promhx 1.1.0

Promhx is a promise library for Haxe. Promises contain values that are not immediately available. However, you can specify callback functions that will trigger when the values do become available.

Released 2016-07-05.

To install, run:

haxelib install promhx 1.1.0

See using Haxelib in Haxelib documentation for more information.

Current version1.1.0
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Build Status

Promhx is a promise and functional reactive programming library for Haxe. The "promise" and "stream" variables contain values that are not immediately available. However, you can specify callback functions that will trigger when the values do become available.

A typical case is to specify a callback for a given promise once the value becomes available:

promise.then(function(p1) trace("do something with promise's value"));

Alternatively, you can specify a callback on multiple promise instances using the static method "when":

Promise.when(promise1, promise2).then(function(p1,p2) trace("do something with the promise values"));

Streams work more or less the same:

stream.then(function(s1) trace("do something with the stream's value"));
Stream.whenever(stream1, stream2).then(function(s1,s2) trace("do something with the stream values"));

The major difference between Promises and Streams is that Promises may only resolve once, while Streams may resolve multiple times. Promises are suitable for initialization and asset loading, while Streams are a useful alternative to managing events.

Promhx has a number of powerful features:

  • Fully cross-platform for php, c#, c++, java, js (nodejs and browser js), neko, and flash. Check the travis-ci build matrix for the status of different targets.
  • Very efficient code that ranks among the fastest promise libraries for js.
  • Type safety without requiring excessive boilerplate.
  • Staggered promise/stream updates occur once per event loop, preventing excessive blocking of io in single threaded contexts (e.g. js).
  • Event loop callbacks are provided where they make sense (js through setTimeout/setImmediate, flash through setTimeout). You can also provide your own event loop callback for other platforms. See the "Event Loop" section for more details.
  • Run time errors are propagated to subsequent promise/streams, and can be managed where appropriate.

Promises have the following behavior:

  • Promises can only be resolved once.
  • It is only possible to cancel a promise by rejecting it, which triggers an error.

Streams have the following behavior: * If a stream is updated more than once in a single loop, the updates will happen once per loop in subsequent loops.

Both have the following behavior: * Both will remember their resolved value, and any functions specified afterwards by "then()" will get their result synchronously.

Promise and Streams both have private interfaces for resolving their values as of version 1.0. Both types accept a new Deferred instance as an argument. The Deferred instance acts as the writable interface, allowing developers to protect Streams and Promises from write activity in parts of code that they don't control.

There is also a PublicStream class that provides public write access, if that is necessary.

// Declare a deferred, which is the writable interface.
var dp1 = new Deferred<Int>();

// Declare a promised value, using the deferred
var p1 = new Promise<Int>(d1);
// var p1 = dp1.promise(); // alternate form

// Simple: deliver promise when value is available. Stream works the same.
p1.then(function(x) trace("delivered " + x));

// Deliver multiple promises when they are all available.
// the "then" function must match the types and arity of the contained values
// from the arguments to "when".
var dp2 = new Deferred<Int>();
var p2 = dp2.promise();

// Stream has its own "when" based method, called "whenever".  Note that
// the returned stream value will resolve whenver *any one* of the stream
// arguments changes.
var ds1 = new Deferred<Int>();
var ds2 = new Deferred<Int>();
var s1 =;
var s2 =;

// Stream.whenever can mix and match stream and promise arguments:

// The return value is another promise, so you can chain.
Promise.when(p1,p2).then(function(x,y) return x+y)
    .then(function(x) trace(x+1));

var dp3 = new Deferred<String>();
var p3 = dp3.promise();

// The pipe method lets you manually specify a new Promise to chain
// to.  It can be pre-existing, or created by the method itself.  Stream
// works in a similar fashion.
Promise.when(p1,p2).then(function(x,y) return x+y)
    .pipe(function(x) return p3)
    .then(function(x) trace(x));

// You can easily catch errors by specifying a callback.
Promise.when(p1,p2).then(function(x,y) throw('an error'))
    .catchError(function(x) trace(x));

// Errors are propagated through the promise chain.
// You can rethrow errors to use Haxe's try/catch feature.
// Stream works the same here too.
Promise.when(p1,p2).then(function(x,y) {throw('an error'); return 'hi';})
    .then(function(x) return 'a value')
    .catchError(function(x) {
        try {
            throw(x); // rethrow the error value to do standard error handling
        } catch(e:String){
            trace('caught a string: ' + e);
        } catch(e:Dynamic){
            trace('caught something unknown:' + e);

// If no error callback is specified, the error is thrown.
// Uncomment this next line to cause an error!
//Promise.when(p1,p2).then(function(x,y) throw('an error'));

// Promises can go through various stages before finally resolving.  The
// following methods check the status.

