Async/await in ClojureScript with Promesa

JavaScript (ES7/ES2016) introduced async and await as a clean way of working with promises. When porting this sort of asynchronous code to ClojureScript, it may be disappointing that there’s no equivalent language feature. Some may say “use core.async,” which is a fine suggestion, but it may not work with the existing JS promises/thenables. This is where promesa comes in. promesa is a Clojure/Script library for working with native promises; it also provides macro support for async/await and uses core.async machinery behind the scenes.

The JavaScript

This example references Appium and webdriver.io since they’re what I was using when initially researching promesa. This isn’t the best example usage of await, but it allows the code to read as though it works synchronously, even though each line is awaiting a promise.

async function sign_in() {
  await driver.init().timeoutsImplicitWait(120 * 1000);

  await driver.waitForVisible("~email");
  await driver.element("~email").setValue("test@example.com");
  await driver.click("~sign-in");

  await driver.pause(1000).end();
}

Awaiting a JS promise

The first attempt won’t be the cleanest, but it’ll mimic the functionality. In order to turn a JS promise, or, more correctly, any JS thenable, into a bluebird promise (which is what promesa uses behind the scenes), one needs to call js/Promise.resolve. After resolving, the thenable will be a bluebird promise and all of the niceties of promesa will be available.

(ns my-app.test.sign-in
  (:require [[oops.core :refer [ocall]]
             [promesa.core :as p]
             [promesa.async-cljs :refer-macros [async]]]))

(defn sign-in []
  ; async is a promesa macro to allow for awaiting promises.
  (async
    (-> driver
        (ocall :init) (ocall :timeoutsImplicitWait (* 120 1000))
        ; We resolve the thenable into a bluebird promise...
        js/Promise.resolve
        ; Then we await the promise, just like in the JS version.
        p/await)

    ; The repeated resolve and await are an eye sore, but we can't just put them
    ; into a fn, since await can only be used within the async form. We need a
    ; macro.
    (-> driver
        (ocall :waitForVisible "~email")
        js/Promise.resolve
        p/await)

    (-> driver
        (ocall :element "~email") (ocall :setValue "test@example.com")
        js/Promise.resolve
        p/await)

    (-> driver
        (ocall :click "~sign-in")
        js/Promise.resolve
        p/await)

    (-> driver
        (ocall :pause 1000)
        (ocall :end)
        js/Promise.resolve
        p/await)))

Removing some redundancy

Cleaning up the duplication can be done with a simple await-> macro.

; This must be a cljc file.
(ns my-app.test.util.macro
  (:require [promesa.core :as p]))

#?(:clj
   (defmacro await-> [thenable & thens]
     `(-> ~thenable
          ~@thens
          ~'js/Promise.resolve
          p/await)))
(ns my-app.test.sign-in
  (:require [[oops.core :refer [ocall]]
             [promesa.core :as p]
             [promesa.async-cljs :refer-macros [async]]
             [my-app.test.util.macro :refer-macros [await->]))

(defn sign-in []
  (async
    (await-> driver
             (ocall :init) (ocall :timeoutsImplicitWait (* 120 1000)))

    (await-> driver
             (ocall :waitForVisible "~email"))

    (await-> driver
             (ocall :element "~email") (ocall :setValue "test@example.com"))

    (await-> driver
             (ocall :click "~sign-in"))

    (await-> driver
             (ocall :pause 1000)
             (ocall :end))))

Sticking with core.async

For those interested in sticking with core.async, perhaps due to an existing dependency, there is cljs-promises, which allows the conversion of JS promises into async channels. Unlike bluebird’s resolve, cljs-promises doesn’t work with all thenables though, so it’s not as flexible as promesa in that regard.