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    0.0.2 • Public • Published

    RPC.ts (Better name would be lovely)

    RPC.ts is a tiny library that makes it easier to deal with web-workers, or any other kind of background thread in js/ts land.


    npm install --save @zlepper/rpc.ts


    This sample shows how to implement a simple calculator that runs in a web-worker.

    Start by creating the actual class that has the logic that should be run in your worker:


    export class Calculator {
      public add(a: number, b: number): number {
        return a + b;
      public subtract(a: number, b: number): number {
        return a - b;

    Next create the worker initialization code:


    import { startWorkerProvider, WebWorkerServerConnection } from '@zlepper/rpc.ts';
    import { Calculator } from './calculator';
    const connection = new WebWorkerServerConnection();
    startWorkerProvider(new Calculator(), connection);

    Lastly in your main thread: Start the worker and connect to it:


    import { Calculator } from './calculator';
    import { wrapBackgroundService, WebWorkerClientConnection } from '@zlepper/rpc.ts';
    const worker = new Worker('worker.ts', {
      type: 'module'
    const connection = new WebWorkerClientConnection(worker);
    const wrapper = wrapBackgroundService<Calculator>(connection);
    console.log(await wrapper.add(1, 2)); // Logs '3'
    console.log(await wrapper.subtract(2, 1)); // Logs '1'

    A couple of things to notice:

    • All methods returning primitive values (Aka, values not already in a Promise) will be wrapped in promises in the main code, since the entire process is async.
    • Types are maintained across the call boundary, so if you provided number and expect to get number back, that is what will happen.
    • If you are using TypeScript (As the samples above do), you will get strong type information about what methods are actually available, with the correct return type (promises wrapped if not already).


    Questions you are probably asking yourself right now.

    How do I do actual async work in my worker?

    Return a Promise, and we will automatically wait for it to resolve, and then return the actual resolved value. If your Promise rejects, or the method throws an error, we pass that back to the client and reject the promise there.

    Why the whole "connection" part?

    The library supports other ways of using "workers" than just web workers. e.g., worker_threads from node.js. Additionally, it is possible to plug your own connection implementation, fx to allow usage of WebSockets to communicate with a web server.

    How to I stop the connection when I want to get rid of it?

    Just .terminate() the worker, or equivalent with whatever connection library you are using.

    How does it work?

    On the "client-side" we are using a Proxy to intercept all getters, and then replacing the result with a custom function. This function then passes a message through the connection. On the worker side we simply receive the events send from the client, and invokes the underlying functions on the actual object provided to startWorkerProvider.


    This just sounds too good to be true? Yes it is, there are certain limitations that has to be obeyed for everything to keep working.

    • Only functions calls are available right now. Getters and setters will be removed from the type definition in TypeScript. If you are not using typescript, they will error at runtime.
    • Callbacks or streamed results is currently not supported. I'm considering using rxjs to allow for multiple result values, however the current version does not support that.
    • Due to the usage of Proxy this library does not work with IE11, but requires a modern browser.



    npm i @zlepper/rpc.ts

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