delay the evaluation of a paramless async function and cache the result

npm install thunky
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Delay the evaluation of a paramless async function and cache the result (see thunk).

npm install thunky


Let's make a simple function that returns a random number 1 second after it is called for the first time

var thunky = require('thunky');

var test = thunky(function(callback) { // the inner function should only accept a callback
    console.log('waiting 1s and returning random number');
    setTimeout(function() {
    }, 1000);

test(function(num) {  // inner function is called the first time we call test
    console.log(num); // prints random number

test(function(num) {  // subsequent calls waits for the first call to finish and return the same value
    console.log(num); // prints the same random number as above

Lazy evaluation

Thunky makes it easy to implement a lazy evaluation pattern.

var getDb = thunky(function(callback) {, callback);

var queryDb = function(query, callback) {
    getDb(function(err, db) {
        if (err) return callback(err);
        db.query(query, callback);

queryDb('some query', function(err, result) { ... } );

queryDb('some other query', function(err, result) { ... } );

The first time getDb is called it will try do open a connection to the database. Any subsequent calls will just wait for the first call to complete and then call your callback.

A nice property of this pattern is that it easily allows us to pass any error caused by getDb to the queryDb callback.

Error → No caching

If the thunk callback is called with an Error object as the first argument it will not cache the result

var fails = thunky(function(callback) {
    console.log('returning an error');
    callback(new Error('bad stuff'));

fails(function(err) { // inner function is called

fails(function(err) { // inner function is called again as it returned an error before



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