Knockout observables and Promises

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Knockout observables and Promises

What is it?

This is just a few notes about using Knockout observables with ES6 Promises.

Why is it important?

The concepts here are reusable ways for promises and pub/sub systems to interact in a healthy way.

Publish and subscribe and promises are two canonical, widely-supported methods of handling asynchronous flow. The ease at which they communicate with each other makes asynchronicity easier to handle.

Promises to observables

Publishing to an observable when a promise completes is trivial. For example, given a promise

1
promise
and an observable
1
obs
:

  promise.then(obs)

When the promise completes it passes the promised value to the observable.

1
resolve_when
something is published

When something is published, one often wants to fulfill a promise (once). Here is a way to do that.

Here is the scenario. You have an observable

1
obs
, you want to do something when it is given (or has) a value or meets a test. Like this:

resolve_when(obs).then(do_something);

or an arbitrary test

function test(t) {
  return t == 'value'
}
resolve_when(obs, test).then(do_something);

Here is a jsFiddle in Coffeescript with a function,

1
resolve_when
that accomplishes this:

For convenience, here is an equivalent

1
resolve_when
function in Javascript:

function resolve_when(obs, test) {
  if (!test) {
    test = function (t) { return Boolean(t) }  
  }
  if (test(obs()) { return Promise.resolve(obs); }
  return new Promise(function (resolve) {
    var subs = obs.subscribe(function(v) {
      if (test(v)) {
        resolve(obs);
        subs.dispose();
      }
    });
  });
}

Conclusion

Of course this just scratches the surface, but I hope this highlights the conceptual elements of publish and subscribe and promises.

I hope you find the above useful, and please feel free to comment.