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variant-generator

1.0.1 • Public • Published

Variant Generator

Small utility that generates multiple variation for each combination of input parameters

Installation

Github Package Registry

Add to .npmrc in your project:

@flut1:registry=https://npm.pkg.github.com

Then call npm install --save @flut1/variant-generator (unfortunately at the time of writing using yarn still results in an error)

(fallback) NPM Registry

npm install --save variant-generator
yarn add variant-generator

Explanation

This utility considers a different approach to generating all possibilities of a given input value.

Consider the following example:

const sentences = [];
for (const emotion of ['happy', 'moody', 'scared']) {
  for (const animal of ['cat', 'dog']) {
    for (const location of ['bar', 'house']) {
      sentences.push(`${emotion} ${animal} walked into a ${location}`);
    }
  }
}
console.log(sentences.join(''));
// a happy cat walked into a bar, a happy cat walked into a house, a happy dog walked into a bar, a happy dog walked into a house, a moody cat walked into a bar, a moody cat walked into a house, a moody dog walked into a bar, a moody dog walked into a house, a scared cat walked into a bar, a scared cat walked into a house, a scared dog walked into a bar, a scared dog walked into a house

variant-generator allows you to generate these kinds of combinations, but instead of wrapping a loop outside of the value, the inputs are yielded inline. This is done using es6 generators. The following example logs the same sentences:

const createVariants = require('variant-generator');
 
const sentenceGenerator = createVariants(function* () {
  return `${
    yield ['happy', 'moody', 'scared']
  } ${
    yield ['cat', 'dog']
  } walked into a ${
    yield ['bar', 'house']
  }`;
});
console.log(sentenceGenerator.next().value);
// a happy cat walked into a bar
console.log(sentenceGenerator.next().value);
// a happy cat walked into a house
console.log(sentenceGenerator.next().value);
// a happy dog walked into a bar
 
// etc...

Motivation

Admittedly using this utility may make your code more difficult to understand. This is especially the case with a trivial example like in the explanation above. The main reason I published this utility anyway is I just thought it was an interesting thought exercise. However, there are a couple of hypothetical situations where this utility may be useful:

Composability

When having multiple variant generator functions, such as the ones below:

function* generatePeople() {
  return {
    firstName: yield ['Jack', 'Dwayne'],
    lastName: yield ['Johnson', 'Black'],
  };
}
 
function* generateJob() {
  return {
    role: yield ['plumber', 'teacher', 'programmer'],
    location: yield ['Sydney', 'London'],
  };
}

You can generate all combinations between them using the yield* operator:

const combinedGenerator = createVariants(function*() {
  return {
    ...(yield* generatePeople()),
    ...(yield* generateJob()),
  };
});
console.log(JSON.stringify(Array.from(combinedGenerator), null, ' '));
// [
//  {
//   "firstName": "Jack",
//   "lastName": "Johnson",
//   "role": "plumber",
//   "location": "Sydney"
//  },
//  {
//   "firstName": "Jack",
//   "lastName": "Johnson",
//   "role": "plumber",
//   "location": "London"
//  },
// ...
//  {
//   "firstName": "Dwayne",
//   "lastName": "Black",
//   "role": "programmer",
//   "location": "London"
//  }
// ]

Large configuration

For large objects, it can be useful to write the possible input values inline rather than using a loop. Consider the following example:

// webpack.config.js
function getWebpackConfigs() {
  return ['last 2 chrome versions', '> .5% and not last 2 versions'].map(browsersList => ({
    entry: getWebpackEntryConfig(),
    output: getWebpackOutputConfig(),
    module: getWebpackModuleConfig(browsersList),
    // ...
  }));
}
 
 
// webpack.config.module.js
function getWebpackModuleConfig(browsersList) {
  return {
    module: {
      rules: [
        {
          test: /\.css$/,
          oneOf: [
            {
              resourceQuery: /inline/, // foo.css?inline
              use: 'url-loader'
            },
            {
              resourceQuery: /external/, // foo.css?external
              use: 'file-loader'
            }
          ]
        },
        {
          test: /\.js$/,
          use:  {
            loader: 'babel-loader',
            options: getBabelLoaderOptions(browsersList),
          }
        },
        // ...
      ]
    }
  }
}
 
function getBabelLoaderOptions(browsersList) {
  return {
    presets: ['@babel/preset-env', { targets: browsersList }],
    plugins: ['@babel/plugin-proposal-object-rest-spread']
  }
}

Note how:

  • We have to pass a variable down to all levels of helper functions. This may become messy with many variables.
  • In getBabelLoaderOptions(), we can't directly see the possible values of browsersList. We have to navigate to a different file to find the actual values.

In contrast, the following may be somewhat easier to navigate:

// webpack.config.js
function getWebpackConfigs() {
  return Array.from(createVariants(function* () {
    return {
      entry: yield* getWebpackEntryConfig(),
      output: yield* getWebpackOutputConfig(),
      module: yield* getWebpackModuleConfig(),
    };
  }));
}
 
// webpack.config.module.js
// ...
function* getBabelLoaderOptions() {
  return {
    presets: [
      '@babel/preset-env',
      { targets: yield ['last 2 chrome versions', '> .5% and not last 2 versions'] },
    ],
    plugins: ['@babel/plugin-proposal-object-rest-spread'],
  };
}

note: this above is just a hypothetical example. I do not necessarily advocate to organize your webpack configuration in this way.

Typescript usage

This module is written in TypeScript 3.6. TypeScript will infer some of the return types from the passed generator function:

const variants = Array.from(
  createVariants(function*() {
    return {
      foo: yield [1, 2],
      bar: yield [true, false],
    };
  })
);
 
// typeof variants:
// Array<{ foo: any, bar: any }>

Unfortunately, I cannot infer the typings from yield statements. So those parts of the returned value become type any. If you rather have strict typings, you have to explicitly annotate them:

const variants = Array.from(
  createVariants<{ foo: number, bar: boolean }>(function*() {
    return {
      foo: yield [1, 2],
      bar: yield [true, false],
    };
  })
);

iterateCombinations utility

Sometimes you may want to execute a piece of work for each combination, but you are not interested in any return value. You can force the returned iterable to go through each variation by passing it to Array.from(), but this may look somewhat counter-intuitive. For this use case this module provides an iterateCombinations() utility:

const { iterateCombinations } = require('variant-generator');
 
iterateCombinations(function*() {
  const result = doSomeHeavyCalculation({
    input: {
      x: yield [0.2, 1.2],
      y: yield [Math.PI, 42],
    },
  });
 
  storeResultInFile(result);
});

Don't give this util too much credit. The definition is literally: g => { Array.from(createVariants(g)); }

Install

npm i variant-generator

DownloadsWeekly Downloads

2

Version

1.0.1

License

none

Unpacked Size

12.7 kB

Total Files

5

Last publish

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