minimalist-async-di
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    5.1.3 • Public • Published

    minimalist-async-di

    Asynchronous IoC/dependency injection container with a minimalist API, but which packs a punch.

    Tutorial

    Import

    Here's everything you might need (you are likely to need only about half of it, most of the time).

    const {
    	Container,
    	bean,
    	collection,
    	replacement,
    	value,
    	promise,
    	constructor,
    	factory,
    	bound,
    	promiser,
    	seeker
    } = require("minimalist-async-di");

    If you have been passed a Container instance, say container, you can instead access everything from it, even its register and get methods:

    const {
    	Container,
    	register,
    	get,
    	bean,
    	collection,
    	replacement,
    	value,
    	promise,
    	constructor,
    	factory,
    	bound,
    	promiser,
    	seeker
    } = container;

    This avoids problems when two different versions of minimalist-async-di are installed and the one you require was not used to create the container instance, so they do not interoperate.

    Create a container

    Creating a container is super simple.

    const container = new Container();

    Getting beans

    Getting beans is always asynchronous (returns a Promise). Suppose we have registered a bean called "pudding". We can retrieve it and serve it as follows.

    container.get("pudding")
    .then(pudding => pudding.serveTo("Ben"));

    We will actually register this bean later. (In reality, of course, it needs to be registered before it is retrieved.)

    Because beans are always retrieved asynchronously, they, and their dependencies, can always be instantiated asynchronously, too. This minimises the impact of "async creep", a phenomenon where you have a lot of synchronous code, and then discover that deep within it you need an asynchronous operation, so you have to propagate the asynchrony through the codebase, which is a large refactoring effort. Such refactoring is now limited to within a single bean.

    Registering pre-created beans

    Sometimes you just want to put an existing value into the container as a bean. Use the register method with the value creator for this.

    Here we have a local store, which might be exported from some module, and contains some of the ingredients we need.

    const localStore = {
    	flour: "self-raising flour"
    };

    We just register it as is, in a bean named "store".

    container.register("store", value(localStore));

    Promising beans

    You can also register promises to beans using the register method with the promise creator.

    We can use this to promise pasteurized cream-top milk. Because pasteurize() is an async function, it returns a promise.

    class CreamTopMilk {
    	constructor() {
    		this.state = "cream-top milk";
    		this.cream = "";
    		this.milkWithoutCream = "";
    	}
    	async pasteurize() {
    		this.state = `pasteurized ${this.state}`;
    		return this;
    	}
    	async separate() {
    		this.cream = `cream separated from ${this.state}`;
    		this.milkWithoutCream = `milk separated from ${this.state}`;
    		return this;
    	}
    	async getCream() {
    		await this.separate();
    		return this.cream;
    	}
    	async getMilk() {
    		await this.separate();
    		return this.milkWithoutCream;
    	}
    }
    container.register("creamTopMilk", promise((new CreamTopMilk()).pasteurize()));

    Registering constructors/classes

    You can register constructor functions (or ES6 classes) using the register method with the constructor creator.

    Here is a Mixer class which might be exported from some module; it requires various ingredients to be supplied to its constructor:

    class Mixer {
    	constructor(butter, sugar, egg, milk, flour) {
    		Object.assign(this, { butter, sugar, egg, milk, flour });
    	}
    	async getMixture() {
    		return `mixture of ${this.butter}, ${this.sugar}, ${this.egg}, ${this.milk}, and ${this.flour}`;
    	}
    }

    Here we register a bean named "mixer", which is created using the Mixer constructor, and has a number of other named beans as dependencies. The dependencies will be registered later (which is fine to do, even in real code).

    container.register("mixer", constructor(Mixer), "butter", "sugar", "eggForMixture", "milk", "flour");

    Registering factory functions

    Factory functions, which can be either synchronous or asynchronous (returning a promise or using the async/await syntax sugar), are registered using the register method with the factory creator.

    Here is a synchronous one:

    function createFlour(store) {
    	return sift(store.flour);
    }
    
    function sift(ingredient) {
    	return `sifted ${ingredient}`;
    }
    container.register("flour", factory(createFlour), "store");

    And an asynchronous one:

    function createButter(creamTopMilk) {
    	return creamTopMilk.getCream()
    	.then(cream => `butter churned from ${cream}`);
    }
    container.register("butter", factory(createButter), "creamTopMilk");

    Getting beans using dot or bracket notation

    You can get properties of beans, or specify them as dependencies, using dot or bracket notation. If there is no bean which actually contains the dot/bracket in its name, the container will get the property on the parent bean (if the parent bean has been registered by the time the property on it is needed).

