JavaScript Pipeline Operators

Pipeline Operators

This proposal introduces a new operator |> similar to F#, OCaml, Elixir, Elm, Julia, Hack, and LiveScript, as well as UNIX pipes. It's a backwards-compatible way of streamlining chained function calls in a readable, functional manner, and provides a practical alternative to extending built-in prototypes.

const multiply = a => b => a * b
const divide = a => b => a / b
const add = a => b => a + b

// add(5)(divide(multiply(1)(2))(2))

const result = multiply(1)(2) 
|> divide(2) 
|> add(5)

The format is similar to chaining with objects but allows similar functionality with immutable, functional programming.

class Obj {
	constructor(a) {
		this.a = a

		this.result = 0
	}

	multiply(b) {
		this.a *= b
		return this
	}

	divide(b) {
		this.a /= b
		return this
	}

	add(b) {
		this.a += b
		return this
	}
}

const aObj = new Obj(1)

const result = aObj.multiply(2).divide(2).add(5)

Functional Clarity

The clarity the pipeline operator allows reducing repeating code, and showing the flow more clearly.

html(body(main(div(div(div(h1('hello')))))))

h1('hello')
|> div 
|> div
|> div 
|> main 
|> body 
|> html

Warning

⚠ Warning: The details of the pipeline syntax are currently unsettled. There are two competing proposals under consideration.

Those proposals are as follows:

When?

This proposal seems very likely to be added to EMCAScript (ES) standard at some point in the future. The current conflict causes some concern over the time-line but those issues will come to some conclusion.

Now?

Babel currently offers a plugin to offer pipeline operator support.

Note

Currently the smart proposal version has awkward support in different tools with the use of #. I am currently working around ESLint, Prettier not properly parsing. Depending on your needs you may need to hold off.

ESLint

$ eslint ./physics.js
  102:14  error  Parsing error: Unexpected character '#'
> 102 |         |> multiply(#)(creature.maxspeed)

Prettier

[error] physics.js: SyntaxError: Unexpected character '#' (44:62)
[error] > 44 | 		velocity: add(state.velocity)(state.acceleration) |> limit(#)(state.maxspeed)

Looking at eslint-plugin-babel and/or babel-eslint to add support for these properties.

Smart Pipelines: Topic Reference

The use of # as the topic reference is not set in stone. @, ?, %, or many other symbols could also be used.