A Day in a Pile of Work

My personal Web development blog

Proposal for asynchronous delegates in Vala

This post describe a feature I will attempt to implement this summer.

The declaration of async delegate is simply extending a traditional delegate with the async trait.

public async delegate void AsyncDelegate (GLib.OutputStream @out);

The syntax of callback is the same. It’s not necessary to add anything since the async trait is infered from the type of the variable holding it.

AsyncDelegate d = (@out) => {
    yield @out.write_all_async ("Hello world!".data, null);

Just like regular callback, asynchronous callbacks are first-class citizen.

public async void test_async (AsyncDelegate callback,
                              OutputStream  @out) {
    yield callback (@out);

It’s also possible to pass an asynchronous function which is type-compatible with the delegate signature:

public async void hello_world_async (OutputStream @out)
    yield @out.write_all_async ("Hello world!".data);

yield test_async (hello_world_async, @out);


I still need to figure out how to handle chaining for async lambda. Here’s a few ideas:

  • refer to the callback using this (weird..)
  • introduce a callback keyword
AsyncDelegate d = (@out) => {
    Idle.add (this.callback);

AsyncDelegate d = (@out) => {
    Idle.add (callback);

How it would end-up for Valum

Most of the framework could be revamped with the async trait in ApplicationCallback, HandlerCallback and NextCallback.

app.@get ("/me", (req, res, next) => {
    if (req.lookup_signed_cookies ("session") == null) {
        return yield next (req, res);
    return yield res.extend_utf8_async ("Hello world!".data);

The semantic for the return value would simply state if the request has been handled instead of being eventually handled.

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