    This registers a sugar bean which is created using the sift function (defined earlier) as a factory. It receives a dependency which is the sugar property from the store bean.

    container.register("sugar", factory(sift), "store[sugar]");

    (The sugar will be added to the store shortly.)

    Registering beans using dot or bracket notation

    When a bean is registered which contains a dot or bracket in its name, if the parent bean has already been registered, the new bean will be added as a property on the parent bean.

    If the parent bean has already been created when the property is registered, the property will be created immediately (though asynchronously), mutating the parent bean; if an error occurs, you will not find out about it until and unless you retrieve the parent bean again. If the parent bean has not been created (only registered), the property will be registered as its own bean until/unless the parent is retrieved, at which point all its property beans will be created and added to it.

    Note that the order of registration matters for this to work. The parent bean must be registered first.

    Here we stock the store with sugar.

    const castorSugar = "castor sugar";
    container.register("store[sugar]", value(castorSugar));

    Custom collections

    You can use custom getters and setters for bean properties using the collection specifier when registering a bean, which may be asynchronous.

    By default, the container will:

    • recognise Map objects and use their get and set methods
    • recognise Container objects and use their get and register (with value()) methods
    • otherwise just access object properties normally (which also works for array indexes)

    So, as far as the container is concerned, we could have created the store bean as a Map:

    const localStore = new Map();
    localStore.set("flour", "self-raising flour");

    Or as a Container:

    const localStore = new Container();
    localStore.register("flour", value("self-raising flour"));

    For both of these (and the plain object used originally), we just need to do:

    container.register("store", value(localStore));

    Or we can use either of the bean or collection specifiers if we prefer:

    container.register(bean("store"), value(localStore));
    container.register(collection("store"), value(localStore));

    It is not recommended, however, if we do need something customised, we can do it. Just use collection, providing the bean name, getter, and setter. The getters and setters can be synchronous or asynchronous, and will be called with this set to the parent bean.

    class Store {
    	constructor() {
    		this.items = {};
    	}
    	purchase(name) {
    		return this.items[name];
    	}
    	stock(name, item) {
    		this.items[name] = item;
    	}
    }
    
    const localStore = new Store();
    localStore.stock("flour", "self-raising flour");
    container.register(collection("store", Store.prototype.purchase, Store.prototype.stock), value(localStore));

    In all of these cases, getting and registering properties of the store are unchanged.

    container.register("store[sugar]", value(castorSugar));
    container.register("sugar", factory(sift), "store[sugar]");

    Using beans to create other beans

    You can use a bean (or property of a bean using dot or bracket notation) as a value, constructor or factory to create another bean.

    To use a bean itself as the value of another bean, essentially making the second bean an alias of the first, just give the bean name as the creator, or for greater clarity, wrap the name in bean().

    To use a bean as a constructor or factory, just give the name of the bean to the constructor() or factory() creator. If you prefer, wrap the name in bean() for clarity.

    For the factory() case, if you use a property of a bean (using dot or bracket notation) then the function will be called as a method, with this set to the bean.

    Here we register:

    • a hen bean, which is just an alias for the chicken bean,
    • a milk bean, which is created using the getMilk method on the creamTopMilk bean,
    • a mixture bean which is created using the getMixture method on the mixer bean.
    container.register("hen", bean("chicken"));
    container.register("milk", factory("creamTopMilk.getMilk"));
    container.register("mixture", factory(bean("mixer.getMixture")));

    Bound injection

    Ordinarily when you inject a property of a bean into another bean, the property value is simply injected. If it is a function, when it is called, this will be set (or be unset) according to the context of the call. The caller is also free to use .call() or .apply() to set this.

    However, that isn't always what you want. Sometimes, just like when you use a property of a bean as a factory, you want to treat it as a method, with this set to the bean containing the property. Use the bound injector for this. It calls .bind() to lock the value of this for all calls.

    This JamFactory can be used to demonstrate this:

    class JamFactory {
    	constructor() {
    		this.jam = "jam";
    	}
    	async getJam() {
    		return this.jam;
    	}
    }
    container.register("jamFactory", constructor(JamFactory));

    Here's a Toast class which uses it.

    class Toast {
    	constructor(getJam) {
    		this.getJam = getJam;
    	}
    	make() {
    		return `toast with ${this.getJam()}`;
    	}
    }
    container.register("toast", constructor(Toast), bound("jamFactory.getJam"));

    Without using bound, the call to this.getJam() in the make() method would result in this being set to the toast bean, because getJam has been installed as a method on that bean in the Toast constructor. However, because bound was used, getJam has this locked to the jamFactory bean, and it works as expected.

