Using State

This chapter covers the basics of sharing state between requests to a Humphrey web application. In this chapter, we will demonstrate how to use the App's State type parameter to share state between requests by building a simple application which displays a button and how many times it has been clicked.

Basic knowledge of JavaScript is useful to fully understand this chapter.

Creating a Stateful App

Once you've created an empty Rust project with the Humphrey dependency installed, as described in the previous chapter, you'll need to define a struct to hold the state of your application.

use humphrey::handlers::serve_dir;
use humphrey::http::{Request, Response, StatusCode};
use humphrey::App;

use std::sync::atomic::{AtomicUsize, Ordering};
use std::sync::Arc;

struct AppState {
    button_presses: AtomicUsize,

fn main() {}

You'll notice that we derive the trait Default on our state struct. This is not required, but it means we don't need to explicitly define the initial state of the application in our main function, as it will be set to zero button presses.

We can now create our App instance in the main function with three routes, one API endpoint to get the current number of button presses, one which increments this number by one, and a catch-all route at the bottom which serves the static directory if none of the other endpoints are matched. You'll see that we use the serve_dir built-in handler with the with_path_aware_route method, which you can read about further in the next section. We also use the with_route method instead of with_stateless_route, since we want access to the app's state.

// --snip--

fn main() {
    let app: App<AppState> = App::new()
        .with_route("/api/getPresses", get_presses)
        .with_route("/api/incrementPresses", increment_presses)
        .with_path_aware_route("/*", serve_dir("./static"));"").unwrap();

Defining the API Endpoints

We now need to create the two API endpoints which get and increment the button presses. If you are familiar with Rust, you'll know that the AtomicUsize type makes it very easy to share and increment a number between threads.

Our /api/getPresses endpoint just needs to load the value of the button_presses field from the state and return it as the response body, as follows. We use Ordering::SeqCst to ensure that the value is sequentially consistent, which means that every subsequent call of the API will never be less than the value returned by the previous call.

// --snip--

fn get_presses(_: Request, state: Arc<AppState>) -> Response {
    let presses = state.button_presses.load(Ordering::SeqCst);

    Response::new(StatusCode::OK, presses.to_string())

Creating the /api/incrementPresses endpoint is similar, but we need to increment the value of the button_presses field instead of returning it. This is done as follows.

/// --snip--

fn increment_presses(_: Request, state: Arc<AppState>) -> Response {
    state.button_presses.fetch_add(1, Ordering::SeqCst);

    Response::new(StatusCode::OK, b"OK")

Creating a Simple Front-End

We now need to create a basic HTML page with a button and some text to interface with our Humphrey application. We can do this with some simple HTML and JavaScript as follows.



  <title>Humphrey Stateful Tutorial</title>

  <h1>Button has been pressed <span id="presses">x</span> times</h1>
  <button onclick="incrementPresses()">Press Me</button>

  <script src="index.js"></script>



function updatePresses() {
  fetch("/api/getPresses").then(res => res.text())
    .then(text => {
      document.querySelector("#presses").innerHTML = text;

function incrementPresses() {

window.onload = updatePresses;

This code simply fetches the current number of button presses from the API and updates the page accordingly. It also shows a button which increments the number of button presses by one.

Running our App

When we run cargo run in the terminal and visit http://localhost in the browser, we'll see the text "Button has been pressed 0 times" and a button which increments the number of button presses by one. If you press the button, you'll see the number increase. You can refresh the page or visit from a different device, and the number will be consistent.


In this chapter, we've learnt how to create a stateful application with Humphrey. In the next chapter Serving Static Content, we'll discuss the number of ways Humphrey provides to serve static content.