*Async Generators()

 

 

 

ES2018

But first, generators

function *sequence(start=0) {
  while(true) {
    start++
    yield start;
  }
}

const s = sequence(20);
for(x of s) {
  console.log(x);
  if (x > 50) break;
}


//20
//21
//22
//23
//24
//...
//51

Use cases

  • Simplifying code for recursive algorithms (much cleaner)
  • Streaming huge chunks of data, efficiently
  • Easily construct infinite sequences

Recursive code

const fs = require('fs');
const path = require('path');

function *walk(root = '.', folders) {
  try {
    for (const file of fs.readdirSync(root)) {
      yield *walk(path.join(root, file), folders);
    }
    if (folders) yield root;
  } catch (error) {
    if (error.code != 'ENOTDIR') throw error;
    yield root;
  }
}

module.exports = walk;

Infinite Sequences

function *sequence(start=0) {
  while(true) {
    start++
    yield start;
  }
}

const s = sequence(20);
for(x of s) {
  console.log(x);
  if (x > 50) break;
}


//20
//21
//22
//23
//24
//...
//51

Streaming Data

async function* splitLines(chunksAsync) {
    let previous = '';
    for await (const chunk of chunksAsync) {
        previous += chunk;
        let eolIndex;
        while ((eolIndex = previous.indexOf('\n')) >= 0) {
            const line = previous.slice(0, eolIndex);
            yield line;
            previous = previous.slice(eolIndex+1);
        }
    }
    if (previous.length > 0) {
        yield previous;
    }
}

Async with Promises

const p = new Promise((resolve, reject) => {
  fetch('cnn.com').then(resolve)
});

p.then((contentOfCNN) => {
  return ignoreContent(contentOfCNN);
})
.then((resultOfIgnoring) => {
  return doSomethingElse(resultOfIgnoring);
})
.then((resultOfSomethingElse) => {
  return doAnotherThingButNotTheSame(resultOfSomethingElse);
})
.then((resultOfAnotherThing) => {
  return OkOneLastThingIPromise(resultOfAnotherThing);
})
.then((resultOfOneLastThing) => {
  return resultOfOneLastThing;
})

Oh god, make it stawp

async/await saves the day, kinda

function resolveAfter2Seconds(x) {
  return new Promise(resolve => {
    setTimeout(() => {
      resolve(x);
    }, 2000);
  });
};


var add = async function(x) { // async function expression assigned to a variable
  var a = await resolveAfter2Seconds(20);
  var b = await resolveAfter2Seconds(30);
  return x + a + b;
};

//https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/JavaScript/Reference/Operators/async_function

But what about iteration???

Oh no, more problems

var promises = [];
for(var i = 0; i < 5; i++) {
	var promise = $http.get('/data' + i);
	promises.push(promise);
}
$q.all(promises).then(doSomethingAfterAllRequests);

//https://daveceddia.com/waiting-for-promises-in-a-loop/

Not terrible, but far from pretty and the true meaning of the code is hidden behind the semantics of promises.

Enter Async Iteration

//http://2ality.com/2016/10/asynchronous-iteration.html

//The interface: 
interface AsyncIterable {
    [Symbol.asyncIterator]() : AsyncIterator;
}
interface AsyncIterator {
    next() : Promise<IteratorResult>;
}
interface IteratorResult {
    value: any;
    done: boolean;
}


//Usage: 
async function f() {
    for await (const x of createAsyncIterable(['a', 'b'])) {
        console.log(x);
    }
}
// Output:
// a
// b

Finally!

But what about rejections?

function createRejectingIterable() {
    return {
        [Symbol.asyncIterator]() {
            return this;
        },
        next() {
            return Promise.reject(new Error('Problem!'));
        },
    };
}
(async function () { // (A)
    try {
        for await (const x of createRejectingIterable()) {
            console.log(x);
        }
    } catch (e) {
        console.error(e);
            // Error: Problem!
    }
})(); // (B)



//http://2ality.com/2016/10/asynchronous-iteration.html

Real life use case - reading huge files with out overflowing memory

Recently at work we needed to import very large chunks of client data into our production database.

 

Being a poor startup, we can't afford beefy servers with huge amounts of RAM so that we can simply load the files into memory and process away.

 

We were forced to use the small, free tier servers offered by AWS, which meant fitting the processing into no more than a couple gigs of RAM at best.

 

What to do???

Stream it, of course! (with generators)

const fs = require('fs')

async function* get_lines(path) {
  const stream = fs.createReadStream(path, {
    encoding: 'utf8', // null -> buffers, 'utf8' -> strings with that encoding
    highWaterMark: 1024 // maximum size of each chunk (buffer or string)
  });

  counter = 0
  for await (const chunk of stream) {
    counter++
    // console.log(`Read: ${chunk}`);
    yield `${counter}: ${chunk}\n`;
  }
}

async function main() {
  lines = get_lines('./lorem.txt');

  for await (const line of lines) {
    console.log(line);
  }
}

main();

*Async Generators()

By signupskm

*Async Generators()

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