    Explicit injection

    Sometimes you don't want to inject another bean, but just want to explicitly inject a specific value. You can do this using the value injector for a dependency.

    We inject the type of oven this way. The string "moderate" is passed to the constructor, not a bean named moderate.

    class Oven {
    	constructor(type) {
    		this.type = type;
    	}
    	async preheat() {
    		return `preheated ${this.type} oven`;
    	}
    }
    container.register("oven", constructor(Oven), value("moderate"));

    Asynchronous injection

    Usually constructors and factories receive their dependencies synchronously.

    However, it is possible to provide a promise for the dependency using promise, or an asynchronous factory function for the dependency using promiser. Some use cases for this are:

    • It gives you a tool to use to avoid cyclic dependencies (which, as much as we try to avoid them, sometimes do seem like the right solution). As long as there is an asynchronous injection somewhere in the cycle, and the promise doesn't block the creation of the bean it is injected into (but can settle later), the beans will be able to be created.
    • Since the dependency is received asynchronously, you can begin other processing while waiting for it to arrive.
    • For promiser, you only call the factory if you need to use the dependency. If you don't need it, it is never retrieved (perhaps never even created) so it can be used for dependencies which might not be needed in practice.

    This Pudding class uses both kinds of asynchronous injection. It receives the mixture asynchronously so that the oven can be preheated while the mixture is being prepared, and it only gets meringue if the user actually wants it (calls the addToppings() method).

    class Pudding {
    	constructor(oven, promisedMixture, getMeringue, getJam) {
    		this.product = Promise.all([promisedMixture, oven.preheat()]).then(([mixture, oven]) => {
    			return `${mixture}, baked in ${oven}`;
    		});
    		this.getMeringue = getMeringue;
    		this.getJam = getJam;
    		this.eater = null;
    	}
    	addToppings() {
    		const baseProduct = this.product;
    		this.product = Promise.all([this.getMeringue(), this.getJam()])
    		.then(([meringue, jam]) => {
    			return baseProduct.then(product => `${product}, topped with ${meringue}, and ${jam}`);
    		});
    		return this;
    	}
    	async serveTo(person) {
    		if (this.eater) throw new Error(`already eaten by ${this.eater}`);
    		this.eater = person;
    		return (await this.product) + `, eaten by ${person}`;
    	}
    }
    container.register("pudding", constructor(Pudding), bean("oven"), promise("mixture"), promiser("meringue"), bound("jamFactory.getJam"));

    The bean injector was also used above, for clarity; it's exactly the same as just giving the bean name. Also note the use of the bound injector so that getJam executes with this set correctly (to the jamFactory, not to the pudding).

    Seeker injection

    Seeker injection injects a synchronous factory function which can be called to obtain a dependency. Because the injected factory function is synchronous, but bean creation is asynchronous, it is not guaranteed to succeed. In fact, it will only succeed if the bean has already been created when the factory function is called. Even if the bean could be created synchronously, unless it has been created, the factory function will return undefined. That is why it is called seeker injection: it seeks the bean, but it might not find it.

    Using seeker injection is not recommended, in fact highly discouraged, however it is provided for completeness. It can be used with existing components which expect to be provided with a synchronous factory function. Like promiser injection, it can also be used to break dependency cycles; hopefully the dependency has been created by the time you call the factory function (you might need to put in some effort to ensure this).

    Here is a chicken and egg example that explicitly handles the undefined case:

    class Chicken {
    	constructor(maybeGetCreateEgg) {
    		this.origin = maybeGetCreateEgg() ? "an egg" : "nothing";
    	}
    	async lay() {
    		return `egg laid by chicken created from ${this.origin}`;
    	}
    }
    container.register("chicken", constructor(Chicken), seeker("createEgg"));

    All beans are singletons

    All beans in the container are singletons, meaning they are created the first time they are retrieved, but later retrievals return the previously created bean.

    So if you get the pudding a second time, you will get the one you prepared earlier, and be told that it's already eaten.

    container.get("pudding")
    .then(pudding => pudding.addToppings().serveTo("Trillian"))
    .then(console.log, console.error)
    
    container.get("pudding")
    .then(pudding => pudding.serveTo("Zaphod"))
    .then(console.log, console.error);
    Error: already eaten by Trillian
        at ...
    mixture of butter churned from cream separated from pasteurized cream-top milk, sifted castor sugar, egg laid by chicken created from nothing, milk separated from pasteurized cream-top milk, and sifted self-raising flour, baked in preheated moderate oven, topped with meringue made from whipped white of egg laid by chicken created from nothing, and castor sugar, and jam, eaten by Trillian
    

    Notice how due to the asynchronous processing, we actually receive the error that the pudding has been eaten before the pudding is, in fact, eaten. That's because it's flagged as eaten before the cooking and topping with meringue have completed.

