Module Tezos_lwt_result_stdlib.Lwtreslib

Lwtreslib: the Lwt- and result-aware Stdlib complement

Lwtreslib (or Lwt-result-stdlib) is a library to complement the OCaml's Stdlib in software projects that make heavy use of Lwt and the result type.

Introduction

Lwtreslib aims to

Semantic

The semantic of the functions exported by Lwtreslib is uniform and predictable. This applies to the Stdlib-like functions, the Lwt-aware functions, the result-aware functions, and the Lwt-and-result-aware functions.

Semantic of vanilla-functions

Functions that have the same signature as their Stdlib's counterpart have the same semantic.

Functions exported by Lwtreslib do not raise exceptions. (With the exception of the functions exported by the WithExceptions module.) If a function raises an exception in the Stdlib, its type is changed in Lwtreslib. In general the following substitutions apply:

Semantic of Lwt-aware functions

Lwtreslib exports Lwt-aware functions for all traversal functions of the Stdlib.

Functions with the _s suffix traverse their underlying collection sequentially, waiting for the promise associated to one element to resolve before processing to the next element.

Functions with the _p suffix traverse their underlying collection concurrently, creating promises for all the elements and then waiting for all of them to resolve. The "p" in the _p suffix is for compatibility with Lwt and in particular Lwt_list. The mnemonic is "parallel" even though there is not parallelism, only concurrency.

These _s- and _p-suffixed functions are semantically identical to their Lwt counterpart when it is available. Most notably, Lwtreslib.List is a strict superset of Lwt_list.

Semantic of result-aware functions

Lwtreslib exports result-aware functions for all the traversal functions of the Stdlib. These function allow easy manipulation of ('a, 'e) result values.

Functions with the _e suffix traverse their underlying collection whilst wrapping the accumulator/result in a result. These functions have a fail-early semantic: if one of the step returns an Error _, then the whole traversal is interrupted and returns the same Error _.

Semantic of Lwt-result-aware functions

Lwtreslib exports Lwt-result-aware functions for all the traversal functions of the Stdlib. These function allow easy manipulation of ('a, 'e) result Lwt.t -- i.e., promises that may fail.

Functions with the _es suffix traverse their underlying collection sequentially (like _s functions) whilst wrapping the accumulator/result in a result (like _e functions). These functions have a fail-early semantic: if one of the step returns a promise that resolves to an Error _, then the whole traversal is interrupted and the returned promise resolves to the same Error _.

Functions with the _ep suffix traverse their underlying collection concurrently (like _p functions) whilst wrapping the accumulator/result in a result (like _e functions). These functions have a best-effort semantic: if one of the step returns a promise that resolves to an Error _, the other promises are left to resolve; once all the promises have resolved, then the returned promise resolves with an Error _ that carries all the other errors in a list. It is up to the user to convert this list to a more manageable type if needed.

A note on Seq

The Seq module exports a type that suspends nodes under a closure. Consequently, some interactions with result, Lwt, and result-Lwt is not possible. E.g., mapping can be either lazy or within Lwt but not both: Seq.map_s would have type ('a -> 'b Lwt.t) -> 'a t -> 'b t Lwt.t where the returned promise forces the whole sequence (and never resolves on infinite sequences).

In Lwtreslib, Seq does not provide these additional traversors that would force the sequence simply due to the bad interaction of the Monads and the type of sequences. Instead, Lwtreslib provides variants of Seq called Seq_e, Seq_s, and Seq_es where the combination with the monad is baked into the sequence type itself.

If you want to map a sequnence using an Lwt-returning function, you should first convert the sequence to an Lwt-aware sequence using Seq_s.of_seq, and then map this converted function using Seq_s.map_s. Note that this returns a Seq_s.t sequence so further transformations will be within Seq_s and not within Seq. Once in a monad, you stay in the monad.

Traced

The Traced module offers a small wrapper around Lwtreslib. This wrapper is intended to ease the use of _ep functions. It does so by introducing a trace data-type: a structured collection of errors.

This trace data-type is used to collapse the types 'e and 'e list of errors. Indeed, without this collapse, chaining _ep together or chaining _ep with _es functions requires significant boilerplate to flatten lists, to listify single errors, etc. Need for boilerplate mostly vanishes when using the Traced wrapper.

Monad helpers

Lwtreslib also exports monadic operators (binds, return, etc.) for the Lwt-monad, the result-monad, and the combined Lwt-result-monad.

Exceptions

If at all possible, avoid exceptions.

If possible, avoid exceptions.

If you use exceptions, here are a few things to keep in mind:

The _p functions are semantically equivalent to Lwt's. This means that some exceptions are dropped. Specifically, when more than one promise raises an exception in a concurrent traversor, only one is passed on to the user, the others are silently ignored.

Use raise (rather than Lwt.fail) when within an Lwt callback.

WithExceptions

The WithExceptions module is there for convenience in non-production code and for the specific cases where it is guaranteed not to raise an exception.

E.g., it is intended for removing the option boxing in cases where the invariant is guaranteed by construction:

(** Return an interval of integers, from 0 to its argument (if positive)
    or from its argument to 0 (otherwise). *)
let steps stop =
   if stop = 0 then
      []
   else if stop > 0 then
      List.init ~when_negative_length:() Fun.id
      |> WithExceptions.Option.get ~loc:__LOC__
   else
      let stop = Int.neg stop in
      List.init ~when_negative_length:() Int.neg
      |> WithExceptions.Option.get ~loc:__LOC__
module Bare : sig ... end
module type TRACE = Traced_sigs.Trace.S

A module with the TRACE signature provides the necessary type and functions to collect multiple errors into a single error data-structure. This, in turn, allows Lwtreslib to provide more usable _ep variants to standard traversal functions.

module type TRACED_MONAD = Traced_sigs.Monad.S
module Traced (Trace : TRACE) : sig ... end

Traced is a functor to generate advanced combined-monad replacements for parts of the Stdlib. The generated module is similar to Bare with the addition of traces: structured collections of errors.