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3.0.0 • Public • Published

Prompt Anything

Maintainability Test Coverage Github license

A modular and customizable framework to build prompts of any kind (such as ones within the console)! Originally inspired by the need to create console-like prompts in other applications such as chatting with bots.

npm install prompt-anything

Table of Contents


  1. The following interfaces should be implemented:
interface VisualInterface = {
  text: string;
interface MessageInterface {
  content: string;
interface ChannelInterface<MessageType extends MessageInterface> {
  send: (visual: VisualInterface) => Promise<MessageType|MessageType[]>;
  1. The Prompt class must be extended to implement the abstract methods:
    • createCollector - Returns an event emitter that should also emit message whenever your collector gets a message
    • onReject - Handles Rejection errors (see the rejecting input section)
  2. Your collector should stop when the emitter emits stop.
  3. You may optionally emit the exit event for the user to prematurely exit
class MyPrompt<DataType, MessageType> extends Prompt<DataType, MessageType> {
  createCollector(channel: ChannelInterface<MessageType>, data: DataType): PromptCollector<DataType, MessageType> {
    const emitter: PromptCollector<DataType, MessageType> = new EventEmitter()
    // Collect your messages via your listeners, and return an emitter that follows these rules
    myCollector.on('myMessage', (message: MessageType) => {
      // Emit the messages from your collector here
      emitter.emit('message', message)
      // Optionally allow exits
      if (message === 'exit') {
    emitter.once('stop', () => {
      // Stop your collector here
    return emitter
  // Implement abstract methods. These events are automatically called
  abstract async onReject(error: Errors.Rejection, message: MessageType, channel: ChannelInterface<MessageType>): Promise<void>;


See the examples/console.ts for a functioning implementation that accepts input from the console.

Creating a Prompt

A prompt is composed of two parts:

  1. VisualInterface|VisualGenerator - A object or function that determines how the prompt looks like to the user
  2. PromptFunction - An (ideally pure) function that runs on every input from your collector
// Data type that is passed to each prompt
type MyData = {
  human?: boolean;
  name?: string;
  age?: number;
const askNameVisual: VisualInterface = {
  text: 'What is your name?'
// askNameFn is run on every message collected during this prompt. This should be a pure function. (see below for details)
const askNameFn: PromptFunction<MyData, MessageType> = async (m: MessageType, data: MyData) => {
  // This data is returned to the next prompt
  return {,
    name: m.content
// Third argument is the optional PromptCondition
const askNamePrompt = new MyPrompt<MyData, MessageType>(askNameVisual, askNameFn)

The PromptFunction should be pure function to

  1. Minimize side effects that can affect every other function that depends on the data.
  2. Simplify unit-testing

As a result, the function should always be referencing the original data variable passed from the previous prompt, regardless of how many times the function is run.

Conditional Visuals

If you want a prompt's visual to be dependent on the given data, you can pass a function as the argument of a Prompt instead of an object.

const askNameVisual = async (data: MyData): Promise<VisualInterface> => ({
  text: `Hello ${data.human ? 'non-human' : 'human'}! What is your name?`
const askNamePrompt = new MyPrompt<MyData, MessageType>(askNameVisual, askNameFn)

Rejecting Input

To reject input, you can check the the content of the message in PromptFunction, and throw a Errors.Rejection. Upon throwing it:

  1. The rejection's message will be sent via your channel implementation's send method
  2. The prompt will again wait for input
  3. Run the prompt function again
const askAgeFn: PromptFunction<MyData, MessageType> = async (m: MessageType, data: MyData) => {
  const age = Number(m.content)
  if (isNaN(age)) {
    throw new Errors.Rejection(`That's not a valid number! Try again.`)
  return {,

Skipping Message Collection

To skip message collecting and only send a prompt's visual (usually done at the end of prompts), simply leave the second argument of Prompt as undefined.

const askNameVisual = {
  text: 'The end is nigh'
const askNamePrompt = new MyPrompt<MyData, MessageType>(askNameVisual)

Time Limits/Timeouts

To automatically end message collection after a set duration, pass your duration in milliseconds as the 3rd argument to Prompt.

const duration = 90000
const askNamePrompt = new MyPrompt<MyData, MessageType>(askNameVisual, askNameFn, duration)

This causes a Errors.UserInactivityError to be thrown when the timeout is reached. The default value is 90000.

Connecting Prompts

To connect prompts, you must put them into nodes and connect nodes together by setting their children. This allows prompts to be reused by attaching children to nodes instead of prompts.

const askNameNode = new PromptNode<MyData, MessageType>(askNamePrompt)
const askAgeNode = new PromptNode<MyData, MessageType>(askAgePrompt)
const askLocationNode = new PromptNode<MyData, MessageType>(askLocationPrompt)

Conditional Nodes

If you only want a node to run if it matches a condition (given the data from the previous prompt node), you can specify a condition function PromptNodeCondition as the second argument of a PromptNode.