    Repeated creation

    If you need to create new instances repeatedly, use a bean which is itself a factory.

    This could be a factory function like this createEgg function. Note how a "meta-factory" is used to create the factory.

    function createCreateEgg(hen) {
    	return async function createEgg() {
    		return hen.lay();
    	}
    }
    container.register("createEgg", factory(createCreateEgg), "hen");

    Alternatively, it could be a class-style factory, like this MeringueFactory.

    class MeringueFactory {
    	constructor(createEgg, sugar) {
    		this.createEgg = createEgg;
    		this.sugar = sugar;
    	}
    	async create() {
    		return `meringue made from whipped white of ${await this.createEgg()}, and ${this.sugar}`;
    	}
    }
    container.register("meringueFactory", constructor(MeringueFactory), "createEgg", "store[sugar]");

    Note how the MeringueFactory itself has a factory injected (createEgg) to assist it to create new instances.

    You can also use factory beans to create other beans:

    container.register("eggForMixture", factory("createEgg"));
    container.register("meringue", factory("meringueFactory.create"));

    Scope creation

    If you need to repeatedly create scopes with managed beans, use a bean which is a factory which produces containers. It can be convenient to provide the parent container as a dependency to such a factory so it can register it and alias beans from the parent container in the child container.

    Suppose the store, chicken, createEgg and meringueFactory beans are "global", registered in the parent container. You could register a factory which creates child containers and registers beans like below. Notice how the store, meringueFactory and jamFactory beans are aliases for beans on the parent container (which is registered as a parent bean); these will be created on demand. Contrastingly, we get the parent's createEgg bean when we instantiate the scope so it is inserted pre-created into the child container.

    container.register("createCookingScope", factory(createCreateCookingScope), value(container));
    
    function createCreateCookingScope(parent) {
    	return async function createCookingScope() {
    		const child = new Container();
    
    		child.register("parent", value(parent));
    		child.register("store", "parent.store");
    		child.register("meringueFactory", bean("parent.meringueFactory"));
    		child.register("jamFactory", bean("parent.jamFactory"));
    		child.register("parentCreateEgg", value(await parent.get("createEgg")));
    		child.register("mixer", constructor(Mixer), "butter", "sugar", "eggForMixture", "milk", "flour");
    		child.register("flour", factory(createFlour), "store");
    		child.register("creamTopMilk", promise((new CreamTopMilk()).pasteurize());
    		child.register("butter", factory(createButter), "creamTopMilk");
    		child.register("milk", factory("creamTopMilk.getMilk"));
    		child.register("mixture", factory(bean("mixer.getMixture")));
    		child.register("sugar", factory(sift), "store[sugar]");
    		child.register("oven", constructor(Oven), value("moderate"));
    		child.register("pudding", constructor(Pudding), bean("oven"), promise("mixture"), promiser("meringue"), bound("jamFactory.getJam"));
    		child.register("chicken", constructor(Chicken), seeker("parentCreateEgg"));
    		child.register("hen", bean("chicken"));
    		child.register("createEgg", factory(createCreateEgg), "hen");
    		child.register("eggForMixture", factory("createEgg"));
    		child.register("meringue", factory("meringueFactory.create"));
    
    		return child;
    	};
    }

    You can create and use the scope like this:

    container.get("createCookingScope")
    .then(create => create())
    .then(scope => scope.get("pudding"))
    .then(pudding => pudding.serveTo("Ben"))
    .then(console.log, console.error);
    mixture of butter churned from cream separated from pasteurized cream-top milk, sifted castor sugar, egg laid by chicken created from an egg, milk separated from pasteurized cream-top milk, and sifted self-raising flour, baked in preheated moderate oven, eaten by Ben
    

    Replacing registrations

    Sometimes you want to replace already-registered beans, for example to inject stubs or mocks for testing. You can use the replacement specifier for this.

    Note that it will only work if the bean has not already been created. Also, collections will 'lose' any children registered with dot or bracket notation (only children registered after the new parent registration will be added to the new parent).

