Simple exponential backoff pulled out of Primus by @3rd-Eden

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2601.0.27 years ago11 years agoMinified + gzip package size for back in KB


A simple module to be used for creating exponentially weighted backoff attempts. Originally extracted from PrimusPrimus.
NOTICE If you were a pre-1.0.0 back user, the API has changed to what is found below. If you do not like this slightly different abstraction and would prefer the former, slightly simpler API, it is still available with require('back/reconnect').
The API change thanks to a contribution from @Raynos makes things simpler as you don't have to manage the copying of the options object yourself in order to handle repeated backoff cases.


var http = require('http');
var back = require('back');
// Options to use for backoff
// Remark: This object is modified so it should be cloned if you are dealing
// with independent backoff attempts and want to use these values as a base.
var options = {
  retries: 3,
  minDelay: 1000, // Defaults to 500ms
  maxDelay: 10000, // Defaults to infinity
  // The following option is shown with its default value but you will most
  // likely never define it as it creates the exponential curve.
  factor: 2,

// Where we will store the backoff instance during a particular backoff attempt
var attempt;

function retry(err) {
  var back = attempt || (attempt = new Back(options));
  return back.backoff(function (fail) {
    if (fail) {
      // Oh noez we never reconnect :(
      console.error('Retry failed with ' + err.message);
    // Remark: .attempt and .timeout are added to this object internally
    console.log('Retry attempt # ' + back.settings.attempt +
                ' being made after ' + back.settings.timeout + 'ms');

function request() {
  http.get('http://localhost:9000', function (res) {
    console.log('Successful Response that will not happen!');
    // If we succeeded, we would set the current to null so the next error
    // generates a new instance.
    attempt = null;
  }).on('error', retry);



var back = new Back(backoffOpts);

The Back constructor function takes your backoff options and saves them as settings in the internal state of the back object.


The back instance has a backoff method that takes a callback that is executed after a setTimeout. The timeout is what is based on an exponential backoff of course! It will repeatedly all this callback based on the backoff options you passed to the back instance until it exhausts its efforts. When it has exhausted its attempts, it will return an error as the first argument to the callback.


Clear backoff timer in cases where you want to dispose of the instance before the callback is executed.