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jQuery deferreds and promises – .then() vs .done()

Posted by: admin November 2, 2017 Leave a comment

Questions:

I’ve been reading about jQuery deferreds and promises and I can’t see the difference between using .then() & .done() for successful callbacks. I know Eric Hynds mentions that .done() and .success() map to the same functionality but I’m guessing so does .then() as all the callbacks are all invoked on a completion of a successful operation.

Can anyone please enlighten me to the correct usage?

Many thanks

Answers:

The callbacks attached to done() will be fired when the deferred is resolved. The callbacks attached to fail() will be fired when the deferred is rejected.

Prior to jQuery 1.8, then() was just syntactic sugar:

promise.then( doneCallback, failCallback )
// was equivalent to
promise.done( doneCallback ).fail( failCallback )

As of 1.8, then() is an alias for pipe() and returns a new promise, see here for more information on pipe().

success() and error() are only available on the jqXHR object returned by a call to ajax(). They are simple aliases for done() and fail() respectively:

jqXHR.done === jqXHR.success
jqXHR.fail === jqXHR.error

Also, done() is not limited to a single callback and will filter out non-functions (though there is a bug with strings in version 1.8 that should be fixed in 1.8.1):

// this will add fn1 to 7 to the deferred's internal callback list
// (true, 56 and "omg" will be ignored)
promise.done( fn1, fn2, true, [ fn3, [ fn4, 56, fn5 ], "omg", fn6 ], fn7 );

Same goes for fail().

Questions:
Answers:

There is also difference in way that return results are processed (its called chaining, done doesn’t chain while then produces call chains)

promise.then(function (x) { // Suppose promise returns "abc"
    console.log(x);
    return 123;
}).then(function (x){
    console.log(x);
}).then(function (x){
    console.log(x)
})

The following results will get logged:

abc
123
undefined

While

promise.done(function (x) { // Suppose promise returns "abc"
    console.log(x);
    return 123;
}).done(function (x){
    console.log(x);
}).done(function (x){
    console.log(x)
})

will get the following:

abc
abc
abc

———- Update:

Btw. I forgot to mention, if you return a Promise instead of atomic type value, the outer promise will wait until inner promise resolves:

promise.then(function (x) { // Suppose promise returns "abc"
    console.log(x);
    return $http.get('/some/data').then(function (result) {
        console.log(result); // suppose result === "xyz"
        return result;
    });
}).then(function (result){
    console.log(result); // result === xyz
}).then(function (und){
    console.log(und) // und === undefined, because of absence of return statement in above then
})

in this way it becomes very straightforward to compose parallel or sequential asynchronous operations such as:

// Parallel http requests
promise.then(function (x) { // Suppose promise returns "abc"
    console.log(x);

    var promise1 = $http.get('/some/data?value=xyz').then(function (result) {
        console.log(result); // suppose result === "xyz"
        return result;
    });

    var promise2 = $http.get('/some/data?value=uvm').then(function (result) {
        console.log(result); // suppose result === "uvm"
        return result;
    });

    return promise1.then(function (result1) {
        return promise2.then(function (result2) {
           return { result1: result1, result2: result2; }
        });
    });
}).then(function (result){
    console.log(result); // result === { result1: 'xyz', result2: 'uvm' }
}).then(function (und){
    console.log(und) // und === undefined, because of absence of return statement in above then
})

The above code issues two http requests in parallel thus making the requests complete sooner, while below those http requests are being run sequentially thus reducing server load

// Sequential http requests
promise.then(function (x) { // Suppose promise returns "abc"
    console.log(x);

    return $http.get('/some/data?value=xyz').then(function (result1) {
        console.log(result1); // suppose result1 === "xyz"
        return $http.get('/some/data?value=uvm').then(function (result2) {
            console.log(result2); // suppose result2 === "uvm"
            return { result1: result1, result2: result2; };
        });
    });
}).then(function (result){
    console.log(result); // result === { result1: 'xyz', result2: 'uvm' }
}).then(function (und){
    console.log(und) // und === undefined, because of absence of return statement in above then
})

Questions:
Answers:

.done() has only one callback and it is the success callback

.then() has both success and fail callbacks

.fail() has only one fail callback

so it is up to you what you must do… do you care if it succeeds or if it fails?

