0.2.4 • Public • Published


Simple js library allowing for adhoc polymorphism with javascript functions.
Overload functions with the same name using different parameter types, thus making them evaluate differently depending on their input parameters.
Optionally you can make it work as type checker and throw errors on undefined signatures.

How to install

Install library through

npm install parametrize

then include with

var Func = require('parametrize')


import Func from 'parametrize'

in your script file.

parametrize.js and parametrize.min.js also can be included on the client through script tag, should you choose to use it without any bundler.

How to use

Let's imagine that pointer pointing to library entry point name is Func Then to create a function that will be able to change behavior parametrically we do

var sum ='sum');

Variable sum now holds function ready to be invoked but will return undefined any time.

=> undefined

Because we still haven't added rules: lists of parameter types and corresponding functions. To add a parameter types list and a function, we call .parametrize() method with first argument as an array of types and second argument as a function, correspondingly. Like so

sum.parametrize([Number, Number], (a, b) => a + b);

Then we can call sum with two numeric arguments and get their sum

=> 3

Not quite impressive. But how about this. Lets overload sum function a few times with different parameter types

sum.parametrize([Array], (a) => a.reduce(a, v) => a + v, 0);
function Vector (x, y) {
  this.x = x;
  this.y = y;
sum.parametrize([Vector, Vector], (v1, v2) => new Vector(v1.x + v2.x, v1.y + v2.y))

Then run it with corresponsing parameter types

sum(new Vector(0,2), new Vector(2,3))
=> Vector (2,5)
=> 10

So we use the same function name, but invoke it with different parameter types, and get different results at the end. This is what adhoc polymorphism is, and what this library is about.

Fallback mode

Mapping each parameters list variant to a function can be cumbersome and simply redundant. Any function returned from can be assigned a fallback function, which will be invoked when no function is found for a given list of parameter types. To setup fallback function, we do this

sum.parametrize(() => console.log("I don't know what to do"));

Or, you even could define the fallback function at the very start calling

var sum ='sum', () => 'Foo Bar!')

Each time, there's no suited function for given paramters, function above will be called. Like in this instance

sum('Hello, World!', [1,2,3], { x:1, y:2, z:3 });
=> 'Foo Bar!'

Strict mode

To make parametrized function throw errors when parameter types lists don't match with defined overloads on function call, you call Func.strict(true), alternatively to return it back to fallback mode, you call Func.strict(false)

var f ='f');
// => TypeError: Calling 'f' with argument types [] doesn't match any defined signature.

Up until now, we used .parametrize() method on sum variable to map argument types to functions to call. But you always can avoid creation of variable if you don't need it in a given piece of code. And just call

Func.set('sum', [Number, Number], (a, b) => a + b);

the result of function call above will be the same as sum.parametrize(...) were.

Also, as much as 'sum' is a function name in our instance, it's also a key to the inner store of functions within Func object. And you can get hold of any function defined by you earlier in the code, by simply calling Func.get()
Like so

file1.js =>
var sum ='name:space:sum');
file2.js =>
var sum = Func.get('name:space:sum');

A few technicalities

Func object is provided with 3 keys (, Func.get(), Func.set()) that point to the same function in the source code (addFunction). It's done for readability and understandability reasons, and actually all three functions are interchangeable. Again, depending on input arguments this inner function behaves a little different.

addFunction (String funcId)

funcId - unique identificator of function within global Func function store.
Function creates, if it didn't already, and returns parametrized function.

addFunction (String funcId, Function func)

funcId - see above
func - function that will be called when there's no match of input arguments on function call with any of defined overloads.
Function does the same as addFunction (String funcId), plus set default function

addFunction(String funcId, Array parameterTypes, Function func)

funcId - see above
parameterTypes - list of constructors, objects of which types will participate in calculation
func - function to be called when input parameter types on function call match with constructor names from parameterTypes.
Function does the same as addFunction (String funcId), plus overloads function in accordance with parameter types list

Parametrized function also has method .overload() that is an alias of .parametrize() method.

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  • ismoroz