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Goat is a minimalistic REST API server in Go. You can pronounce it like the goat, or go-at. Depends on how you like goats.




You can use named parameters and access them through goat.Params, wich you can treat as any map[string]string.

package main

import (


func helloHandler(w http.ResponseWriter, r *http.Request, p goat.Params) {
    goat.WriteJSON(w, map[string]string{
        "hello": p["name"],

func main() {
    r := goat.New()

    r.Get("/hello/:name", "hello_url", helloHandler)


You can create subrouters to simplify your code

func main() {
    r := goat.New()

    r.Get("/hello/:name", "hello_url", helloHandler)

    sr := r.Subrouter("/user")
        sr.Post("/login", "user_login_url", loginHandler)
        sr.Get("/logout", "user_logout_url", logoutHandler)


Every route can have a description (like user_login_url). These can be used to automagically generate an API index (like this). If you want to hide specific methods, just provide an empty string.

func main() {
    r := goat.New()

    r.Get("/", "", r.IndexHandler)
    r.Get("/hello/:name", "hello_url", helloHandler)

    sr := r.Subrouter("/user")
        sr.Post("/login", "user_login_url", loginHandler)
        sr.Get("/logout", "user_logout_url", logoutHandler)


The above example would return the following response on /:

  "hello_url": "/hello/:name",
  "user_logout_url": "/user/logout"

Note: Indices are only supported for GET requests. Open an issue, if you want them on other methods, too


You can easily include any middleware you like. A great guide to middleware is found here. Important is, that it's in the following format:

func(http.Handler) http.Handler


func main() {
    r := goat.New()

    r.Get("/hello/:name", "hello_url", helloHandler)
    r.Use(loggerMiddleware, gzipMiddleware)

Wrapping middleware

Sometimes middleware isn't in the required format, so you have to build a wrapper around it. This example shows a wrapper around handlers.CombinedLoggingHandler from the Gorilla handlers:

func loggerMiddleware(h http.Handler) http.Handler {
    // Create logfile (you should check for errors)
    f, _ := os.Create("api.log")
    return handlers.CombinedLoggingHandler(f, h)

You can now safely use the middleware in Goat:

func main() {
    r := goat.New()

    r.Get("/hello/:name", "hello_url", helloHandler)



I wanted to create a small, fast and reliable REST API server, which supports quick JSON and error output, good rooting and easy-to-use middleware.

I have split the files after responsibility to make it easy for everyone to dive in (start with goat.go).


If you have problems, feel free to create an issue or drop me an email at!


Thanks to Julien Schmidt for the amazing httprouter used in this project.


This project is licensed unter MIT, for more information look into the LICENSE file.




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func WriteError

func WriteError(w http.ResponseWriter, code int, err string)

    WriteError writes a string as JSON encoded error

    func WriteJSON

    func WriteJSON(w http.ResponseWriter, v interface{}) error

      WriteJSON writes the given interface as JSON or returns an error

      func WriteJSONWithStatus

      func WriteJSONWithStatus(w http.ResponseWriter, code int, v interface{}) error

        WriteJSONWithStatus writes the given statuscode into the header and the given interface as JSON or returns an error


        type Handle

        type Handle func(http.ResponseWriter, *http.Request, Params)

          Handle describes the function that should be used by handlers

          type Middleware

          type Middleware func(http.Handler) http.Handler

            Middleware reprents a default middleware function

            type Params

            type Params map[string]string

              Params represents the parameters of a request

              type Router

              type Router struct {
              	// contains filtered or unexported fields

                Router represents a router

                func New

                func New() *Router

                  New creates a new Router and returns it

                  func (*Router) Delete

                  func (r *Router) Delete(path, title string, fn Handle)

                    Delete adds a DELETE route

                    func (*Router) Get

                    func (r *Router) Get(path, title string, fn Handle)

                      Get adds a GET route

                      func (*Router) Index

                      func (r *Router) Index() map[string]string

                        Index returns a string map with the titles and urls of all GET routes

                        func (*Router) IndexHandler

                        func (r *Router) IndexHandler(w http.ResponseWriter, _ *http.Request, _ Params)

                          IndexHandler writes the index of all GET methods to the ResponseWriter

                          func (*Router) Options

                          func (r *Router) Options(path, title string, fn Handle)

                            Options adds a OPTIONS route

                            func (*Router) Post

                            func (r *Router) Post(path, title string, fn Handle)

                              Post adds a POST route

                              func (*Router) Put

                              func (r *Router) Put(path, title string, fn Handle)

                                Put adds a PUT route

                                func (*Router) Run

                                func (r *Router) Run(address string) error

                                  Run starts the server

                                  func (*Router) RunTLS

                                  func (r *Router) RunTLS(addr, certFile, keyFile string) error

                                    RunTLS starts the server, but expects HTTPS connections

                                    func (*Router) ServeHTTP

                                    func (r *Router) ServeHTTP(w http.ResponseWriter, req *http.Request)

                                      ServeHTTP implements http.Handler

                                      func (*Router) Subrouter

                                      func (r *Router) Subrouter(path string) *Router

                                        Subrouter creates and returns a subrouter

                                        func (*Router) Use

                                        func (r *Router) Use(middleware ...Middleware)

                                          Use adds middleware to the router