HTTPie for Web & Desktop in public beta 🎉
4 weeks ago

Changelog #0018 — 🚀 GraphQL, custom HTTP method, interactive URLs, and more

Hello, API World! After launching in public beta earlier this month, we’re back with more news on HTTPie for Web & Desktop. Check out the API testing improvements we’ve shipped in v2022.12.0 and v2022.13.0 since then 👇

🔖 Summary

🚀 Support for GraphQL APIs

GraphQL is a popular API query language created at Facebook. It’s designed to help develop strongly typed APIs that give clients the power to ask for precisely the data they need while minimizing the number of requests.

Under the hood, GraphQL requests are regular POST requests. That means it has always been possible to talk to GraphQL endpoints with HTTPie, albeit inelegantly: You would simply make a JSON POST request with a body including the GraphQL query and variables.

But now we're introducing built-in support for crafting GraphQL requests to improve your experience when talking to GraphQL APIs.

GraphQL API support in HTTPie

When defining a request, choose “GraphQL” as the body type. Then specify your GraphQL query and JSON variables separately. You get syntax highlighting and other features specific to each language. And, of course, you can reference your space variables in both editors.

GraphQL support is marked as beta as we continue to work on schema support and other improvements.

✏️ Use custom HTTP methods in your requests

To keep the user interface light, we only include the most common HTTP methods in the selector (GET, POST, HEAD, PUT, PATCH, DELETE, OPTIONS).

This is typically all you need when talking to conventional REST, GraphQL, and HTTP APIs. However, there are other—less popular—HTTP methods like COPY, TRACE, etc. And APIs may also introduce custom ones.

When testing APIs that use unconventional HTTP methods, you can now supplement the default list with a method of your choosing.

Custom_HTTP method

To apply a custom method to your request, select the last option in the method drop-down and type away. One more detail: the method list is now color-coded as the rest of the app.

URLs are one of the main building blocks of the internet, and links and HyperText have been with us since Web 1.0. Now in the era of APIs, they get a whole new purpose of allowing machines to navigate different resources exposed through an API.

So it’s only natural for HTTPie to make them interactive so that you, as a human, can conveniently flow through APIs as well. And now they are!

Interactive URLs

Clickable links have a subtle underline. When you spot one, control-click (⌘-click on macOS) or right-click it to get a menu with the URL options.

All links offer you to copy the URL and open it in the browser. Links in the response additional offer several shortcuts for creating a new request using the given URL:

  • “Create new draft” creates a fresh new draft with that URL.
  • “Duplicate as draft” creates a new draft that is a complete copy of the current request (i.e., with all your headers, request body, auth, etc.) while using the new URL.
  • “Duplicate in collection” makes a copy of the current request with the new URL next to the original; only available if the current request belongs to a collection.

Besides complete URLs, we also make relative ones like /api/users interactive. To generate the complete URL, we prefix the relative one with the request’s base URL.

The prominent place for interactive links is the response body. But you don’t need to talk to a full-blown Hypermedia REST API to take advantage of this feature. HTTPie makes URLs interactive in all contexts, including the request body editor, headers, and other places where URLs can be expected to occur.

📯 Send requests quicker with POST-auto-switch

When you add a body to a request, it’s unlikely that the default GET method is what you want. There’s nothing wrong with GET requests that include a body, but they’re rarely useful. The most common method for sending data is POST.

So now we auto-switch your request to POST as soon as you add a body if it still has the default GET method. You can always undo this action and have HTTPie send the body via GET.

Add body to your request and we’ll auto-switch to POST

Accidentally sending data without changing the method is a common human error, and this feature is designed to save you frustration and confusing results. It also mimics the behavior of HTTPie for Terminal.

🖼 HTTPie for Web has a new icon

HTTPie for Web now uses a green app icon as the favicon. This makes it easier to distinguish between browser tabs with the HTTPie website and the web app.

New icon

Check out the new icon and an improved sharing appearance on httpie.io/app. Or use the short and sweet req.new.

💆‍♀️ Specify headers without headaches

We’ve improved the validation of HTTP header names and values. Now you can see whether they include any disallowed characters straight in the form rather than after sending the request.

🪲 Stability improvements and bug fixes

  • In the macOS Desktop app, the title bar draggability got compromised with many tabs open. Now it’s always draggable.
  • Talking about tabs… There was an edge case leading to visual tab flickering. Hopefully, you didn’t run into it.
  • Did you know you can easily switch from a URL-encoded form to a multipart one and the other way around? When you switch back to URL-encoded with a binary file attached, there’s a warning dialog. You couldn’t close that warning before, but now you can, ufff!
  • When you’re logged in and offline, sync pauses. When you go back online, it resumes. However, the app would incorrectly continue to indicate a network error. Now it gets cleared as it should.
  • We’ve polished a few rough edges in the URL bar syntax and added more granular highlighting.
  • Fixed a possible double-submit issue in the “Create environment” dialog.
  • Removed an unintended 10MB request body size limit.

🤗 Happy API testing, and see you again soon!