0.4.4 • Public • Published

    Documentation page for ethereum-web3-plus

    Package that sits on top of web3 package by frozeman. This package adds 3 main functionalities:

    • The Solidity compilation simplified with automatic linkeage of libraries and contract deployment simplification and quick to use functions added to the Web3 prototype.
    • A block watcher and a waitFor (and waitForAll from version 0.2.2) function to get notified when a submitted transaction(s) is(are) completed and considered canonical. Note that in this version the solidity compiler is the one loaded by the geth node.
    • A simplified eventSynchronizer (from version 0.2.4) that mixed with the multi-http-provider auto resubscribe capability makes life easier to get the history of events from the blocks and listen to new ones.

    You need to run a local Ethereum node to use this library.



    npm install ethereum-web3-plus --save


    meteor npm install ethereum-web3-plus --save 


    Loading the packages. Second require will modify Web3 prototype

    var Web3 = require('web3');
    require('ethereum-web3-plus'); // modify Web3 prototype

    Initializing Web3 API normally.

    Also see web3 package documentation

    let ethereum_url = "http://localhost:8545";
    web3 = new Web3(new Web3.providers.HttpProvider(ethereum_url));
    console.log("Connected to Geth console", web3.version.node, "on block", eth.blockNumber);
    eth.defaultAccount = eth.coinbase;
    web3.personal.unlockAccount(eth.defaultAccount, "capture your password here", 10);
    output: Connected to Geth console Geth/v1.5.8-stable-f58fb322/darwin/go1.7.5 on block 62353

    Using the solidity compiler functionality:

    Note the path resolution is relative to the path where the geth node is running.

    • So if the geth node runs in /home/user/guenole/ethereum, "./sources/file.sol" will be resolved as /home/user/guenole/ethereum/sources/file.sol
    • You can specify an absolute path but be carefull that libraries will use the full path and cut after 36 chars. So if you have an absolute path of /home/user/guenole/ethereum/sources/library.sol containing a library Library you will have a library token being /home/user/guenole/ethereum/sources/ because the fullpath is truncated at 36 char to fit 40chars with the __ on both side.
    • A workaround is to create symbolic link to the sources path either from the geth node path or from the root (/) NOTE: from version 0.3.0, you do not need to compile at runtime but you can use pre-compiled files either generated by this package (see persist()) or from solc or another compatible compiler. However, linkeage is still done at runtime to be able to deploy contract code to a production ethereum network with a different library pre-deployed address.
    var compiler = web3.solidityCompiler();
    compiler.addDeployedLib("MapString", "0x48f59e9fbce7880a11acd90dc2f99b28accc47f6");
    compiler.addDeployedLib("MapAddress", "0xdb3d0da48c1962f5e31abd9f9904160729da9358");
    compiler.addDeployedLib("MapAddressWithProps", "0x87614301dd92d49447b926941940c85533b7e147");
    compiler.compile("./sources/example.sol"); // path either absolute or relative to geth running node.
    compiler.compileInline("contract MyContract {uint i;}"); // from version 0.2.1, allow to compile source from a string. If import are required, specify them in the inline code with same path constraints as above.
    compiler.displaySizes();  // display all contract found and compiled and their code size (important to check they are as small as possible)
    compiler.displayMissingLibs(); // display libraries that have not been found in the deployed libs and that are required.
    compiler.persist(); // save the abi and the bytescode in local folder (see below)
    output: Compiled Example code length: 1440


    Under a hidden folder (PWD/.ethereum_contracts) the package will save for all loaded contracts and library 2 files with respectively the abi (in json format) and the bin (in hex text string). This is exactly the format used by solc in the command solc --bin --abi Contract.sol that will generate Contract.abiand Contract.bin.


