util-asyncflow

A tiny utility to run the async functions in series

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util-asyncflow
A thin and tiny utility to control async flows. This is similiar to async's series, seq, compose, waterfall... in control flow section. Just 240 lines.
See also util-retry - an async function retry flow utility

Why this?

  • This code is simpler, and has NO dependency.

  • Few methods to learn for async flows control.

  • Flexible to manage arguments and results during async flow.

  • Easy to connect multiple async flows and less callback hell, see example 5

  • Make codes clean and readable using async function and callback.
installation
npm install util-asyncflow
API

new AsyncFlow(option, thisArg)

option:

  • prepend: {Boolean}, default to false. Prepend previous async function result to the arguments of next async function like example 1

  • output: 'last|collection|rest', default to last. This option control how all results returned in the final callback.

-last: callback last function result
-collection: Receive all task results in a collection style, so it is easy to handle collection via forEach, map... See example 4
-rest: Receive all task results too, but in a rest style. see example 2
  • halt: {Boolean}, default to false. If halt is true, the whole async flow won't run till .go() is called.

thisArg:

if thisArg exits, all task functions in the flow will be bound to this thisArg.
example: send context as second option
prototype.method = function(arg, cb) {

  var fl = new AsyncFlow(this);
  
  fl.task(this.method2, arg);
  
  fl.wait(this.method3)
  
  fl.run(cb)
}
All method2, method3, in the above method will be bound to this automatically.

.task(fn, arg1,arg2...)

Add an async function as a task following necessary arguments. ( shortname: .t() )

.wait(fn, art1, art2...)

Add an async function as a task too, but it will wait for previous task's result as part of arguments. This behavior is similar to seq, compose, waterfall in async. ( shortname: .w() )

.send(arg1,arg2...)

send arguments to next Async flow or task.
var fl = new Async();

fl.task(fn1);

fl.task(fn2);

fl.send(arg);

fl.run(fl2.go)

var fl2 = new Async({halt: true});

fl2.wait(fn3) // fn3 will recieve `arg`

Both of the followings are the same
fl.task(fn, arg1, arg2, arg3);

fl.send(arg1, arg2, arg3).wait(fn)

.ctx(thisArg)

update thisArg during this async calls flow. Call flow.ctx(), will set thisArg to null.
So, we can initiate flow with this context
var flow = new Asyncflow(this);

flow.task(this.method, arg1, arg2...)

switch to this.db if necessary
flow.ctx(this.db).wait(this.db.method)

flow.run(cb)

Shortname is .c()

.run(callback)

Start this async functions flow with an optional final callback. This callback will recieve results based on output option.

.go()

Trigger new AsyncFlow({halt: true}) to go.
.go expects an Error as its first argument. When it is called, the halted async flow will start to run, so we can start another async flow without callback hell.

See example 5

property: results {Array}

All original results are stored in async.results in order.

property: length

How many tasks remaining in the current flow. Same to flow.results.length.
fl.task(fn);

fl.task(next=> {

  var res = fl.in(fl.length - 1); // retrieve previous task result
})

.in(index)

A shorthand to retrieve results[index][0], so we can write something like following:
var flow = new AsyncFlow();

flow.task(UserModel.findById, 1);  // #1 task

flow.wait(TaskModel); // #2 task

flow.task(next=> {
  let user = flow.in(0); // get user found in #1 task
  
  service.sendNotification(user, 'Task Created', next);
})
...

instead of
flow.task(next=> {
  let user = flow.results[0][0]; // get user found in #1 task
  ...
}

If this async flow was triggered by .go(), .in(0) will return the argument sent by previous async flow.
fl.in(-1)

fl.in(fl.length - 1)
Both of the above are same.
Example 1
prepend previous function result to next function arguments
'use strict'

/**
 * Modules
 */
const Async = require('util-asyncflow');
const fs = require('fs');
const join = require('path').join;
const dirname = require('path').dirname;
const mkdirp = require('mkdirp');
const inspect = require('util').inspect;
const color = require('colors');

/**
 * instances
 */
var async = new Async({prepend: true});
var dest = join(__dirname, 'xb', 'dc', 'hello.txt');
var src = join(__dirname, 'hello.txt');

// make destination directory
async.task(mkdirp, dirname(dest));

