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A package to queue futures and resolve them in batches.

Batcher #

A robust future batching solution.

Usage #

Installation #

Add the package to your pubspec.yaml:

  batcher: ^0.1.0

And import it:

import 'package:batcher/batcher.dart';

Batching #

A FutureBatcher takes an Iterable containing generator functions. A generator function creates a future for the batcher when it needs it. Say, for example, you want to download a list of files in batches with package:http:

// A predetermined list of file URIs.
final fileUris = <Uri>[ /*...*/];

// Use a single client to speed up mass connections.
final client = http.Client();

// Create a list of generators.
final downloadFutureGenerators = [
  for (final uri in fileUris)
        () => http.get(uri).then((response) => response.body),

Note this is not a list of futures; it's a list of anonymous functions that create futures. This allows a batcher to make the HTTP requests in batches.

Generators can be added to a batcher at any time. If any threads are available, they will start to be called right away; otherwise, they will stay in the queue until a thread is ready.

As well as requiring future generators, a thread count must also be specified. This thread count is the maximum number of futures that will be resolving at any time. This thread count can change at any time; the new number will be used after excess pending operations complete.

With these two things, futures can be batched in a few different ways:

Future-based batching

In this way, queued results are delivered via futures returned by get functions.

// Create a batcher with 16 threads.
final batcher = FutureBatcher<String>(16);

// Add a single generator to the queue.
final Future<String> future =
    batcher.get(() => http.get(uri).then((response) => response.body));

// Or, add multiple generators to the queue.
final List<Future<String>> futures = batcher.getAll(generators);

// The following can also be used to create a batcher and call getAll in one line.
final futures = generators.batch(16);

Stream-based batching

If you need to get results from completed futures, but you don't care which result came from which generator, this is an appropriate method. It's more optimised than future-based batching for large amounts of work.

This method utilises the StreamingFutureBatcher class.

Say, for example, you wish to pull a list of random fake names from an API, with the getRandomName function that returns a Future<String>:

// Create a list of generators.
final generators = List.filled(100, () => getRandomName());

// Create a streaming batcher from the generators with 16 threads.
final batcher = StreamingFutureBatcher.from(generators, 16);

// Or, use the extension function:
final batcher = generators.streamBatch(16);

// The results stream can be used like any other.
await for (final name in batcher.results) {

By default, the batcher will close down after all pending generators are resolved. This can be changed with a constructor argument (or by using the default constructor) to get behaviour that's closer to FutureBatcher.

Note that addAll is used here; while getAll also works, it adds overhead by dealing with return values that we don't need.

// Create a streaming batcher with 16 threads.
final batcher = StreamingFutureBatcher(16);

// Add the generators.

// Do stuff (like adding more)...

// Close when done.

Simple batching

This is the way to go if you don't need to await anything or remember which results came from which generator.

This is useful, for example, in I/O operations like writing files to a cache service where you don't care if they finish completing:

// File paths and contents.
final paths = <String>[/*...*/];
final contents = <String>[/*...*/];

// Map the file data to generators.
final generators = List.generate(
      (index) => () => File(paths[index]).writeAsString(contents[index]),

// Create a batcher with 16 threads.
final batcher = FutureBatcher<void>(16);

// Add the generators.


  • Q: What can this be useful for?

    • Accelerating network requests (one at a time, you can be limited by server speeds; all at once with Future.wait, you can be blocked by the platform or server)
    • Filesystem I/O, where there are open file limits
  • Q: How does this compare to package:batching_future?
    A: Both packages can do similar things, but they're made for different usecases. batching_future is great for unpredictable, rapid API calls, with caching support and time-based batching. This package is made for predictable, ongoing batches, taking fixed-sized lists of generators.

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A package to queue futures and resolve them in batches.

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