    Here's an example where we replace the meringueFactory with a fake one.

    container.register(replacement("meringueFactory"), value({
    	create() {
    		return "fake meringue";
    	}
    }));
    container.get("pudding")
    .then(pudding => pudding.addToppings().serveTo("Trillian"))
    .then(console.log, console.error)
    mixture of butter churned from cream separated from pasteurized cream-top milk, sifted castor sugar, egg laid by chicken created from nothing, milk separated from pasteurized cream-top milk, and sifted self-raising flour, baked in preheated moderate oven, topped with fake meringue, and jam, eaten by Trillian
    

    You can optionally keep the existing registration with a different name, allowing you to decorate it:

    container.register(replacement("meringueFactory", "realMeringueFactory"), factory((realMeringueFactory) => ({
    	async create() {
    		return `fake meringue instead of ${await realMeringueFactory.create()}`;
    	}
    })), "realMeringueFactory");
    container.get("pudding")
    .then(pudding => pudding.addToppings().serveTo("Trillian"))
    .then(console.log, console.error)
    mixture of butter churned from cream separated from pasteurized cream-top milk, sifted castor sugar, egg laid by chicken created from nothing, milk separated from pasteurized cream-top milk, and sifted self-raising flour, baked in preheated moderate oven, topped with fake meringue instead of meringue made from whipped white of egg laid by chicken created from nothing, and castor sugar, and jam, eaten by Trillian
    

    API

    Container

    new Container()

    • Creates a container

    container.register(specifier, creator, dependency1, ...)

    • Registers a bean
    • The specifier is the name of bean to register (which could be a property on another already-registered bean, using dot notation), or a special specifier (see Specifiers below)
    • The creator (see Creators below) specifies how to create the bean
    • The dependencies are bean names (or properties on other beans, using dot notation) or injectors (see Injectors below)
    • Can also be used to replace an existing registration (prior to the bean being created)

    container.get(name)

    • Gets the bean named name asynchronously (returns a promise to the bean)

    Specifiers

    bean(name)

    • Specifier which specifies a normal bean named name
    • It can be a property on another already-registered bean, using dot notation
    • You can just provide the name as the specifier without using bean() for the same effect

    collection(name, getter, setter)

    • Specifier that specifies a collection bean named name
    • Properties are retrieved by calling the function await getter(prop) with this set to the parent bean
    • Properties are set by calling the function await setter(prop, val) with this set to the parent bean
    • The getters and setters work if they're synchronous or asynchronous
    • If the bean is a Map, Container or plain object, you probably don't need to use this, as the container supports those kinds of beans natively

    replacement(specifier, retainedName)

    • Specifier that specifies a bean to replace an already-registered bean
    • The specifier will usually just be a bean name, but it is possible to replace a collection
    • The retainedName is optional, but if provided, will rename the existing registration to retainedName

    Creators

    value(val)

    • Creator which uses the value val itself as the bean

    promise(pmise)

    • Creator which expects the promise pmise to resolve to the bean

    constructor(Ctor)

    • Creator which creates the bean by calling new Ctor(dependency1, ...)
    • If Ctor is a string, the bean with that name will be used as the constructor; you can use constructor(bean(name)) for clarity if you prefer

    factory(ftory)

    • Creator which creates the bean by calling await ftory(dependency1, ...)
    • This works for both synchronous and asynchronous factory functions
    • If ftory is a string, the bean with that name will be used as the factory; you can use factory(bean(name)) for clarity if you prefer

    bean(name)

    • Creator which uses the bean named name as the bean, i.e. it aliases one bean to another
    • Alternatively, it could be a property on another bean, using dot notation
    • You can just provide the name as the creator without using bean() for the same effect

    Injectors

    value(val)

    • Injector which injects the value val itself

    bean(name)

    • Injector which injects the bean named name
    • Alternatively, it could be a property on another bean, using dot notation
    • You can just provide the name as a dependency without using bean() for the same effect

    bound(property)

    • Injector which injects a method on another bean (specified using dot notation for property), bound to the bean; bound("foo.bar") injects foo.bar.bind(foo)

    promise(name)

    • Injector which injects a promise for the bean named name

    promiser(name)

    • Injector which injects an asynchronous factory function (which returns a promise) for the bean named name

    seeker(name)

    • Injector which injects a synchronous factory function for the bean named name, which will however return undefined if the bean does not exist when the function is called

    Version history

    Major changes:

    • v5: Removed syntax sugar for register() which had lost most of its value.
    • v4: Made bean replacement explicit.
    • v3: Added registration of beans with dot notation, capable of mutating parent beans.
    • v2: Removed misguided initializeWith()/init() feature. Factory functions are equally effective and don't couple beans to the container.
    • v1: Initial version.

    For details on minor/patch changes, consult the commit history.

    Install

    npm i minimalist-async-di

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    5.1.3

    License

    MIT

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