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Package moved to @stroiman/async


0.4.2 • Public • Published

Reason module for Async

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Attention - The NPM package has moved to @stroiman/async. Remember to update both package.json AND bsconfig.json.

This module started its life because I was connecting to the js mongo driver from reason code. The driver is asynchronous, and can be used with either callbacks or promises. But using promises in the heart of my reason code just felt wrong, so slowly work for this library began.

This library has been published as 're-sync' to npm

npm install --save re-sync


yarn add re-sync

v. 0.4 breaking change

In previous versions, functions took labeled arguments, e.g.
|> Async.bind(~f=con => con |> Query.execute(
|> processResult(queryResult => ...)

I disliked the usage of labeled arguments for this kind of programming, and most similar code I have seen also supports an implicit piping syntax, so this now becomes
|> Async.bind(con => Query.execute(query, con)
|> processResult(queryResult => ...)

Or, because the Query.execute supports piping in this hypothetical example:

|> Async.bind(Query.execute(query))
|> processResult(queryResult => ...)

v. 0.3 breaking change

In version 0.1 there were two functions to execute the async workflow, run and runExn. The first would only be able to handle positive outcomes, where the latter would take two callbacks, one for handling the successful outcome, and one for handling the failing outcome.

This has been merged into one function, run that takes an optional exception callback. If no exception callback is specified, exceptions will be ignored.


The heart of the module is the type:

type t('a) = (('a => unit, exn => unit)) => unit;

So, it's a function that takes two callbacks, one that will be executed when things succeed, and one that is executed when an exception is thrown.

So if you have such a function, you can use this library to glue functions together that operate asynchronously.

Useful funcitons.

  • bind Takes a function that returns an async result and use it in an existing async context.
  • map Takes a function that returns a sync result, and use it in an async context.
  • return Takes a value, and returns an async context resolving that value. In a promise context, this would correspond to Promise.resolve
  • tryCatch Takes a function that might handle an exception. Return Some if the exception was handled, and None if it wasn't.
  • timeout Helps handling handling functions that take too long to execute
  • run(~fe=?,f) Takes a callback to be called with the final value, and an optional callback to be called with any exceptions caught during execution.
  • from_js Helps creating an Async.t from an async javascript function. See exmaple later
  • once Takes something that resolves asynchronously, and allow it to be called multiple times, each time yielding the same result. A database connection pool factory is a good candidate.

Be aware that this library does not evaluate any values in advance. Nothing is evaluated until you call the run function.

Look at the example tests for a hint as to their usage.

Only use the exception path for truly exceptional cases.

It is a common pattern to use a result type, like this (defined in Js.Result).

type result('a,'b) =
  | Ok('a)
  | Error('b)

This library does not attempt to replace this pattern, This type can still be used with the async module:

type asyncResult('a,'b) = async(result('a,'b));

This is used a lot in my own code, and exceptions are only used to handle truly exceptional cases, that will result in HTTP 500 errors - e.g. broken database connections, etc. Any error that can be handled in the application layer is represented with the Error() constructor.

Using with async JavaScript modules

A common pattern in JavaScript is to have a function accept a callback that accepts two arguments, an error and a result. The error argument will receive null if the operation succeeded.

Resync supports handling this case easily. This small adaption of the bsyncjs module shows how:

module Bcrypt = {
  type error = Js.Exn.t;
  [@bs.module "bcryptjs"]
  external hash : (string, int, (Js.null(error), string) => unit) => unit = "";
  [@bs.module "bcryptjs"]
  external compare : (string, string, (Js.null(error), Js.boolean) => unit) => unit = "";

  let hash = (password, gen) => hash(password,gen)
    |> Async.from_js;
  let compare = (password, hash) => compare(password, hash)
    |> Async.from_js |>;

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