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hooks - Generic Hooks system for Erlang and Elixir pplications

Copyright (c) 2015-2017 Benoit Chesneau.

Version: 2.1.0


hooks is a generic Hooks system for Erlang applications. It allows you to augment your application by adding hooks to your application aka Hooking. Hooks can also be used easily with Elixir applications.

Build Status Hex pm

Main Features are:

  • Handle module hooks
  • Basic plugin system
  • Registered hooks are exported as functions in a dynamically compiled erlang module . It allows us to share the list of registered hooks between every process of your application without message passing. It is also memory efficient and minimize locking.

Usage in Erlang Applications

Full application API is available in hooks .

adding hooks manually

Your application can add hooks using the following methods

  • hooks:reg/{3, 4, 5} to register a hook from a module
  • hook:unreg/{3, 5, 5} to unregister a hook.
ok = hooks:reg(a, ?MODULE, hook_add, 1, 10),
ok = hooks:reg(a, ?MODULE, hook_add2, 1, 0),

add multiple hooks

  • hook:mreg/1: to register multiple hooks
  • hooks:munreg/1: to register multiple hooks


Hooks = [{a, [{?MODULE, hook1, 0},
              {?MODULE, hook2, 0}]},
         {b, [{?MODULE, hook1, 2},
              {?MODULE, hook2, 2}]},
         {c, [{?MODULE, hook_add, 1},
              {?MODULE, hook_add1, 1}]}],
%% register multiple hooks
ok = hooks:mreg(Hooks),
%% unregister multiple hooks
ok = hooks:munreg(Hooks)

Enable/Disable Plugins

Plugins are simple Erlang applications that exposes hooks. A plugin can be enabled to your application using hooks:enable_plugin/{1,2} and disabled using hooks:disable_plugin/1 . When enabled the application and its dependencies are started (if not already stared) and exposed hooks are registered.

To expose the hooks, just add them to application environment settings. Example:

{application, 'myapp',
 [{description, ""},
  {vsn, "1.0.0"},


    {hooks, [{a, [{?MODULE, hook1, 0},
                  {?MODULE, hook2, 0}]},
             {b, [{?MODULE, hook1, 2},
                  {?MODULE, hook2, 2}]}]},



You can specify a patch where to load the application and its dependencies.

run hooks

You can use the following command to execute hooks

  • hooks:run/2 :run all hooks registered for the HookName.
  • hooks:run_fold/3: fold over all hooks registered for HookName, and return Acc.
  • hooks:all/2: execute all hooks for this HookName and return all results
  • hooks:all_till_ok/2: execute all hooks for the HookName until one return ok or {ok, Val}.
  • hooks:only/2: call the top priority hook for the HookName and return the result.

advanced features

Internal hooks

2 internal hooks are exposed

  • init_hooks: the hook is executed when hooks is started, a function of arity 0 is expected.
  • build_hooks: the hooks is executed when the list of hooks has changed. A function of arity 1, receiving the list of hooks is expected.

When added to the hooks application environnement, the hooks are immediately available and won't wait for any registered process.

wait_for_proc application setting

The wait_for_proc application environment settings in the hooks application allows you to wait for a specific registered process (example your main application process) to be started before making the hooks available. It means that until the process isn`t registered the beam containing the list of hooks won't be compiled with the list of added hooks.

custom start/stop functions

When enabling a plugin the application is generally started like any OTP application. In some cases however you may want to use your own start/stop functions.

To do it create an Application module and add to it the functions start/0 and stop/0. Application:start/0 should return ok or an error if it can't be started.

Usage in Elixir applications

Add hooks to your mix app by adding hooks to your list of dependencies,

[{:hooks, "~> 2.0.0"}]

## [{:hooks, git: ""}]

Sample code usage is as follows:

defmodule DemoMReg do
    def run do
        hooks = [
                    {:a, [{__MODULE__, :hook1, 1}, {__MODULE__, :hook1, 1}]},
                    {:b, [{__MODULE__, :hook1, 1}, {__MODULE__, :hook1, 1}]}

        IO.inspect Hooks.mreg(hooks)
        IO.inspect Hooks.find(:b)
        IO.inspect Hooks.all(:b, [1])

    def hook1(args) do
        [ok: args]

defmodule DemoReg do
    def run do
        IO.inspect Hooks.reg(:c, __MODULE__, :hook1, 1)
        IO.inspect Hooks.find(:c)
        IO.inspect Hooks.all(:c, [1])

    def hook1(args) do
        [ok: args]


generic plugin & hook system for Erlang applications







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