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Aspect-oriented framework for JavaScript
JavaScript
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README.md

jsAspect Build Status

Aspect-oriented framework for JavaScript

In computing, aspect-oriented programming (AOP) is a programming paradigm that aims to increase modularity by allowing the separation of cross-cutting concerns. AOP forms a basis for aspect-oriented software development.

AOP includes programming methods and tools that support the modularization of concerns at the level of the source code, while "aspect-oriented software development" refers to a whole engineering discipline. (Source: Wikipedia)

Installation

To install the library just use bower:

bower install jsaspect

Or download the minified file in the dist folder.

Terminology

  • Advice: Additional behaviour added into a join point of a method.
  • Join Point: Places within the method invocation process, that can be joined with additional behaviour.
  • Pointcuts: Works like a filter, to specify which methods need to be intercepted.
  • Intercept: The technical overwritting of the method to attach the join points.

API

jsAspect.JOIN_POINT: Contains all available join points.

Currently supported join points:

  • BEFORE: Will be executed before the advised method.
  • AFTER_THROWING: Will be executed after the advised method thrown an error.
  • AFTER_RETURNING: Will be executed after the advised method returned a value.
  • AFTER: Will be executed after the advised method.
  • AROUND: Will be executed instead of the advised method, the original function and its arguments will be passed as arguments to the advice so that the original function can be executed inside the advice.

jsAspect.SCOPE: Contains all available SCOPES.

Currently supported scopes:

  • PROTOTYPE_METHODS: Default Intercepts all prototype methods (even inherited)
  • METHODS: To advice object methods, instead of prototype methods
  • PROTOTYPE_OWN_METHODS: Like prototype_methods without inherited methods.
  • METHOD : To advice just one method of an object.

In javascript we need scopes, to define if we want to intercept prototype or object methods.

Usage

Define Advice

At first, we have to define an Advice:

var afterAdvice =  new jsAspect.Advice.After(function() {
  console.log("joinPoint", "after");
});
var beforeAdvice = new jsAspect.Advice.Before(function() {
  console.log("joinPoint", "before");
});

In this example we defined two advices, a before and an after advice.

By default the advices will be using the pointcut PROTOTYPE_METHODS.

Using regular expressions to select methods (pointcut)

To apply an advice to a subset of methods, you also could use regular expressions. In the following example, we want to apply an advice to all getters and a before advice to our setters.

var afterReturningAdvice =  new jsAspect.Advice.AfterReturning(function() {
  console.log("joinPoint", "afterReturning");
}).withRegex("get.*");
var beforeAdvice = new jsAspect.Advice.Before(function() {
  console.log("joinPoint", "before");
}).withRegex("set.*");

Define Aspect

Up next we need to define a Aspect.

var aspect = new jsAspect.Aspect(beforeAdvice,  afterAdvice);

The Aspect takes the Advice's as parameters.

Apply Aspect to an object

We can apply an Aspect to any constructor or object. Note that in the following example the advices or the aspect should use the pointcut METHODS otherwise they will be not applied to the direct properties on the object.

var obj = {
   method1: function() {
    return "doing Something";
   }
};

aspect.applyTo(obj);

obj.method1();

This method execution will log: joinPoint after joinPoint before

Apply Aspect to a constructor/"class"

Once the Aspect is defined, we can apply it to several objects or constructors.

Let's take a look at constructors:

function Target(){}

Target.prototype.method1 = function() {
  return "method1value";
};

aspect.applyTo(Target); 

var target = new Target();
target.method1(); 

//logs: `joinPoint after`
//logs: `joinPoint before`

HINT: Place methods on the prototype of a constructor. If you place them directly into the constructor we will not be able to override these methods.

For example, this will not work as you might expect:

function Target(){
    this.method1 = function() {
        return "method1value";
    };
}

aspect.applyTo(Target); 

var target = new Target();
target.method1();

This will not log anything since aspect will not be applied to method1. However aspect.applyTo(target) will work if we use the poincut PROTOTYPE.OWN_METHODS.

Advices to inherited methods

Works by default. To turn off, use the pointcut PROTOTYPE_OWN_METHODS.

If you still want to advice methods that are directly placed on the created object in a constructor, you can apply your Aspect to each object created with this constructor.

Apply Aspect to methods set in constructor

To apply an Aspect to an object, you have to change the scopes at the advices, to advice the objects methods METHODS, instead of it's prototype methods PROTOTYPE_OWN_METHODS which is used by default.

//Define behaviour of the afterAdvice
var afterAdviceBehaviour = function() {
   console.log("joinPoint", "after");
};
var afterAdvice =  new jsAspect.Advice.After(afterAdviceBehaviour, jsAspect.POINTCUT.METHODS); //set the pointcut

//Define behaviour of the beforeAdvice
var beforeAdviceBehaviour = function() {
   console.log("joinPoint", "before");
};
var beforeAdvice = new jsAspect.Advice.Before(beforeAdviceBehaviour, jsAspect.POINTCUT.METHODS); //set the pointcut 

//create the aspect
var aspect = new jsAspect.Aspect(beforeAdvice, afterAdvice);

function Target() {
    this.method1 = function() {
        return "method1value";
    };
}
var target = new Target();
//Apply aspect on the object instead of the prototype
aspect.applyTo(target);

target.method1();

//logs: `joinPoint after`
//logs: `joinPoint before`

Apply an aspect using a regular expression

Sometimes you want to apply all your advices to a subset of methods within a object or constructor. For this case, you can make use of the function withRegex (same functionality as at advices).

aspect.withRegex("get.*").applyTo(Target);

Will match for all methods containing get: getData, some getterMethod

aspect.withRegex(".*Target.*").applyTo(Target);

Wil match for: setTarget, getTarget, printAllTargets.

The context parameter

The context parameter is passed to all advices. It provides information about the advised method itself and the object/constructor the aspect was applied to. Also it contains API to control the execution of the method to which the advice was applied. This is useful, for example, if you're building a logger aspect.

Usage:

//Define behaviour of the beforeAdvice
var beforeAdviceBehaviour = function(context) {
   console.log(context.target); //object/constructor, the aspect was applied to
   console.log(context.method.name); //the method's name, which is intercepted by this method.
   console.log(context.method.arguments); //the method were passed to the method
};

Constructor name

In some cases you want to log the constructor's name. To begin with the constructor function can have no name, so the responsibility for providing a name is of the client code of the library.

Currently the name is only provided in cases when the JavaScript execution environment natively supports Function.name (in future versions the name will be provided in case the constructor function has a name, for example like in this example).

A possible approach in the client code:

function Class(){}
Class.prototype.__name = "MyClass"; // The attribute
Class.prototype.method1 = function(param1) {
  return param1 + "-method1";
};

var beforeAdviceBehaviour = function(context) {
   console.log("Trace:", context.target.__name, "-->", context.method.name, " with parameter");
   console.log(context.method.arguments);
};
new jsAspect.Aspect(
  new jsAspect.Advice.Before(beforeAdviceBehaviour)
).applyTo(Class);

var class = new Class();
class.method1("ParamValue");

//this will log:
/**
Trace: MyClass --> method1 with parameter
["ParamValue"]
*/

This gives you the ability to create a nice logger.

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