// Check to see if a promise has been resolved.  This will return true as soon
// as resolve() returns.

// Check to see if a promise is pending operations on the next loop.
// In some cases promises are not completely resolved.  This can happen if
// the promise is delaying execution (on flash, js), or is updating other
// promises.

// Check to see if the promise has completed fulfilling its updates.

// Check to see if a promise has been rejected.  This can happen if
// the promise throws an error, or if the current promise is waiting
// on a promise that has thrown an error.

// finally, resolve the promise values, which will start the
// evaluation of all promises.

// You can "resolve" a stream as well

Error management

Promhx provides numerous run-time methods for managing errors, including the `catchError, which halts the error propagation, the errorThen function which transforms the error back into a normal chainable type via an immediate synchronous action, and the errorPipe which transforms the error back into a normal chainable type via a pipe method, which allows for asynchronous error handling. Errors thrown in error-related methods are caught by any catchError handler, but errors thrown in catchError` will not be caught.

Also note that an asynchronous value that is in an errored state will always trigger the error handlers for downstream async values, even if those downstream handlers are attached after the error is thrown. Async values remember their errors in order to notify future listeners after the fact.

It's also possible to prevent Promhx from handling errors at all by using the `-D PromhxExposeErrors` flag. This will remove the try/catch notation from all promise resolvers, enabling the original error behavior to take place. This can be useful while debugging basic promise behavior.

Event Loop Management

When a promise or stream resolves, it can trigger a large amount of activity, including the resolution of other promises and streams. For single threaded contexts, this can block other operations that require timely execution (e.g. IO/interaction functionality). Promhx staggers the resolution of promises and streams so that only one promise/stream will be resolved per event loop. However, all updates for a single promise/stream will be executed in a given loop in order to ensure that all updates have a consistent value. If blocking continues to be a problem, consider using more promises and streams to break the update operation up across multiple event loops.

It is also possible to manually control the EventLoop. The way to do this is to override the default `EventLoop.nextLoop` function with a function that you call manually. This will advance the loop logic, and execute any promises that are waiting there.

var manualAdvance = function(){};
EventLoop.nextLoop = manualAdvance;

// evaluate the next loop every 250 ms.

Furthermore, you can use the `EventLoop.finish()` method to immediately begin resolving the pending promises. This will also include resolving any chaining that might be specified. The method accepts an argument giving the number of maximum event loop operations to perform.

Promhx Http Class

Promhx provides a promise-based Http class that is very similar to the haxe.Http class in the base haxe library. Note that you cannot change the url to re-send the same request to different target urls (as in the original haxe.Http class).

   var h = new promhx.haxe.Http("somefile.txt");
      trace(x); // this will be the text content from somefile.txt
   h.request(); // initialize request.


Promhx provides some tools for adapting existing event systems into Streams and Promises. To do so, it is recommended to import the `promhx.haxe.EventTools` class via "using":

  using promhx.haxe.EventTools;

  var click_stream = element.eventStream("click");
  // click_stream type is Stream<Dynamic>;


Promhx has some JQuery-specific tools, also intended to be used via "using".

   using js.promhx.JQueryTools;

   var target_click_stream = new JQuery("#target").eventStream('click');
   // target_click_stream is now a Stream<JqEvent>.

Macro do-notation

Promhx has the ability to "compose" promise and streams using classes in the promhx "mdo" module, and the monax library. These macro functions can be used as follows:

   import promhx.mdo.StreamM;
   // ...
   var s1 = new Stream<Int>();
   var s2 = new Stream<Int>();
   var s3 = StreamM.dO({
         val1 <= s1;
         val2 <= s2;
         ret({val1: val1, val2: val2});

Detaching Streams

If it's no longer necessary for one stream to get updated by another, it's possible to detach them so that updates are no longer received. In order to detach a stream, you must save a reference to it.

var ds = new Deferred<Int>();
var s =;
var s2 = s.then(function(x){
      trace("won't get called since this will be detached");


By saving the stream created as a result of the `then` function, we can detach it later. Only streams that are directly updated by the parent stream are detachable.

Bound Deferreds

As of v 1.08 promhx includes a "DeferredPromise" and "DeferredStream" option. These deferreds come already bound to a given async class, and are useful to pass around as a single interface for both deferreds and their respective async types.


Promhx supports Node.js but you must pass -lib nodejs to the compiler.