Simplest way to wait some asynchronous tasks complete, in Javascript?

I want to drop some mongodb collections, but that's an asynchronous task. The code will be:

var mongoose = require('mongoose');

mongoose.connect('mongo://localhost/xxx');

var conn = mongoose.connection;

['aaa','bbb','ccc'].forEach(function(name){
    conn.collection(name).drop(function(err) {
        console.log('dropped');
    });
});
console.log('all dropped');

The console displays:

all dropped
dropped
dropped
dropped

What is the simplest way to make sure all dropped will be printed after all collections has been dropped? Any 3rd-party can be used to simplify the code.

Answers:

Answer

The way to do it is to pass the tasks a callback that updates a shared counter. When the shared counter reaches zero you know that all tasks have finished so you can continue with your normal flow.

var ntasks_left_to_go = 4;

var callback = function(){
    ntasks_left_to_go -= 1;
    if(ntasks_left_to_go <= 0){
         console.log('All tasks have completed. Do your stuff');
    }
}

task1(callback);
task2(callback);
task3(callback);
task4(callback);

Of course, there are many ways to make this kind of code more generic or reusable and any of the many async programing libraries out there should have at least one function to do this kind of thing.

Answer

Expanding upon @freakish answer, async also offers a each method, which seems especially suited for your case:

var async = require('async');

async.each(['aaa','bbb','ccc'], function(name, callback) {
    conn.collection(name).drop( callback );
}, function(err) {
    if( err ) { return console.log(err); }
    console.log('all dropped');
});

IMHO, this makes the code both more efficient and more legible. I've taken the liberty of removing the console.log('dropped') - if you want it, use this instead:

var async = require('async');

async.each(['aaa','bbb','ccc'], function(name, callback) {
    // if you really want the console.log( 'dropped' ),
    // replace the 'callback' here with an anonymous function
    conn.collection(name).drop( function(err) {
        if( err ) { return callback(err); }
        console.log('dropped');
        callback()
    });
}, function(err) {
    if( err ) { return console.log(err); }
    console.log('all dropped');
});
Answer

I do this without external libaries:

var yourArray = ['aaa','bbb','ccc'];
var counter = [];

yourArray.forEach(function(name){
    conn.collection(name).drop(function(err) {
        counter.push(true);
        console.log('dropped');
        if(counter.length === yourArray.length){
            console.log('all dropped');
        }
    });                
});
Answer

All answers are quite old. Since the beginning of 2013 Mongoose started to support promises gradually for all queries, so that would be the recommended way of structuring several async calls in the required order going forward I guess.

Answer

With deferred (another promise/deferred implementation) you can do:

// Setup 'pdrop', promise version of 'drop' method
var deferred = require('deferred');
mongoose.Collection.prototype.pdrop =
    deferred.promisify(mongoose.Collection.prototype.drop);

// Drop collections:
deferred.map(['aaa','bbb','ccc'], function(name){
    return conn.collection(name).pdrop()(function () {
      console.log("dropped");
    });
}).end(function () {
    console.log("all dropped");
}, null);
Answer

I see you are using mongoose so you are talking about server-side JavaScript. In that case I advice looking at async module and use async.parallel(...). You will find this module really helpful - it was developed to solve the problem you are struggling with. Your code may look like this

var async = require('async');

var calls = [];

['aaa','bbb','ccc'].forEach(function(name){
    calls.push(function(callback) {
        conn.collection(name).drop(function(err) {
            if (err)
                return callback(err);
            console.log('dropped');
            callback(null, name);
        });
    }
)});

async.parallel(calls, function(err, result) {
    /* this code will run after all calls finished the job or
       when any of the calls passes an error */
    if (err)
        return console.log(err);
    console.log(result);
});
Answer

Use Promises.

var mongoose = require('mongoose');

mongoose.connect('your MongoDB connection string');
var conn = mongoose.connection;

var promises = ['aaa', 'bbb', 'ccc'].map(function(name) {
  return new Promise(function(resolve, reject) {
    var collection = conn.collection(name);
    collection.drop(function(err) {
      if (err) { return reject(err); }
      console.log('dropped ' + name);
      resolve();
    });
  });
});

Promise.all(promises)
.then(function() { console.log('all dropped)'); })
.catch(console.error);

This drops each collection, printing “dropped” after each one, and then prints “all dropped” when complete. If an error occurs, it is displayed to stderr.


Previous answer (this pre-dates Node’s native support for Promises):

Use Q promises or Bluebird promises.

With Q:

var Q = require('q');
var mongoose = require('mongoose');

mongoose.connect('your MongoDB connection string');
var conn = mongoose.connection;

var promises = ['aaa','bbb','ccc'].map(function(name){
    var collection = conn.collection(name);
    return Q.ninvoke(collection, 'drop')
      .then(function() { console.log('dropped ' + name); });
});

Q.all(promises)
.then(function() { console.log('all dropped'); })
.fail(console.error);

With Bluebird:

var Promise = require('bluebird');
var mongoose = Promise.promisifyAll(require('mongoose'));

mongoose.connect('your MongoDB connection string');
var conn = mongoose.connection;

var promises = ['aaa', 'bbb', 'ccc'].map(function(name) {
  return conn.collection(name).dropAsync().then(function() {
    console.log('dropped ' + name);
  });
});

Promise.all(promises)
.then(function() { console.log('all dropped'); })
.error(console.error);
Answer

If you are using Babel or such transpilers and using async/await you could do :

function onDrop() {
   console.log("dropped");
}

async function dropAll( collections ) {
   const drops = collections.map(col => conn.collection(col).drop(onDrop) );
   await drops;
   console.log("all dropped");
}

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