Panel X');"
Hint: The Boomack CLI accepts a file path to JavaScript file instead of the inline script used in the example. This way it is possible to send arbitrary large code files for evaluation.


By default the Boomack Server does not persist any content or configuration state, created by API requests. This means if you start a Boomack Server, send a couple of layout and display requests and then restart the server, all changes made by the layout and display requests are lost.

This volatile behavior is the default configuration because, if the server is used locally in a development scenario, resetting the state of the Boomack Server as a display, usually is not lost but preferred to have clean starting point.

However, if persistence for the panels, slot content, actions, presets, and media types is needed, it simply can be activated with the configuration option storage.mode = snapshot-files. E. g. by starting the Boomack Server with the command line switches boomack -o storage.mode=snapshot-files.

The Boomack Server then stores a snapshot of its state in a regular interval to the filesystem. The interval is controlled by the configuration option storage.snapshotInterval, which expects a number of seconds as value. The snapshot files are stored in a directory specified by the configuration option storage.location. By default, this is the directory state inside the working directory of the server.

Hint: To discard the currently stored state, and start with a clean slate from the initial configuration, use the command line switch --reset at the start of the Boomack Server.


The Boomack supports exporting all panels, an individual panel, or an individual slot as a static HTML web page.

There are two kinds of exports, supported by Boomack:

  1. ZIP archive as download for a panel viewer, containing only one panel with all slots
  2. Export of all panels, an individual panel, or an individual slot as a static web page into the filesystem of the Boomack Server

A whole panel can be exported by a viewer by using the download button in the toolbar of a panel. The result is a ZIP file. Containing an index.html and all necessary resources for the page to load correctly. After extracting the ZIP file into a folder in the filesystem, the index.html file can be opened with a browser.

With the Boomack API and the Boomack CLI boom export the second kind of export can be carried out.

Hint: The exported files are layed out in such a way, that many panels and slots can be saved in the same directory. Therefore, sharing the most of the resources — CSS framework, web font files, and JavaScript code.

Example for an Export

In this example, we export all panels to the directory /var/www/html/boomack. This is useful to be able to publish the current state of all panels and slots with an HTTP server like Apache HTTP Server or NGiNX.

First, the export to the filesystem of the Boomack Server needs to be activated, by specifying a base directory for the export in the server configuration. In this case we start the Boomack Server with the command line switches -o api.enable.export=true export.local.location=/var/www/html.

With the Boomack CLI we can now export all panels to the sub-directory boomack:

Shell / Command Line
boom export all --path boomack --theme dark

When exporting all panels, one HTML file with its ID as filename is created for every panel. The panel default therefore, is exported to the file default.html.

An index.html file with a list of all panels — similar to the home page of a Boomack Server — is currently not created.

If we have NodeJS with npm installed, we can quickly start a HTTP server like this:

Shell / Command Line
npm install --global node-static
cd /var/www/html/boomack
static -p 8000

Then we can open the URL in the browser to display the default panel.