Questions:
Answers:

deferred.done()

adds handlers to be called only when Deferred is resolved. You can add multiple callbacks to be called.

var url = 'http://jsonplaceholder.typicode.com/posts/1';
$.ajax(url).done(doneCallback);

function doneCallback(result) {
    console.log('Result 1 ' + result);
}

You can also write above like this,

function ajaxCall() {
    var url = 'http://jsonplaceholder.typicode.com/posts/1';
    return $.ajax(url);
}

$.when(ajaxCall()).then(doneCallback, failCallback);

deferred.then()

adds handlers to be called when Deferred is resolved, rejected or still in progress.

var url = 'http://jsonplaceholder.typicode.com/posts/1';
$.ajax(url).then(doneCallback, failCallback);

function doneCallback(result) {
    console.log('Result ' + result);
}

function failCallback(result) {
    console.log('Result ' + result);
}

Questions:
Answers:

There is actually a pretty critical difference, insofar as jQuery’s Deferreds are meant to be an implementations of Promises (and jQuery3.0 actually tries to bring them into spec).

The key difference between done/then is that

  • .done() ALWAYS returns the same Promise/wrapped values it started with, regardless of what you do or what you return.
  • .then() always returns a NEW Promise, and you are in charge of controlling what that Promise is based on what the function you passed it returned.

Translated from jQuery into native ES2015 Promises, .done() is sort of like implementing a “tap” structure around a function in a Promise chain, in that it will, if the chain is in the “resolve” state, pass a value to a function… but the result of that function will NOT affect the chain itself.

const doneWrap = fn => x => { fn(x); return x };

Promise.resolve(5)
       .then(doneWrap( x => x + 1))
       .then(doneWrap(console.log.bind(console)));

$.Deferred().resolve(5)
            .done(x => x + 1)
            .done(console.log.bind(console));

Those will both log 5, not 6.

Note that I used done and doneWrap to do logging, not .then. That’s because console.log functions don’t actually return anything. And what happens if you pass .then a function that doesn’t return anything?

Promise.resolve(5)
       .then(doneWrap( x => x + 1))
       .then(console.log.bind(console))
       .then(console.log.bind(console));

That will log:

5

undefined

What happened? When I used .then and passed it a function that didn’t return anything, it’s implicit result was “undefined”… which of course returned a Promise[undefined] to the next then method, which logged undefined. So the original value we started with was basically lost.

.then() is, at heart, a form of function composition: the result of each step is used as the argument for the function in the next step. That’s why .done is best thought of as a “tap”-> it’s not actually part of the composition, just something that sneaks a look at the value at a certain step and runs a function at that value, but doesn’t actually alter the composition in any way.

This is a pretty fundamental difference, and there’s a probably a good reason why native Promises don’t have a .done method implemented themselves. We don’t eve have to get into why there’s no .fail method, because that’s even more complicated (namely, .fail/.catch are NOT mirrors of .done/.then -> functions in .catch that return bare values do not “stay” rejected like those passed to .then, they resolve!)

Questions:
Answers:

then() always means it will be called in whatever case. But the parameters passing are different in different jQuery versions.

Prior to jQuery 1.8, then() equals done().fail(). And all of the callback functions share same parameters.

But as of jQuery 1.8, then() returns a new promise, and if it has return a value, it will be passed into the next callback function.

Let’s see the following example:

var defer = jQuery.Deferred();

defer.done(function(a, b){
            return a + b;
}).done(function( result ) {
            console.log("result = " + result);
}).then(function( a, b ) {
            return a + b;
}).done(function( result ) {
            console.log("result = " + result);
}).then(function( a, b ) {
            return a + b;
}).done(function( result ) {
            console.log("result = " + result);
});

defer.resolve( 3, 4 );

Prior to jQuery 1.8, the answer should be

result = 3
result = 3
result = 3

All result takes 3. And then() function always passes the same deferred object to the next function.

But as of jQuery 1.8, the result should be:

result = 3
result = 7
result = NaN

Because the first then() function returns a new promise, and the value 7 (and this is the only parameter that will passed on)is passed to the next done(), so the second done() write result = 7. The second then() takes 7 as the value of a and takes undefined as the value of b, so the second then() returns a new promise with the parameter NaN, and the last done() prints NaN as its result.

Questions:
Answers:

that is my answer.

var deff = $.Deferred();
    deff.then(function(){
        alert('ok');
        var deff = $.Deferred();
        setTimeout(function(){
            deff.resolve()
        }, 1000)
        return deff;
    }).then(function () {
        alert('ok2')
    })
    deff.resolve()

This is then unique function. it can prevent Callback hell。

Questions:
Answers:

.done() terminates the promise chain, making sure nothing else can attach further steps. This means that the jQuery promise implementation can throw any unhandled exception, since no one can possible handle it using .fail().

In practical terms, if you do not plan to attach more steps to a promise, you should use .done(). For more details see why promises need to be done