    Will return an object with the abi, the unlinked bytescode, the linked bytescode and a web3 contract instance, taken from memory if already loaded or, loading it from the persisted files if they can be found. Throws an exception otherwise. If you want the same without the exception use .getContract() and .getCode().
    If the bin file is not found a warning message is pushed to the console telling that you will not be able to create a new instance of that contract (but instanceAt will work).


    function automatically called after the compile, or during the require functions to set the correct library addresses into the contract bytecode. If you need to change the address of a deployed library using compiler.addDeployedLib you can call immediatly after linkAll() to recreate the appropriate bytecode for all concerned contracts.

    Using the contract functions (newInstanceTx and instanceAt)

    These functions use the solidityCompiler to get the necessary element to create a new contract or refer to an existing one.
    From version 0.3.0, these functions either take the contract definitions (abi & bin) from memory or loads it from the local folder (PWD/.ethereum_contracts) and keep it in memory in case it was not yet there.

    // request the publication of the contract. Returns the tx hash of that request
    var tx = web3.newInstanceTx("Example", any constructor params);
    // convert a contract address into an javascript object
    var address = "0x4435dee6dd53ffad11cf4ebb85cea2e51ea62434";
    var E = web3.instanceAt("Example", address);

    Getting a deployed library (instanceLibrary)

    To get a web3 instance of a library deployed with web3.solidityCompiler.addDeployedLib. Usefull to get the lib in a different module than the one where you set the address.

    var compiler = web3.solidityCompiler();
    compiler.addDeployedLib("MapString", "0x48f59e9fbce7880a11acd90dc2f99b28accc47f6");
    var MapString = web3.instanceLibrary("MapString");

    Using the block watcher functionalities

    NOTE: The watcher is registered asynchronously but the BlockWatcherStart function returns immediatly. Be aware of this as it may happen that the watcher is initialized after the first transaction is submitted.

    bw= web3.BlockWatcherStart(func);

    It is possible to pass a function in parameter to the BlockWatcherStart function to wrap the callbacks. This function parameter is optional and if not supplied, a simplest version is used (simpleWrapper below). This is necessary for some environments like Meteor where the callback must run in the proper context (eg Fiber). So the function must work as follow: accept a callback as unique parameter. When called it should return a new function that wrap the callback.

    simpleWrapper = function(f) { 
        return function() { return f.apply(f, arguments); }
    // for instance in Meteor


    Waiting for transactions to be mined

    web3.waitFor(  web3.newInstanceTx("Example"), "Param1",
                 function(tx, p1, contract, err) {
                      console.log("callback:", tx, p1, contract, err);
                      if(contract) E = web3.instanceAt("Example", contract);
                 {canonicalAfter:2, dropAfter:5}  );
    // when you want to stop watching the blocks

    waitFor returns the txHash if successfully registered in the watcher and in case of error, the callback is called and the return of that callback (if any) is returned. waitFor takes the following parameters:

    - 1   : a valid tx hash returned by any of the web3 calls
    - 2..N: any parameters to be passed to the callback
    - N+1 : a callback in the form function(txHash, p2, ..., pN, contractAddress, error)
           where txHash is the hash of the transaction that was waited to be executed
                 p2, ..., pN the custom paramters passed to the waitFor
                 contractAddress is the newly created contract in case the transaction is deploying a contract 
                           or the address of the contract (or account) to which the transaction was made
    - N+2 : (optional) an object with the following attributes 
          - canonicalAfter: <number>, default=0. tells the watcher to call the callback only canonicalAfter blocks after the transaction has been mined. This allow to control possible small soft forks and be sure to get valid transactions.
          - dropAfter: <number>, default=99999999. tells the watcher to drop this transaction if not mined after dropAfter blocks. This in case the local node has been killed before sending the tx to other nodes and/or the watcher loosing the events listener. 
          - startBlock: <number>, default=eth.blockNumber. tells from which block number interpret the above options. (from version 0.2.7)

    Note that if you pass a transaction hash that has been done in the past (blocks before the current block) then the waitFor will still activate the callback after verifying the status of the transaction. I.e. you can call this function to check the status of an old transaction.