// create source file
async.task(function(next) {

  fs.createWriteStream(src)
    .on('close', _=> {
      console.log(`\n  ${src}`.green + ' was created.'.cyan );
      next(null, src)
    })
    .on('error', next)
    .end('hello world');

});

// move source file to destination
async.wait(fs.rename, dest); // prepend previous result as first argument

// exec
async.run( err=> {

  if (err) return console.error(inspect(err));
  console.log('  hello.txt'.green + ' was moved to '.cyan + dest.green + '\n');
});
Example 2
return all results
// similar to add2() in https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/JavaScript/Reference/Statements/async_function

const Async = require('util-asyncflow');

function resAfter2Sec(x, cb) {
  setTimeout(_=> cb(null, x), 2000);
}

function add2(x, cb) {

  Async({output: 'rest'}).task(resAfter2Sec, 20).task(resAfter2Sec, 30)
    .run( (err, a, b)=> cb(null, x + a + b) );
}

console.time('add2');
add2(10, (err, res)=> {
  console.log(res);
  console.timeEnd('add2');
});
Example 3
Handle collection and dynamically add new async function
'use strict';

/**
 * modules
 */
const Async = require('util-asyncflow');
const join = require('path').join;
const fs = require('fs');
const inspect = require('util').inspect;
const colors = require('colors');

/**
 * instances
 */

var dirs = ['dir1', 'dir2', 'dir3'];
var async = new Async({output: 'collection'});

// forEach dirs
dirs.map(dir=> join(__dirname, dir))
  .forEach(dir=> {
    async.task(fs.readdir, dir)
  });

// write `hello` into new files
async.run(function(err, results) {

  // manually concat the results
  var files = results.reduce((pre, cur)=> pre.concat(cur), []);

  // another forEach usage case
  files.forEach(file=> {
    async.task(fs.writeFile, join(__dirname, file), 'hello')
  });

  async.run();
});
Example 4
Use simple forEach to map value in collection through an async function in series.
'use strict';

/**
 * Modules
 */
const Async = require('util-asyncflow');
const join = require('path').join;
const fs = require('fs');
const inspect = require('util').inspect;
const colors = require('colors');

/**
 * instances
 */

var nums = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5];
var async = new Async({output: 'collection'});

function square(x, done) {
  done(null, Math.pow(x, 2));
}

nums.forEach(num=> async.task(square, num));

async.run((err, results)=> {
  console.log(results);
});
Example 5
From time to time, we have to stop and catch something to decide if go further or not. In that case, to avoid callback hell, we can connect multiple async flows to avoid callback hell using option halt and .go().
Call .go() directly
///// flow 1
var fl1 = new Async();
fl1.task(mul3async, 2);
fl1.wait(mul3async);
fl1.run((err, res)=> {

  if (err) return console.error(err);

  console.log(res);
  console.log('==== end of fl1');


  if (res > 18) return;
  fl2.go(null, res);
});


///// flow 2
var fl2 = new Async({halt: true});
fl2.wait(mul3async);
fl2.wait(mul3async);
fl2.run((err, res)=> {
  if (err) return console.error(err);

  console.log();
  console.log(res);
  console.log('===== end of fl2');

});



/////////////////////
function pow2inputAfterLong(x, next) {
  setTimeout(_=> {
    next(null, Math.pow(x, 2));
  }, 2000)
}

function mul3async(x, next) {
  setTimeout(_=> {
    next(null, x * 3);
  }, 1000)
}

Put .go as a callback
///// flow 1
var fl1 = new Async();
fl1.task(mul3async, 2);
fl1.wait(mul3async);
fl1.run((err, res)=> {

  if (err) return console.error(err);

  console.log(res);
  console.log('==== end of fl1');


  mul3async(2, fl2.go)
});


///// flow 2
var fl2 = new Async({halt: true});
fl2.wait(mul3async);
fl2.wait(mul3async);
fl2.run((err, res)=> {
  if (err) return console.error(err);

  console.log();
  console.log(res);
  console.log('===== end of fl2');

});



/////////////////////
function pow2inputAfterLong(x, next) {
  setTimeout(_=> {
    next(null, Math.pow(x, 2));
  }, 2000)
}

function mul3async(x, next) {
  setTimeout(_=> {
    next(null, x * 3);
  }, 1000)
}