Simple TUI-based Rest Client for (Neo)vim

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Introduction

I’ve been learning backend web development stuff lately to create an API and whatnot. We all know that a popular REST client to test API is Postman. I like it but it is using Electron which means that it is quite heavy. Well, to be honest it is not that heavy but if I can save more RAM then why won’t I find an alternative for it.

I found a really cool extension on vscode where you just need a file with the specified syntax to make a request. You might know that I use Neovim as my main editor, so I’m pretty sure there’s a few that works like this. Guess what, there is.

Rest Clients

Vim HTTP

I came across this nice plugin called vim-http. I like how it works, it has syntax highlighting for .http file which is basically a temporary file that you use to make a request. But the drawback to me is that it doesn’t format json response. So I have to format it through the API which I don’t like. So in the end, I try to find another restclient.

Vim Rest Console

I found this plugin called vim-rest-console, but when I look at its syntax, I don’t quite like it. So I never tried it in the end.

COC Rest Client

I’m using a plugin called coc.nvim, and it usually has a lot of stuff. So I checked if there’s any for coc, turns out, there is. It’s called coc-restclient.

Since most of coc plugins comes from vscode, this particular plugin works similar like the one that vscode has. Here’s an example.

POST http://localhost:3000/api/user/register HTTP/1.1
Content-Type: application/json

{
  "username": "coolguy32",
  "email": "im@coolguy.me",
  "password": "superstronkpassword"
}

The great thing about this plugin is that, it gives the response in a json formatted file which is what I was looking for. Here’s an example of the response after running :CocCommand rest-client.request.

{
  "Status": 200,
  "Message": "OK"
}

{
  "X-Powered-By": "Express",
  "Content-Type": "application/json; charset=utf-8",
  "Content-Length": "56",
  "ETag": "W/"38-Eu4y++fOI89s+z200P0DrHLf1ZE"",
  "Date": "Thu, 16 Jul 2020 14:35:10 GMT",
  "Connection": "close"
}

{
  "msg": "User 5f10659e630bfa40702160e9 has been created"
}

Please refer to the repository for installation or configuration because they explain it really well, there’s no point of me explaining it here :D

UPDATE Mon, April 19, 2021

In the midst of lua hype, I found this plugin which doesn’t depend on coc.nvim It has a similar JSON output which is nice

Conclusion

I’m glad I found this plugin because I am no longer need postman. I might need it for more advanced feature, but for now, simple rest client is fine. I don’t have to leave my terminal and go to a separate program for that which is awesome. My current setup is having 3 tmux panes, 1 for Neovim, 1 for running the server and stuff, 1 for the rest client.

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