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State is a fold over events
(ns state-is-a-fold
(:use clojure.test))
;;; After all, state is a fold of events. For example let's say the events are a sequence of numbers
;;; and we are folding by addition:
(deftest simple
(let [events [1 5 2 4 3]
state (reduce + events)]
(is (= 15 state))))
;;; We can use this idea to do a little event handling. First, we define a protocol for everybody
;;; who is interested in a event. we will use the function handle-event to folder the sequence of
;;; events over an initial state of the handler.
(defprotocol EventHandler
;; Apply the event on the handler and return a handler who reflects the consumation of the event.
;; Returning the same instance is fine, e.g. when the handler ignores the event or the processing
;; consists of a side effect only.
[this event]))
;; For example a event counter
(defrecord EventCounter [i]
(handle-event [_ _] (EventCounter. (inc i))))
;; Now we can calculate state as a fold over events:
(defn fold-events [initial events]
(reduce handle-event initial events))
(deftest test-fold--events []
(let [initial (EventCounter. 0)
events (range 10)
state (fold-events initial events)]
(is (= 10 (:i state)))))
;; As an illustration we define a side-effect-only event hanlder
(defrecord SideEffectHandler [ref]
(handle-event [this _] (alter ref inc) this))
(deftest test-side-effects-only
(let [initial (SideEffectHandler. (ref 0))
events (range 10)
state (dosync (fold-events initial events))]
(is (identical? initial state))
(is (= 10 (-> initial :ref deref)))))
;; In this case we could also use reify and avoid defining a record:
(defn make-event-printer []
(reify EventHandler
(handle-event [ _ e] (println e))))
;; Some handlers will only act on certain events:
(defrecord Adder [sum]
[this event]
(if (= (:type event) :number)
(Adder. (+ sum (:value event)))
;; Some will keep a little more state
(defrecord Averager [sum cnt avg]
[this event]
(if (= (:type event) :number)
(let [sum (+ sum (:value event))
cnt (inc cnt)]
(Averager. sum cnt (/ sum cnt)))
(defrecord MinMax [min_ max_] ;; avoid using field names that are core functions
[this {type :type number :value}]
(if (= type :number)
(MinMax. (min (or min_ number) number) (max (or max_ number) number))
;; By the way, testing state is easy with handlers:
(deftest test-min-max
(testing "nil handling"
(is (= (MinMax. 5 5)
(handle-event (MinMax. nil nil) {:type :number :value 5}))))
(testing "ignores other events"
(is (= (MinMax. 1 3)
(handle-event (MinMax. 1 3) {:type :foo})))))
;; I think you get the idea. An Eventhandler is nothing but a function with the
;; type signature
;; f : EventHandler -> Event -> EventHandler.
;; As you can see this matches perfectly the signature of foldl.
;; foldl : ( a -> b -> a) -> a -> [b] -> a
;; You can also think of the event stream as a sequence of functions over the
;; state. So we combine the event and the function to a state changing function.
;; The fold using f and the events becomes a simple function composition.
(defn fold-as-comp [f initial events]
((apply comp (map (fn [e] (partial f e)) events)) initial))
;; Now for some fun we compose handlers. The state of the composed handler will
;; evolve by mapping the handling function of the contained handlers.
(defrecord Composed [handlers]
[_ event]
(map #(handle-event % event) handlers))))
(defn compose-handlers [& handlers]
(Composed. handlers))
;; To do some real event sourcing we need an event recording. This implementation
;; uses an simple list and thus does not rely on side effects.
(defrecord Recorder [events]
EventHandler (handle-event [_ event] (Recorder. (conj events event))))
;; We can even keep the history of states:
(defrecord HistoryHandler [history]
[_ event]
(HistoryHandler. (conj history (handle-event (last history) event)))))
(defn wrap-history [handler]
(HistoryHandler. [handler]))
;; Let's mix this up for a little composition fun. Look how the event of type :foo
;; is ignored by the handlers Adder, Averager and MinMax.
(deftest test-state
(testing "composed handling"
(let [events [{:type :number :value 5}
{:type :number :value 4}
{:type :number :value 3}
{:type :foo :value 3}
{:type :number :value 2}
{:type :number :value 1}]
initial-state (compose-handlers
(Recorder. nil)
(Adder. 0)
(Averager. 0 0 0)
(MinMax. nil nil))
final-state (fold-events initial-state events)
[recorder adder averager minmax] (:handlers final-state)]
(testing "handler handle events"
(is (= 6 (count (:events recorder))))
(is (= 15 (:sum adder)))
(is (= 3 (:avg averager)))
(is (= 1 (:min_ minmax)))
(is (= 5 (:max_ minmax))))
(testing "state history"
(let [history (fold-events (wrap-history initial-state) events)]
(is (= 7 (count (:history history))))
(is (= initial-state (first (:history history))))
(doseq [[fs hs] (map vector
(:handlers final-state)
(:handlers (last (:history history))))]
(is (= fs hs))))))))
;; Trigger all tests:
(test-ns *ns*)
;; Where can we go from here? Next I'll try to implement persistence of events and snapshotting.
;; Enabling concurrency would be fine, too, e.g. by using references to store the handlers.
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