promqueen

Really simple promises library

npm install promqueen
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promqueen

This is a very simple promises library I wrote after reading https://gist.github.com/3889970. I wanted to implement them out of curiosity, but it turned out to be a little harder than I thought.

Promises are a beautiful solution to nested callbacks & error handling, and unless you're writing high performance code (in which case I would ask why you're using Javascript), I believe the payoff in developer productivity is much greater than the performance overhead imposed by the library. See below for benchmarks.

I haven't set out to replicate CommonJS promises (Promises/A, B, etc.), but IMHO, this library has got the gist of it (i.e. chaining promises & capturing downstream error handlers).

Enjoy!

Benchmarks

On my PC, I read a file into memory & wrote it to another file 200,000 times using both callbacks & promises, and the difference in performance is negligible.

  • callback elapsed: 9,543ms
  • promqueen elapsed: 10,190ms

I think ~500ms for 200,000 promises is a fair tradeoff.

To run the benchmark: coffee bench.coffee

Example

A naive file copy example:

fs = require 'fs'
promqueen = require 'promqueen'

promoteErrCallback = promqueen.promoteErrCallback

readFile = promoteErrCallback(fs.readFile)
writeFile = promoteErrCallback(fs.writeFile)
# Note: promoteErrCallback is used for callbacks with err as the 1st parameter.  Otherwise, you can use promoteCallback if err isn't used (e.g. fs.exists)

readFile(__filename).then (err, data) ->
    data.toString()
.then (result) ->
    writeFile 'temp.txt', result
.fail (err) ->
    throw err

Things I still need to think about

Once a promise fails, it propagates that failure (and its arguments) to all downstream handlers (with fail handlers being executed). Any value returned by a downstream fail handler is ignored.

Should downstream fail handlers be permitted to bring a failed state back to a resolved state, pass different arguments or halt the propogation? I'm not sure what the behaviour should be yet.

And also, should a "finally" type clause be implemented?

Interesting reads

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