Haxe async/await

async, cross, sugar, tink, utility
haxelib install tink_await 0.6.0



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Async/await for tink_core futures.

@async function getConfig()
  return Json.parse(@await loadFile('config.json'));


Install with haxelib install tink_await and use it in your hxml with -lib tink_await. Mark a class or interface as @await and all methods with @async metadata in your class will be transformed.

Any expression which returns a Future can be handled with @await. The example above will be transformed to something like this (there's a bit more boilerplate code which I'm omitting here):

function getConfig() {
  return Future.asyc(function(__return) {
    loadFile('config.json').handle(function(tmp) {

@await can be used anywhere in your code:

@async function loadStuff() {
  return switch @await getFile() {
    case 'hello world': @await loadWorld();
    default: @await loadDefault();

Transform a function that doesn't return a (async) value

You can use @await on a function to indicate that you want tink_await to transform the function body.

@await class Main {
	@await static function main() {
		if(@await foo() == 1) return;
	@async static function foo() return 1;
	static function check() {
		$type(main); // Void -> Void
		$type(foo); // Void -> tink.core.Promise<Int>

In summary, there is a difference for @async and @await when used to annotate a function.

  • @async expects a return value and the function will be transformed into returning a Promise<T>
  • @await doesn't expect a return value and its return type will be Void


You can also use @:asyncand @:await.

To see more examples have a look at the tests.


If an @await is used in a (for or while) loop, the loop will continue after the future is resolved.

@async function loop() {
  for (i in 0 ... 10) {
    // will continue after someAsycCall is done
    @await someAsyncCall();
  return 'done';

Working with Promises

An @async function always returns a Promise<Data>. Any exception thrown inside the function, be it synchronous or asynchronous, will result in a Failure. Any Failure you might receive in an @await call will also result in a Failure. A correct return will result in a Success. This makes passing errors much easier. To demonstrate this I use some methods of asys which have the same classes and methods as the synchronous haxe sys module. But instead of a synchronous result, they return a Future or a Promise.

@async function getBuildFile() {
  var path = 'build.hxml';
  if (@await FileSystem.exists(path)) {
    var content = @await File.getContent(path);
    return content;
  } else {
    throw 'File does not exist';

This would result in the function returning a Promise<String>. If you use this test function in another @async function the failure can 'bubble up'.

@async function getBuildLines() {
  var buildFile = @await getBuildFile();
  return buildFile.split('\n');

The result of the getBuildFile call will automatically be unpacked. Which means if the file exists buildFile will hold its contents. If the file did not exist the method will also return a Failure('File does not exist'). If you need to catch the failure you can do so with a try/catch:

@async function getBuildLines() {
  try {
    var buildFile = @await getBuildFile();
    return buildFile.split('\n');
  } catch (e: Error) {
    return [];

To recap:

  • Any exception results in a Failure, which will pass through all methods until caught
  • Returns result in a Success which is unpacked afterwards if used in @await

You can also @await a Future which does not contain an Outcome, the result will simply be the value of the Future.

Because all @async methods return a Promise the usage when calling any of these outside of an @asyc function will look like this:

function() {
  anAsyncMethod().handle(function (outcome) switch outcome {
    case Success(data): trace(data);
    case Failure(error): trace('Something went wrong: '+error);

Typing @async functions

An @async function's return type will also be transformed. The following function will result in a return type of Promise<String>

@async function(): String {
  return @await getBuildFile();


  • -D await_catch_none: Unexpected exceptions are never caught.


I used haxe-continuation as a guideline for getting this done. It is a solid alternative if you're working with callbacks, such as the nodejs api.