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callbag-lossless-throttle

1.0.0 • Public • Published

callbag-lossless-throttle

Callbag operator that transforms either a pullable or listenable source into a listenable that enforces a fixed time delay between emissions. If the source is listenable and produces data faster than the delay, data is queued up internally and emitted in the order received, making this a lossless throttle operator. No data is dropped. (Compare to callbag-throttle for a lossy version.)

Example usecase: a callbag source is generating URLs on a server with rate limits of, say, one request per second. This operator can be used to throttle the source to 1000 milliseconds:

const throttle = require('callbag-lossless-throttle');
const forEach = require('callbag-for-each');
 
pipe(urlSource, throttle(1000), forEach(url => fetch(url)));

Background

I feel I have to give some background on callbags, which is the name André Staltz gave to the framework for streams and iterables he invented (some might say "discovered" here). If you're like me and learn by seeing examples, the callbag-basics module is probably the best place to start, then following the links therein, and finally by scanning the results for searching GitHub for "callbag", since Staltz has made callbag-basics very basic and wants to see functionality added through stand-alone modules that meet the basic callbag specification.

Installation

On the command line in your Node.js app, run

$ npm install --save callbag-lossless-throttle

Then load it via

const throttle = require('callbag-lossless-throttle');

API

With const throttle = require('callbag-lossless-throttle'), insert the following operator between a source and a sink to make the source a throttled listenable, i.e., a source that enforces a delay (in milliseconds) between data. Even the termination signal from the original source is throttled (is that ok?).

throttle(delayMilliseconds)

Example

Let's use Node's process.hrtime to show how this works in a few difference cases.

Throttling a listenable callbag that emits slow enough doesn't make a difference.

const throttle = require('callbag-lossless-throttle');
const { fromIter, interval, take, forEach, pipe } = require('callbag-basics');
function elapsed(start) {
  const end = process.hrtime(start);
  return Math.round(end[0] * 1000 + end[1] / 1e6);
}
var tic = process.hrtime();
pipe(interval(100), take(5), forEach(x => console.log(`${elapsed(tic)} ms: original`)));
pipe(interval(100), take(5), throttle(50), forEach(x => console.log(`${elapsed(tic)} ms: (not really) throttled`)));
// 102 ms: original
// 105 ms: (not really) throttled
// 203 ms: original
// 205 ms: (not really) throttled
// 305 ms: original
// 305 ms: (not really) throttled
// 405 ms: original
// 405 ms: (not really) throttled
// 505 ms: original
// 506 ms: (not really) throttled

As you can see, throtlling a listenable emitting every hundred milliseconds by fifty milliseconds doesn't change things: both emit almost in lockstep. But if we throttle it at, say, 200 milliseconds, the difference becomes obvious: both start immediately but:

var tic = process.hrtime();
pipe(interval(100), take(5), forEach(x => console.log(`${elapsed(tic)} ms: original`)));
pipe(interval(100), take(5), throttle(200), forEach(x => console.log(`${elapsed(tic)} ms: throttled`)));
// 103 ms: original
// 106 ms: throttled
// 211 ms: original
// 312 ms: throttled
// 312 ms: original
// 414 ms: original
// 513 ms: throttled
// 514 ms: original
// 715 ms: throttled
// 920 ms: throttled

Note how the throttled callbag is lossless: data is queued internally.

With pullable callbags, note how both callbags begin immediately, but the unthrottled forEach zips through the source in four milliseconds. Meanwhile, the throttled callbag continues its sedate pace:

var tic = process.hrtime();
pipe(fromIter([ 10, 20, 30, 40 ]), forEach(x => console.log(`${elapsed(tic)} ms: original`)));
pipe(fromIter([ 10, 20, 30, 40 ]), throttle(50), forEach(x => console.log(`${elapsed(tic)} ms: throttled`)));
// 0 ms: original
// 2 ms: original
// 3 ms: original
// 3 ms: original
// 4 ms: throttled
// 56 ms: throttled
// 112 ms: throttled
// 177 ms: throttled

Tutorial

This is my first callbag library, and my second day working with callbags. I am very much open to suggestions for improving this library.

In this section, I'd like to present some notes on how I got to this library, with the aim of showing callbag beginners how I started thinking about it. I knew I needed a throttle mechanism because I had an ES2015 generator (cartesian-product-generator) that was eventually going to hit a REST endpoint enforcing rate limits, so I pasted the source code for a source, callbag-from-iter, an operator, callbag-map, and a sink, callbag-for-each, and stared at those for a while.

