texai texai - 5 months ago 27
Javascript Question

How should I call 3 functions in order to execute them one after the other?

If I need call this functions one after other,


I know in jQuery I could do something like:


But, let's assume that I'm not using jQuery and I want to call:


How I should call this functions in order to execute
, and AFTER that call ends, then execute
and AFTER that call ends, then call


This still not working:


Three animations start at same time

Where is my mistake.


In Javascript, there are synchronous and asynchronous functions.

Synchronous Functions

Most functions in Javascript are synchronous. If you were to call several synchronous functions in a row


they will execute in order. doSomethingElse will not start until doSomething has completed. doSomethingUsefulThisTime, in turn, will not start until doSomethingElse has completed.

Asynchronous Functions

Asynchronous function, however, will not wait for each other. Let us look at the same code sample we had above, this time assuming that the functions are asynchronous


The functions will be initialized in order, but they will all execute roughly at the same time. You can't consistently predict which one will finish first: the one that happens to take the shortest amount of time to execute will finish first.

But sometimes, you want functions that are asynchronous to execute in order, and sometimes you want functions that are synchronous to execute asynchronously. Fortunately, this is possible with callbacks and timeouts, respectively.


Let's assume that we have three asynchronous functions that we want to execute in order, some_3secs_function, some_5secs_function, and some_8secs_function.

Since functions can be passed as arguments in Javascript, you can pass a function as a callback to execute after the function has completed.

If we create the functions like this

function some_3secs_function(value, callback){
  //do stuff

then you can call then in order, like this:

some_3secs_function(some_value, function() {
  some_5secs_function(other_value, function() {
    some_8secs_function(third_value, function() {
      //All three functions have completed, in order.


In Javascript, you can tell a function to execute after a certain timeout (in milliseconds). This can, in effect, make synchronous functions behave asynchronously.

If we have three synchronous functions, we can execute them asynchronously using the setTimeout function.

setTimeout(doSomething, 10);
setTimeout(doSomethingElse, 10);
setTimeout(doSomethingUsefulThisTime, 10);

This is, however, a bit ugly and violates the DRY principle[wikipedia]. We could clean this up a bit by creating a function that accepts an array of functions and a timeout.

function executeAsynchronously(functions, timeout) {
  for(var i = 0; i < functions.length; i++) {
    setTimeout(functions[i], timeout);

This can be called like so:

    [doSomething, doSomethingElse, doSomethingUsefulThisTime], 10);

In summary, if you have asynchronous functions that you want to execute syncronously, use callbacks, and if you have synchronous functions that you want to execute asynchronously, use timeouts.