James Davies James Davies - 3 months ago 21
Scala Question

Scala - Chaining Futures Try blocks?

Is it possible to chain scala.util.Try and scala.concurrent.Future? They both effectively provide the same monadic interface, but attempting to chain them results in a compile error.

For example. Given the two signatures below

def someFuture:Future[String] = ???
def processResult(value:String):Try[String] = ???


is it possible to do something like the following?

val result = for( a <- someFuture; b <- processResult( a ) ) yield b;
result.map { /* Success Block */ } recover { /* Failure Block */ }


This obviously results in a compile error, because Future and Try are unable to be flatMapp'ed together.

It would however be a nice feature to be able to chain them - is this at all possible? Or do I need to combine them into a Future[Try[String]]?

(In particular, I'm interested in having a single 'recover' block to catch exceptions in either the future or the try).

Answer

When faced with a problem like this, where you want to use differing types in a for comprehension, one solution can be to try and select one of the types and map the other type to it. For your situation, given the unique properties (async) of futures, I would select Future as the lowest common denominator and map the Try to the Future. You can simply do that like this:

val result = for{
  a <- someFuture
  b <- tryToFuture(processResult(a)) 
}  yield b
result.map { /* Success Block */ } recover { /* Failure Block */ }

def tryToFuture[T](t:Try[T]):Future[T] = {
  t match{
    case Success(s) => Future.successful(s)
    case Failure(ex) => Future.failed(ex)
  }
}

Now if you found this to be a very common situation and you did not like constantly having to add in the explicit conversion, I suppose you could define the tryToFuture method as implicit on some helper object and import it where needed like this:

object FutureHelpers{
  implicit def tryToFuture[T](t:Try[T]):Future[T] = {
    t match{
      case Success(s) => Future.successful(s)
      case Failure(ex) => Future.failed(ex)
    }
  }
}

import FutureHelpers._
val result = for{
  a <- someFuture
  b <- processResult(a) 
}  yield b
result.map { /* Success Block */ } recover { /* Failure Block */ }

Just remember that calling Future.success and Future.failed has an impact on whatever ExecutionContext is in scope in that it will submit another task to it under the hood.