You complete me, unless you already have a Dart future

Dart Protip: if you already have an instance of Future, you probably don't need a Completer. Simply return the last Future.



If you find yourself using Completers inside of Futures, like this:


  // NOT recommended.

  Future doStuff() {
    Future future = someAsyncProcess();
    Completer completer = new Completer();

    future.then((msg) {
      bool result = msg.result as bool;

      completer.complete(result);
    });

    return completer.future;
  }


then I'm happy to report there's a better way. Dart's Futures chain, so you can do this instead:


  // Recommend.
  Future doStuff() {
    return someAsyncProcess().then((msg) => msg.result);
  }


The last Future in a chain can return another Future, or simply a value. It's always a good idea to return a Future from a function that uses a Future. This way, the caller knows when the method finished its async work, and can properly handle potential errors.

Completers are great for bridging a callback-based API with a Future-based API. For example, suppose your database driver doesn't use Futures, but you need to return a Future. Try this code:

  // A good use of a Completer.

  Future doStuff() {
    Completer completer = new Completer();
    runDatabaseQuery(sql, (results) {
      completer.complete(results);
    });
    return completer.future;
  }

To learn more about Futures, read Using Future Based APIs. To step up your game, read Futures and Error Handling.

Enjoy!
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

  • Sponsor:  Register today for  New Game, the conference for HTML5 game developers . Learn from Mozilla, Opera, Google, Spil, Bocoup, Mandreel, Subsonic, Gamesalad, EA, Zynga, and others at this intimate and technically rich conference. Join us for two days of content from developers building HTML5 games today. Nov 1-2, 2011 in San Francisco.  Register now ! This is the second article in a Box2D series, following the Box2D Orientation article. The Box2DWeb port of Box2D contains a nice example to show off the basics of integrating physics simulations into your web app. This post will provide a walkthrough of the example, explaining the high level concepts and code. First, let's see the example in action. The code for the above is open source and available on GitHub. It was adapted from Box2DWeb's example . Animating Before we look at Box2D, it's important to understand how the above simulation is animated. You might think setInterval or setTimeout is
  • In which I port a snazzy little JavaScript audio web app to Dart , discover a bug, and high-five type annotations. Here's what I learned. [As it says in the header of this blog, I'm a seasoned Dart developer. However, I certainly don't write Dart every day (I wish!). Don't interpret this post as "Hi, I'm new to Dart". Instead, interpret this post as "I'm applying what I've been documenting."] This post analyzes two versions of the same app, both the original (JavaScript) version and the Dart version. The original version is a proxy for any small JavaScript app, there's nothing particularly special about the original version, which is why it made for a good example. This post discusses the differences between the two implementations: file organization, dependencies and modules, shims, classes, type annotations, event handling, calling multiple methods, asynchronous programming, animation, and interop with JavaScript libraries. F
  • Angular and Polymer, sitting in a DOM tree, B-i-n-d-i-n-g. First comes components, Then comes elements, Then comes the interop with the node dot bind. Angular , a super heroic MVC framework, and Polymer , polyfills and enhancements for custom elements built on top of Web Components, can live harmoniously in the same app. This post shows you how to connect Angular-controlled components to Polymer-controlled elements via data binding. And we do it all in Dart . Angular and Polymer I get asked "Should I use Angular or Polymer?" a lot. My answer is, "Yes". That is, both libraries have distinct strengths, and you can use both in the same app. Polymer excels at creating encapsulated custom elements. You can use those custom elements in any web app or web page, regardless if that app is built with Angular, Ember, etc. Angular excels at application engineering, with dependency injection, end-to-end testability, routing, and services. Here are som