for-async

1.0.1 • Public • Published

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for-async v1.0.0

Helper function to ease doing async work in a loop

Installation

npm install --save for-async

Dependencies and imports

for-async has no dependencies. Load it like this:

import forAsync from 'for-async';

Or, using ES5 / require:

var forAsync = require('for-async');

Also usable in the browser, but because for-async is tiny, you're probably better off by just copying the function from the source directly.

Usage

/**
 * Loops over an array, performing (async) work on each item.
 *
 * arr  The (possibly empty) array to loop over.
 * fn   The callback function that will be called for each item.
 *      It has the signature `fn(item, idx)`, where `item` is the
 *      current array element and `idx` is the index in the array.
 */
forAsync(arr, fn)

Use forAsync as you would forEach, except it's not a method of Array but a separate function, so pass the array to loop over as the first parameter.

Sync Usage

For convenience, forAsync can be used with sync as well as async callback functions:

var arr = ['some', 'cool', 'array'];
forAsync(arr, function(item, idx){
  console.info(item, idx);
  // Logs 3 lines: `some 0`, `cool 1`, `array 2`
})

Async Usage

You can do async work inside the callback function by having it return a Promise:

var arr = ['some', 'cool', 'array'];
forAsync(arr, function(item, idx){
  return new Promise(function(resolve){
    setTimeout(function(){
      console.info(item, idx);
      // Logs 3 lines: `some 0`, `cool 1`, `array 2`
      resolve(); // <-- signals that this iteration is complete
    }, 25); // delay 25 ms to make async
  })
})

The next iteration will only start when the promise returned by the previous iteration has fulfilled. If we are calling a function that already returns a Promise, we don't have to wrap it in another Promise, but can just return the result directly:

function asyncWorker(item, idx) {
  return new Promise(function(resolve){
    setTimeout(function(){
      console.info(item, idx);
      resolve(); // <-- signals that work is complete
    }, 25); // delay 25 ms to make async
  })
}
 
var arr = ['some', 'cool', 'array'];
forAsync(arr, function(item, idx){
    return asynchWorker(item, idx);
})
 
// Or, even shorter:
 
forAsync(arr, asynchWorker);

Waiting for the loop to complete

forAsync itself returns a Promise, that we can use to wait for the loop to complete:

var arr = ['some', 'cool', 'array'];
var result = '';
forAsync(arr, function(item, idx){
  return new Promise(function(resolve){
    setTimeout(function(){
      result += item + '!'
      resolve(); // <-- signals that this iteration is complete
    }, 25); // delay 25 ms to make async
  })
})
.then(function(){
  // This code only runs after the loop has completed
  console.info(result);
  // Logs 1 line: `some!cool!array!`
})
console.info(result);
// logs an empty line

If it surprises you that the last statement logs an empty line, learn more about async.

Breaking off the loop

The loop will be broken off when an exception is thrown (in the case of sync code), or when the Promise returned from async code is rejected:

var arr = ['some', 'cool', 'array'];
forAsync(arr, function(item, idx){
  console.info(item, idx);
  throw new Error('abort'); // throw to break from sync function
  // Logs 1 line: `some 0`
})
forAsync(arr, function(item, idx){
  return new Promise(function(resolve, reject){
    setTimeout(function(){
      console.info(item, idx);
      reject(new Error('abort')); // reject to break from async function
      // Logs 1 line: `some 0`
    }, 25); // delay 25 ms to make async
  })
})
.then(function(){
  // This code never runs as the loop is aborted
  console.info('Done!');
})

Catching thrown errors or rejected promises

Just like we used the then method on the Promise returned by forEach to wait for the loop to complete, we can use the catch method to catch any errors that happened:

var arr = ['some', 'cool', 'array'];
forAsync(arr, function(item, idx){
  return new Promise(function(resolve, reject){
    setTimeout(function(){
      console.info(item, idx);
      reject(new Error('abort')); // reject to break from async function
      // Logs 1 line: `some 0`
    }, 25); // delay 25 ms to make async
  })
})
.then(function(){
  // This code never runs as the loop is aborted
  console.info('Done!');
})
.catch(function(error){
  console.info(error.message);
  // Logs: `abort`
})

Passing information from one loop iteration to the next

There is no mechanism built into forAsync for exchanging data between the different loop iterations, but Javascript makes this very simple anyway, by using a variable in the enclosing scope:

let x = 10;
var arr = [10, 25, 55];
forAsync(arr, function(item, idx){
  return new Promise(function(resolve, reject){
    setTimeout(function(){
        x += item;
    }, 25); // delay 25 ms to make async
  })
})
.then(function(){
  console.info(x);
  // logs `100`
})

Feedback, suggestions, questions, bugs

Please visit the issue tracker for any of the above. Don't be afraid about being off-topic. Constructive feedback most appreciated!

Copyright

© 2016, Stijn de Witt. Some rights reserved.

License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY-4.0)

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Version

1.0.1

License

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