Learn about our RFC process, Open RFC meetings & more.Join in the discussion! »


0.7.0 • Public • Published

Threaded class

CircleCI codecov

Fork instances of classes (while keeping typings) with one line of code.

Getting started

npm install threadedclass

Let's say you have a class that has several computational-heavy methods:

// Normal, single-threaded way:
import { Professor } from './professor'
function getStory() {
  let mrSmith = new Professor('maths', 'greek')
  let story = mrSmith.talkAboutAncientGreece() // takes a loong time
  return story

Threaded-class helps you create an asynchronous version of the instance of that class. The instance will have almost the same typings-API as the original (all methods return promises instead), but will run in a separate thread.

// Multi-threaded, asynchronous way:
import { threadedClass} from 'threadedclass'
import { Professor } from './professor'
async function getStory() {
  let mrSmith = await threadedClass<Professor>('./professor.js', Professor, ['maths', 'greek'])
  let story = await mrSmith.talkAboutAncientGreece() // still takes a loong time, but now runs in a separate thread
  return story

The instance returned by threadedClass() has methods equivalent to the original, but all properties and methods will be asynchronous (return Promises).


API reference

NodeJS: Typescript example

import { threadedClass} from  'threadedclass'
import { Professor } from './professor'
   './professor.js',     // Path to imported module (this should be the same path as is in require('XX') or import {class} from 'XX'} )
   Professor ,        // The class to be forked
   ['maths', 'greek'], // Array of arguments to be fed into the class constructor
   {} // Config (see below)
.then((instance) => {
   return mrSmith.talkAboutAncientGreece() // All methods returns a Promise
.then((story) => {

NodeJS: Javascript example

var threadedClass = require('threadedclass').threadedClass
var Professor = require('./professor')
threadedClass('./professor.js', Professor, ['maths', 'greek'])
.then((instance) => {
   return mrSmith.talkAboutAncientGreece() // All methods returns a Promise
.then((story) => {

Browser: Javascript example


<script type="text/javascript" src="lib/threadedClass.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="professor.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript">
   var threadedClass = ThreadedClass.threadedClass
   threadedClass('../professor.js', Professor, ['maths', 'greek'], { // path to module is relative to threadedClass.js
      pathToWorker: 'lib/threadedclass-worker.js' // in browser, a path to the worker-scrip must also be provided
   .then((instance) => {
   return mrSmith.talkAboutAncientGreece() // All methods returns a Promise
   .then((story) => {


An optional options object can be passed to threadedClass() with the following properties:

Option Type Description
threadUsage number A number between 0 - 1, how large part of a thread the instance takes up. For example; if set to 0.1, a thread will be re-used for up to 10 instances.
threadId string Set to an arbitrary id to put the instance in a specific thread. Instances with the same threadIds will be put in the same thread.
autoRestart boolean If the process crashes or freezes it's automatically restarted. (ThreadedClassManager will emit the "restarted" event upon restart)
disableMultithreading boolean Set to true to disable multi-threading, this might be useful when you want to disable multi-threading but keep the interface unchanged.
pathToWorker string Set path to worker, used in browser
freezeLimit number (milliseconds), how long to wait before considering the child to be unresponsive. (default is 1000 ms)


Supported imports

  • Classes imported from your own modules. import { MyClass } from './myModule'
  • Classes imported from external dependencies. import { DatClass } from 'dat-library'
  • Classes importted from native Node modules. import { StringDecoder } from 'string_decoder'

Supported methods, arguments / parameters & return values

When calling a method of your threaded instance (threaded.myMethod()), there are some limitations to what data-types are allowed to be provided and returned.

Supported data types

  • All JSON-serializable types; numbers, strings, arrays, objects etc..
  • Buffers
  • Functions (such as callbacks or returned functions)

Unsupported data types

  • Non-JSON-encodable types, such as objects with cyclic references (except when in worker_threads, then it's fine).
  • Instances of classes (the instance will be serialized as JSON and piped through, but its methods will not).

Known limitations

  • The to-be-threaded class must not be referencing any global variables, as the class is run in its own sandbox.
  • No garbage-collection of callback-functions Currently, if you give a callback to a method (like so: threaded.myMethod(() => {})) a reference to the method will be stored indefinitely, because we cannot determine if the reference is valid in the child process.
  • There is a noticable delay when spawning a new thread, and since each thread is its own Node-process it uses up a few Megabytes of memory. If you intend to spawn many instances of a class, consider using the threadUsage option (for example threadUsage: 0.1 will put 10 instances in a thread before spawning a new).

Under the hood

Used API:s

Different API:s will be used for threading, depending on the platform:

Platform API used
Browser Web-workers
NodeJS <10.x Child process
NodeJS 10.x - 11.7 Worker-threads (if node --experimental-worker flag is enabled)
NodeJS >11.8 Worker-threads

Notes on performance

Doing method-calls to threads is slower than when running in a single thread. The greatest benefit comes when there is heavy computations to be made.

This table shows measured round-trip times of just calling a method:

Platform API used Avg. time per call
NodeJS 8.9.x Single-thread mode 0.000200 ms per call
NodeJS 8.9.x Child process 0.117000 ms per call
NodeJS 10.15.x Single-thread mode 0.000080 ms per call
NodeJS 10.15.x Child process 0.090000 ms per call
NodeJS 10.15.x Worker-threads 0.045000 ms per call
NodeJS 11.14.x Single-thread mode 0.000085 ms per call
NodeJS 11.14.x Worker-threads 0.047000 ms per call
Browser (Chrome) Single-thread mode 0.001500 ms per call
Browser (Chrome) Web-workers 0.140000 ms per call


npm i threadedclass

DownloadsWeekly Downloads






Unpacked Size

1.56 MB

Total Files


Last publish


  • avatar
  • avatar