Promise-returning delay function

Andrea Giammarchi andrea.giammarchi at
Mon Oct 27 12:20:44 PDT 2014

I thought promises were introduced to simply the "whenever it happens"
pattern ... using a delay seems a pretty pointless feature to me and
setTimeout worked so far (15 years?) pretty well and it is cancelable.

Regardless delay though, canceling, beast or not, should be considered
before all these changes will make it "impossible" to implement, IMO

On Mon, Oct 27, 2014 at 2:52 PM, Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage at>

> On Mon, Oct 27, 2014 at 3:21 AM, Andrea Giammarchi
> <andrea.giammarchi at> wrote:
> > Not sure if discussed already but I believe `.cancel()` or
> > `.forgetAboutIt()` mechanism should be proposed before introducing any
> > `.delay()`
> >
> > Promises often put developers in unmanaged roads where things keep being
> > "forgotten" and/or impossible to drop without ending up in the next
> chain,
> > undesired, or the error stack, even less desired.
> >
> > What I mean is that if `setTimeout` is a desired pattern to replicate
> > through `.delay(ms)`, but I really don't understand why that would be a
> > desired pattern at all, `clearTimeout` functionality should be
> considered as
> > well.
> >
> > A generic `.cancel()` would be most likely the easier approach but it
> should
> > be implemented upfront.
> Cancelable promises are a completely different beast; it's not just a
> matter of adding a new method to Promise.prototype, it's changing the
> data structure pretty fundamentally.  Suddenly you have a new
> value-affecting capability, but it's exposed outside of the
> constructor.  You need to be able to react to a cancellation, so you
> can actually cancel the work being done, and possibly resolve the
> promise to some default value (or error).
> A promise that auto-resolves after a timeout, on the other hand, is a
> straightforward utility function of obvious usefulness, and requires
> no additional work:
> Promise.delay = function(ms) {
>   return new Promise(function(r) { setTimeout(r, ms); });
> }
> (Not tested, but this should be approximately right.)
> ~TJ
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