    web3.waitForAll (from version 0.2.2)

    works like waitFor except that it takes an array of txHash as first parameter

    var E = web3.instanceAt("Example", contract); // Example is a compiled contract
    var tx=[];
    web3.waitForAll(tx, "Your param", 
            function(tx, p1, contract, err, remaining) {
                console.log("callback:", tx, p1, contract, err, "remaining txs:", remaining);
                if(remaining==0) console.log("All tx have been mined. Proceed to something else");
              }, {canonicalAfter:5 } );
       callback: 0x1a3129963097798fa1a413b8093abb345d350e4a29e09c54d3a5887360b856f0, Your param, 0x4435dee6dd53ffad11cf4ebb85cea2e51ea62434, null, 2
       callback: 0x664ac8d55aaec1d38be109ddb7de4abdc75f11ea8a94992df3a71619af537f13, Your param, 0x4435dee6dd53ffad11cf4ebb85cea2e51ea62434, null, 1
       callback: 0x1261b9900b1d00c54749f63831bbfb8c1a9cafcd9638e1d90e41b17c3305ff5d, Your param, 0x4435dee6dd53ffad11cf4ebb85cea2e51ea62434, null, 0
       All tx have been mined. Proceed to something else

    The function returns an array with the result of waitFor for each txHash. The callback passed to waitForAll is expected to receive an additional parameter being the number of remaining transactions waiting to be mined after this one. Note that the same callback is called once for each transaction in the array.

    web3.eventSynchronizer - History (from version 0.2.4)

    This wrap the web3 event and filter mecanism and expose what I have felt was not so easy to use when you need to listen to events for all existing contracts and when you need to separate the logic of historical events and new events.

    Let's assume you have a solidity contract like:

    contract EventGenerator {
         event Happening(bytes32 indexed code, uint indexed index, bytes32 indexed key, bytes16[] data );
        function doEvent(bytes32 code, uint index, bytes32 key, bytes16[] data ) {
            Happening(code, index, key, data);

    You get it compiled with the web3.solidityCompiler (see above) and generate some events (and wait they are mined).

    var EvtGenAdd = "0xbc6d217aa83f97d848a9bc2541a870154069c7a8";
    EvtGen = web3.instanceAt("EventGenerator", EvtGenAdd);
    web3.waitForAll( [
        EvtGen.doEvent("Code", "14", "Key", ["data1", "data2"]),
        EvtGen.doEvent("Codex", "13", "Other", ["data1", "data2"]) ],
        function(tx, contract, err, remaining) {if(!remaining) console.log("Completed");} );

    Then you want to get events corresponding to a filter from a certain block number for any contract:

    var es = web3.eventSynchronizer("EventGenerator.Happening", {index:[13,14], key:"Other"} );
    es.historyFromBlock(63000, function(error, log) { 
            web3.completeLog(log); // optional: additional function to complete the content of the log message (see below)
            console.log("Log:",log); } );
        Log: { address: '0xbc6d217aa83f97d848a9bc2541a870154069c7a8',
        blockNumber: 64511,
        transactionIndex: 0,
        transactionHash: '0x2e5260854c4fc22eac9f0888d3aeef7ce4c9d7210715ec8428519f8a4e39f031',
        blockHash: '0x5ce43d9745ec36eef9cd346022c8ec4d0250d8e8fc54e5993d6ff2de0826c35d',
        logIndex: 0,
        removed: false,
        event: 'Happening',
        { code: '0x436f646500000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000',
        index: { [String: '13'] s: 1, e: 1, c: [Object] },
        key: '0x4f74686572000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000',
        data: [] },
        isNew: false,
        contract: 'EventGenerator',
        txSender: '0x2725986748c1ec32fb1f99b4f1d2cbda62818b81',
        txTarget: '0xbc6d217aa83f97d848a9bc2541a870154069c7a8' }

    The parameters are:

