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JavaScript

Promise me you won’t use Promise.race

Before we start, if you’re not sure what JavaScript Promises are, read this post. It’s a really great introduction for Promises. Furthermore, the code examples in this post uses Arrow functions, if you are unfamiliar with them, check out this link for an explanation.

Introduction

My colleague, Erik Timmers, and I often have discussions about programming and related technologies. This blog post is the result of one of those discussions. We discovered that the function Promise.race didn’t exactly do what we expected. So we tested it, figured out how it worked, found out what we thought was wrong, and finally created a version of the Promise.race function that does what we expected. After that we went a little bit further…and added some functionality to the function. Please note that this code shouldn’t be used in production, or at the very least, it should be tested a bit more. We did it “because we could”, but also because we wanted to understand the functionality. If you would like to view, extend, learn from the actual code, the source code is also available on GitHub.

So what’s wrong with Promise.race?

So you’re working on a JavaScript application, and your IntelliJ (because why would you use any other IDE?) autocomplete pops up with the function ‘race’ when you write ‘Promise.’. So without looking at the documentation, what would you expect Promise.race to do?
My first though was, that you can probably pass a few promises to this function and it returns the value of the first promise that resolved. Makes sense right?

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