Then I gathered my courage to start tweaking forEach, which André gives as

const forEach = operation => source => {
  let talkback;
  source(0, (t, d) => {
    if (=== 0) talkback = d;
    if (=== 1) operation(d);
    if (=== 1 || t === 0) talkback(1);
  });
};

in order to add throttling. To keep it simple, I aimed to get a throttled forEach that only worked for listenables. I got the following:

const forEachThrottledListenables = (operation, milliseconds) => source => {
  let talkback;
  let stuffListenablesHaveGivenMe = [];
  let timeout;
  const runAfterCooldown = () => {
    timeout = null;
    if (stuffListenablesHaveGivenMe.length) {
      operation(stuffListenablesHaveGivenMe.shift());
      timeout = setTimeout(runAfterCooldown, milliseconds);
    }
  };
  source(0, (t, d) => {
    if (=== 0) talkback = d;
    if (=== 1) {
      if (timeout) {
        stuffListenablesHaveGivenMe.push(d);
      } else {
        operation(d);
        timeout = setTimeout(runAfterCooldown, milliseconds);
      }
    }
  });
};

The conceptual differences between forEachThrottledListenables and forEach is that when the sink receives data (t===1), it'll check if it's in a cooldown quiet period by checking for a timeout in progress. If there's no timeout counting down, it'll do the same thing as the original forEach and then kick off the timeout to enforce the throttle delay. If there is a timeout in progress, it'll push the data that the listenable source gave it to a FIFO stack (an array). The timeout triggers the runAfterCooldown function which clears the timeout variable (which would otherwise be a big Node object, even after completion), checks if any data had gotten queued up while it was counting down, and if so, emits that and kicks off the next time out. An important idea is, every time operation is called (i.e., the actual side-effect of the sink, e.g., console.log), a timeout has to be set.

You can try the above function:

var { pipe, interval, take } = require('callbag-basics');
var bag = pipe(interval(100), take(5));
forEachThrottledListenables(x => { console.log('(not) throttled bag', x); }, 50)(bag);
forEachThrottledListenables(x => { console.log('REALLY throttled bag', x); }, 300)(bag);

Two listenable source callbags with an interval of 100 milliseconds are firing. The one is "throttled" to fifty milliseconds, which should be indistinguishable from the original source. The second is throttled three-fold (300 milliseconds), so while both sinks log at the same time, more of the first's messages are printed before the second's.

My next goal was the extend this to a throttled forEach that works for both listenable and pullables. It's freakish that the tweaks I had to add to get pullables to work are almost completely unrelated to anything involving listenables.

Here's the full code for forEachThrottledBoth, and then I'll show the diff between the two:

const forEachThrottledBoth = (operation, milliseconds) => source => {
  let talkback;
  let stuffListenablesHaveGivenMe = [];
  let timeout;
  let terminated = false;
  const runAfterCooldown = () => {
    timeout = null;
    if (!terminated) { talkback(1); }
    if (stuffListenablesHaveGivenMe.length) {
      operation(stuffListenablesHaveGivenMe.shift());
      timeout = setTimeout(runAfterCooldown, milliseconds);
    }
  };
  source(0, (t, d) => {
    if (=== 0) {
      talkback = d;
      talkback(1);
    }
    if (=== 1) {
      if (timeout) {
        stuffListenablesHaveGivenMe.push(d);
      } else {
        operation(d);
        timeout = setTimeout(runAfterCooldown, milliseconds);
      }
    }
    if (=== 2) { terminated = true; }
  });
};

And now the diffs (omitting the change in function name):

4a5
>   let terminated = false;
6a8
>     if (!terminated) { talkback(1); }
13c15,18
<     if (t === 0) talkback = d;
--- 
>     if (t === 0) {
>       talkback = d;
>       talkback(1);
>     }
21a27
>     if (t === 2) { terminated = true; }

This diff should show you what I mean by freaky separation of concerns (which might have been coincidental). I didn't touch any of the existing code—I just added code to work with pullables, meaning, I now have to track it's termination, and I have to invoke its talkback after handshake and after every data message I get from it.

I think that's really cool! By this point, late at night, sick with cold and cough and chills, I'm hooked on callbags.

So I could have used just this throttled sink to accomplish my goal but I was also sufficiently enamored to try and make an operator, like callbag-map, to work with any sink. This needed a good bit more understanding:

  • the one extra level of functional nesting, i.e., compare the above sink, forEachThrottledBoth = (operation, milliseconds) => source => {} to throttle = milliseconds => source => (start, sink) => {},
  • that I have to handshake the sink, not just the source, and track its termination too,
  • convey both data and termination from the source to the sink, not just the data,
  • and just in general get a better sense of what callbags are doing, before I arrived at the present library.

Maybe this can be helpful to someone who's starting out wondering how to make callbags do something new.

(Note, this library was originally called callbag-throttle but André alerted me to RxJS' lossy throttle operator, so this was renamed to avoid confusion.)

Install

npm i callbag-lossless-throttle

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Version

1.0.0

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