    • a string event name in the form "contract-name.event-name" or an array of such event's names. Duplicates are removed; incorrect syntax are ignored; innexistant contract or event are ignored. if several event names are provided it means all events will be subscribed.
    • a filterSet as an objects with fields being the names of the indexed param of the solidity event and value being (standard web3-events specifications)
      • null: any value is acceptable (or do not specify the field at all)
      • a value: the indexed field must have this value (other events are not received)
      • an array of values: logical OR on these values

    In the log message 2 fields are added (vs the web3 model)

    • isNew : false when received via the historyFromBloc and true if received via the startWatching
    • contract : name of the contract as in the compilation process

    The call set the historyToBlock attribute of the EventSynchronizer to the current block number and the history will return the events matching the filter between the provided fromBlock and the historyToBlock. This filed is also used in the watching.

    web3.eventSynchronizer - Watching (from version 0.2.4)

    in the same way as above, you can get notifications when new events matching the filters are stored in the blockchain.

    es.startWatching(function(error, log) { 
            console.log("New Log:",log); } );
    setTimeout(function(){  es.stopWatching();   }, 5000); // stop after 5 seconds 

    The log object has the same format as above, but the isNew flag is set to true. The watching subscribes to future events from block historyToBlock +1 to 'latest'.

    web3.completeLog (from version 0.2.4)

    This is a simple addOn to web3 to collect 2 fields from the transaction and add them to the log:

    • txSender: the address of the account who sent the transaction. eth.getTransaction(hash).from.
    • txtarget: the address of the account or contract to which the transaction was sent. eth.getTransaction(hash).to.

    Change log

    v 0.4.4

    • Adjustment of the compiler bin and abi file loading to handle solcjs file names that includes the solidity file.

    v 0.4.3

    • While testing Ganache, I found different behavior of getTransaction just after submitting a transaction. It does not exists hence the reading of submitted gas should be delayed.
    • Correct the implementation of TransactionReceipt.status
    • Info: The web3.BlockWatcherStart() does not wait for successfull registration of the filter before watching the new blocks. Hence be carefull that you could submit a transaction before the listener is in place and miss it.

    v 0.4.2

    • Adding a try catch in the block watcher for when the geth api do not return properly

    v 0.4.1

    Adaptation for TransactionReceipt.status from geth v1.7.3 used in the waitFor function to signal error Other minor bug corrections

    • Test of for null transaction before trying to get the transaction info
    • Auto creation of the solidityCompiler in newInstanceTx and instanceAt
    • Adding 1 gas to the newInstanceTx gas estimation to manage older version of geth
    • Correcting a bug in the BlockWatcher.stop() caused by possible null filter.

    v 0.3.2

    Correction of the use of environemnt variable process.env.PWD by process.cwd() as the earlier is not available on windows.

    v 0.3.1

    Correction of the path resolution for windows compatibility

    v 0.3.0

    Important modification in the solidityCompiler object

    • separation in a different module (solidity-compiler.js)
    • addition of saving the compiled solidity contract (abi & bin) into a local folder (persist) like the solc compiler does
    • modification of the link solution to allow linkeage on a different environment when source are not recompiled
    • control that newInstanceTx does not attempt to create a contract without the bytecodes (throw error)

    v 0.2.8

    Just republish to NPM with the correct documentation

    v 0.2.7

    • Added to github
    • The EventSynchronizer now sets a historyToBlock variable to the current block at the time of requesting the history or starting the watch so that there are no duplicate between the history request and the watch scope.
    • The newInstanceTx has been change to only send the "estimateGas" amount of gas rather than "gasLimit". The previous version is kept under web3.newInstanceTxOld in case you have trouble with the amount of gas.
    • creation of web3.instanceLibrary to retieve a web3 instance of a deployed library.
    • addition of the fromBlock option in the waitFor function.
    • bug corrections
      • change name of historyFromBlock
      • control of a valid callback before calling
      • reset of the filter in the block watcher when stopping.

    v 0.2.6 and v 0.2.5

    • Documentation corrections

    v 0.2.4

    • addition of the web3.eventSynchronizer (see above)

    v 0.2.3

    • documentation corrections

    v 0.2.2

    • addition of waitForAll


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