The current object

The current object is the best way to apply active state to your applications’ navigation. It is available to every template and contains the state of the current page being rendered.


When reusing templates for things like navigation, the current object is useful for applying an active state to the navigation it may also be used as an unconventional way to render layouts or partials. This keeps our application code DRY without compromising on the usability of the application.


  • path - (Array) which is the file path of the current page being rendered.
  • source - (String) which is a shortcut to the last element in the path array.

note - file extensions are ignored in the current object.

Harp provides an array of the current page’s path, with the last item in the list called the current source. This information is available through the current object, which is dynamically updated on each page you visit.

For example, when visiting /articles/hello-world, the following information is available:

  path: ["articles", "hello-world"],
  source: "hello-world"

Whereas a request to /articles/ will have a current object that looks like the following:

  path: ["articles", "index"],
  source: "index"

Now, you can use this in your template.

Example Usage

This application has an index.jade and about.jade page. Both of these pages show a simple nav, which is contained in the _nav.jade partial.

By using the current object within the _nav.jade template, you can tell which context the nav template is being rendered (ie. which page the person is currently on).

Given the following project:

  |- index.jade
  |- about.jade
  +- _nav.jade

Jade Example

The _nav.jade file, using current.source:

  li(class="#{ current.source == 'index' ? 'active' : '' }")
    a(href="/") Home
  li(class="#{ current.source == 'about' ? 'active' : '' }")
    a(href="/about") About

EJS Example

That same template, as _nav.ejs instead of nav.jade:

  <li class="<%- current.source == 'index' ? 'active' : '' %>">
    <a href="/">Home</a>
  <li class="<%- current.source == 'about' ? 'active' : '' %>">
    <a href="/about">About</a>

Thanks to the current.source, you now have classes on the nav that change depending on the context. These can then be styled with CSS, or your preprocessor of choice: Sass, LESS, or Stylus.

What’s Next?

Determining whether Harp is running in production or development (environment) →