// After we ask for the location, we'd like to send a prompt in a different language based on their input
const englishAskNodeCondition: PromptNodeCondition<MyData> = async (data) => !!data.location && data.location === 'loc1'
const englishAskNode = new PromptNode<MyData, MessageType>(englishAskPrompt, englishAskNodeCondition)
const spanishAskNodeCondition: PromptNodeCondition<MyData> = async (data) => !!data.location && data.location === 'loc2'
const spanishAskNode = new PromptNode<MyData, MessageType>(spanishAskPrompt, spanishAskNodeCondition)
// addChild can be daisy-chained
// setChildren also works
askLocationNode.setChildren([englishAskNode, spanishAskNode])

The order of the children matters. The first child that matches its condition based on the given data will run. In this example, if englishAskPrompt's condition function returns true, then spanishAskNode will never run.

Running Prompts

After your prompt nodes are created, create a PromptRunner that is initialized with the data you'll be passing to the first prompt, then call its run method with the first prompt node.

// The initial data that is given to the first prompt is passed to the PromptRunner's constructor
const runner = new PromptRunner<MyData, MessageType>({})
// run resolves with the data returned from the last prompt
const channel: ChannelInterface = myImplementedChannel()
const lastPromptData: MyData = await, channel)
// askName -> askAge -> askLocation -> (englishAsk OR spanishAsk)
// lastPromptData is the data returned from either englishAsk or spanishAsk

You can also run an array of prompt nodes. The first node that either has no condition, or has a matching condition will be passd to the run method.

const runner = new PromptRunner<MyData>({})
// runArray resolves with the data returned from the last prompt
const channel: ChannelInterface<MessageType> = myImplementedChannel()
const lastPromptData: MyData = await runner.runArray([
], channel)
// (askSurname OR askName) -> askAge -> askLocation -> (englishAsk OR spanishAsk)

Error Handling

Any error that throws within prompts will cause the PromptRunner's run to reject. In addition to regular errors, it may throw

  1. Errors.UserVoluntaryExitError if you emit exit in createCollector
  2. Errors.UserInactivityError if timeout occurs (90000 ms by default)

Both are instances of Errors.UserError.

try {
  const lastPromptData: MyData = await, channel)
} catch (err) {
  if (err instanceof Errors.UserVoluntaryExitError) {
    // show an exit message
  } else if (err instanceof Errors.UserInactivityError) {
    // show an expired message
  } else {
    // All other errors


Unit testing is straightforward since the tree of responses is built up from individual prompts that can be exported for testing. The prompts can be further decomposed into their visual, functional and conditional parts for even more granular tests.

Integration testing can be asserted on the execution order of the phases. Unfortunately, a "flush promises" method must be used since we cannot normally await the promises while we are waiting for messages from EventEmitter, otherwise the promise would never resolve until the series of prompts has ended.

async function flushPromises(): Promise<void> {
  return new Promise(setImmediate);
type MockMessage = {
  content: string;
const createMockMessage = (content = ''): MockMessage => ({
it('runs correctly for age <= 20', () => {
  type AgeData = {
    name?: string;
    age?: number;
  // Set up spies and the global emitter we'll use
  const emitter: PromptCollector<AgeData, MessageType> = new EventEmitter()
  const spy = jest.spyOn(MyPrompt.prototype, 'createCollector')
  // Ask name Prompt that collects messages
  const askNameFn: PromptFunction<AgeData, MessageType> = async function (m, data) {
    return {,
      name: m.content
  const askName = new MyPrompt<AgeData>(() => ({
    text: `What's your name?`
  }), askNameFn)
  // Ask age Prompt that collects messages
  const askAgeFn: PromptFunction<AgeData, MessageType> = async function (m, data) {
    if (isNaN(Number(m.content))) {
      throw new Errors.Rejection()
    return {,
      age: Number(m.content)
  const askAge = new MyPrompt<AgeData>((data) => ({
    text: `How old are you, ${}?`
  }), askAgeFn)
  // Conditional Prompt with no collector (MyPrompt)
  const tooOld = new MyPrompt<AgeData>((data) => ({
    text: `Wow ${}, you are pretty old at ${data.age} years old!`
  }), undefined, async (data) => !!data.age && data.age > 20)
  // Conditional Prompt with no collector (MyPrompt)
  const tooYoung = new MyPrompt<AgeData>((data) => ({
    text: `Wow ${}, you are pretty young at ${data.age} years old!`
  }), undefined, async (data) => !!data.age && data.age <= 20)
  const askNameNode = new PromptNode(askName)
  const askAgeNode = new PromptNode(askAge)
  const tooYoungNode = new PromptNode(tooYoung)
  const tooOldNode = new PromptNode(tooOld)
  // Nodes with more than 1 sibling must have conditions defined
  askAgeNode.setChildren([tooOldNode, tooYoungNode])
  const message = createMockMessage()
  const name = 'George'
  const age = '30'
  const runner = new PromptRunner<AgeData>()
  const promise =, message)
  // Wait for all pending promise callbacks to be executed for the emitter to set up
  await flushPromises()
  // Accept the name
  emitter.emit('message', createMockMessage(name))
  await flushPromises()
  // Assert askName ran first
  // Accept the age
  emitter.emit('message', createMockMessage(age))
  await flushPromises()
  // Assert askAge ran second
  await promise
  // Assert tooOld ran third, and tooYoung never ran
  expect(runner.indexesOf([tooOld, tooYoung]))
    .toEqual([2, -1])
  // Clean up




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