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A monad for time-dependant values, providing explicit effects for delayed computations, latency, etc.


Build Status NPM version Dependencies Status stable

The Future(a, b) structure represents values that depend on time. This allows one to model time-based effects explicitly, such that one can have full knowledge of when they're dealing with delayed computations, latency, or anything that can not be computed immediately.

A common use for this monad is to replace the usual Continuation-Passing Style form of programming, in order to be able to compose and sequence time-dependent effects using the generic and powerful monadic operations.


var Future = require('data.future')
var fs = require('fs')
// read : String -> Future(Error, Buffer) 
function read(path) {
  return new Future(function(reject, resolve) {
    fs.readFile(path, function(error, data) {
      if (error)  reject(error)
      else        resolve(data)
// decode : Future(Error, Buffer) -> Future(Error, String) 
function decode(buffer) {
  return {
    return a.toString('utf-8')
var intro = decode(read('intro.txt'))
var outro = decode(read('outro.txt'))
// You can use `.chain` to sequence two asynchronous actions, and 
// `.map` to perform a synchronous computation with the eventual 
// value of the Future. 
var concatenated = intro.chain(function(a) {
                     return {
                       return a + b
// But the implementation of Future is pure, which means that you'll 
// never observe the effects by using `chain` or `map` or any other 
// method. The Future just records the sequence of actions that you 
// wish to observe, and defers the playing of that sequence of actions 
// for your application's entry-point to call. 
// To observe the effects, you have to call the `fork` method, which 
// takes a callback for the rejection, and a callback for the success. 
  function(error) { throw error }
, function(data)  { console.log(data) }


The easiest way is to grab it from NPM. If you're running in a Browser environment, you can use Browserify

$ npm install data.future

Using with CommonJS

If you're not using NPM, Download the latest release, and require the data.future.umd.js file:

var Future = require('data.future')

Using with AMD

Download the latest release, and require the data.future.umd.js file:

require(['data.future'], function(Future) {
  ( ... )

Using without modules

Download the latest release, and load the data.future.umd.js file. The properties are exposed in the global Future object:

<script src="/path/to/data.future.umd.js"></script>

Compiling from source

If you want to compile this library from the source, you'll need Git, Make, Node.js, and run the following commands:

$ git clone git://
$ cd data.future
$ npm install
$ make bundle

This will generate the dist/data.future.umd.js file, which you can load in any JavaScript environment.


You can read the documentation online or build it yourself:

$ git clone git://
$ cd monads.maybe
$ npm install
$ make documentation

Then open the file docs/index.html in your browser.

Platform support

This library assumes an ES5 environment, but can be easily supported in ES3 platforms by the use of shims. Just include es5-shim :)


Copyright (c) 2013-2014 Quildreen Motta.

Released under the MIT licence.