Add a delay after executing each iteration with forEach loop

Is there an easy way to slow down the iteration in a forEach (with plain javascript)? For example:

var items = document.querySelector('.item');

items.forEach(function(el) {
  // do stuff with el and pause before the next el;
});

Answers:

Answer

What you want to achieve is totally possible with Array#forEach — although in a different way you might think of it. You can not do a thing like this:

var array = ['some', 'array', 'containing', 'words'];
array.forEach(function (el) {
  console.log(el);
  wait(1000); // wait 1000 milliseconds
});
console.log('Loop finished.');

... and get the output:

some
array          // one second later
containing     // two seconds later
words          // three seconds later
Loop finished. // four seconds later

There is no synchronous wait or sleep function in JavaScript that blocks all code after it.

The only way to delay something in JavaScript is in a non–blocking way. That means using setTimeout or one of its relatives. We can use the second parameter of the function that we pass to Array#forEach: it contains the index of the current element:

var array = ['some', 'array', 'containing', 'words'];
var interval = 1000; // how much time should the delay between two iterations be (in milliseconds)?
array.forEach(function (el, index) {
  setTimeout(function () {
    console.log(el);
  }, index * interval);
});
console.log('Loop finished.');

Using the index, we can compute when the function should be executed. But now we have a different problem: the console.log('Loop finished.') is executed before the first iteration of the loop. That's because setTimout is non–blocking.

JavaScript sets the timeouts in the loop, but it doesn't wait for the timeouts to complete. It just continues executing the code after the forEach.

To handle that, we can use Promises. Let's build a promise chain:

var array = ['some', 'array', 'containing', 'words'];
var interval = 1000; // how much time should the delay between two iterations be (in milliseconds)?
var promise = Promise.resolve();
array.forEach(function (el) {
  promise = promise.then(function () {
    console.log(el);
    return new Promise(function (resolve) {
      setTimeout(resolve, interval);
    });
  });
});

promise.then(function () {
  console.log('Loop finished.');
});

There is an excellent article about Promises in conjunction with forEach/map/filter here.


I gets trickier if the array can change dynamically. In that case, I don't think Array#forEach should be used. Try this out instead:

var array = ['some', 'array', 'containing', 'words'];
var interval = 2000; // how much time should the delay between two iterations be (in milliseconds)?

var loop = function () {
  return new Promise(function (outerResolve) {
    var promise = Promise.resolve();
    var i = 0;
    var next = function () {
      var el = array[i];
      // your code here
      console.log(el);
      if (++i < array.length) {
        promise = promise.then(function () {
          return new Promise(function (resolve) {
            setTimeout(function () {
              resolve();
              next();
            }, interval);
          });
        });
      } else {
        setTimeout(outerResolve, interval);
        // or just call outerResolve() if you don't want to wait after the last element
      }
    };
    next();
  });
};

loop().then(function () {
  console.log('Loop finished.');
});

var input = document.querySelector('input');
document.querySelector('button').addEventListener('click', function () {
  // add the new item to the array
  array.push(input.value);
  input.value = '';
});
<input type="text">
<button>Add to array</button>

Answer

You need to make use of setTimeout to create a delay and have a recursive implementation

You example should look like

var items = ['a', 'b', 'c']
var i = 0;
(function loopIt(i) {
  setTimeout(function(){
      // your code handling here
      console.log(items[i]);
      if(i < items.length - 1)  loopIt(i+1)
    }, 2000);
})(i)

Answer

First of all you have to change your code:

var items = document.querySelectorAll('.item'), i;

for (i = 0; i < items.length; ++i) {
  // items[i] <--- your element
}

You can loop over Arrays easily in JavaScript with forEach, but unfortunately, it's not that simple with the results of a querySelectorAll

Read more about It here

I can advice you to read this answer to find a right solution for sleep

Answer

You can use async/await, Promise constructor, setTimeout() and for..of loop to perform tasks in sequence where a duration can be set set before a task is performed

(async() => {

  const items = [{
    prop: "a",
    delay: Math.floor(Math.random() * 1001)
  }, {
    prop: "b",
    delay: 2500
  }, {
    prop: "c",
    delay: 1200
  }];

  const fx = ({prop, delay}) =>
    new Promise(resolve => setTimeout(resolve, delay, prop)) // delay
    .then(data => console.log(data)) // do stuff

  for (let {prop, delay} of items) {
    // do stuff with el and pause before the next el;
    let curr = await fx({prop, delay});
  };
})();

Answer

I think recursion offers the simplest solution.

function slowIterate(arr) {
  if (arr.length === 0) {
    return;
  }
  console.log(arr[0]); // <-- replace with your custom code 
  setTimeout(() => {
    slowIterate(arr.slice(1));
  }, 1000); // <-- replace with your desired delay (in milliseconds) 
}

slowIterate(Array.from(document.querySelector('.item')));
Answer

Generators

function* elGenLoop (els) {
  let count = 0;

  while (count < els.length) {
    yield els[count++];
  }
}

// This will also work with a NodeList
// Such as `const elList = elGenLoop(document.querySelector('.item'));`
const elList = elGenLoop(['one', 'two', 'three']);

console.log(elList.next().value); // one
console.log(elList.next().value); // two
console.log(elList.next().value); // three

This gives you complete control over when you want to access the next iteration in the list.

Answer

You can make a promise and use it with a for, the example has to be in an async / await function:

    let myPromise = () => new Promise((resolve, reject) => {
      setTimeout(function(){
        resolve('Count')
      }, 1000)
    })
  
    for (let index = 0; index < 100; index++) {
      let count = await myPromise()
      console.log(`${count}: ${index}`)    
    }

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