Absinthe GraphQL viewer/me pattern

There is a pattern in GraphQL called viewer. Using the example in the Absinthe book the me is the root viewer:

  me {
    orders {
      items { 
    menuItems {

It is still not so clear to me how to implement this. I did some searching online as well and couldn’t find any examples.

Does anyone have any examples of how to implement the root viewer pattern with absinthe?

Thank you

Does this showcase help you?


Thank you so much for the example!

I “think” I get it in that… one must:

  1. create a root field :me (pulling me from the context)
  2. define what :me is (fields and associations/resolvers)
  3. that’s it :man_shrugging:

Thank you!

Hi again :wave:

I just discovered this https://github.com/lucasbento/graphql-pokemon/issues/1

Turns out viewer/me is an antipattern that’s no longer condoned. Wish I stumbled across that earlier.


@benwilson512 could we have your opinion on this? In your book you mentioned the advantages of using me pattern and it made total sense for me and implemented it with Absinthe, by following the code examples in the book.

This ex-Facebook worker seems to discourage it now? What are the reasons?

I can’t say I have much insight into the ex-Facebook crowd. I think whether or not me is a useful pattern depends a bit on how you do authentication and authorization in your application. If you have entities owned by the current user then I definitely think it makes sense to scope it under that. It gets a bit trickier if you’re using role based authentication and authorization is less about “me” and more about “the role I want to use for this request”.

You can also find minor inconsistencies between the me pattern and the node pattern. I absolutely adore the node field pattern because it saves you from redundantly setting up hundreds of “get this entity” fields. However it’s { node(id: $id) { ... Fields } } not { me { node() } }, but of course the permissions you have will affect whether or not you can access it.

Really though I think the decline of me or viewer is less about it not being a good idea, and more about the ex-Facebook crowd wanting to distance themselves from a dogma which made it a required pattern. Early versions of Relay (Facebook’s client) were exceptionally dogmatic with respect to how the schema needed to be organized, and it has tried to become more flexible over time.

I suppose where that is leaving me is this: I think me is a valuable pattern for accessing user specific data. I do not necessarily think that it is the most consistent pattern for acting as the primary entrypoint to the rest of the graph. However if that’s the route you want to go I think there can still be real upsides, so it’s a judgement call you’ll have to make.