Skip to content
Switch branches/tags

Name already in use

A tag already exists with the provided branch name. Many Git commands accept both tag and branch names, so creating this branch may cause unexpected behavior. Are you sure you want to create this branch?
Go to file
Cannot retrieve contributors at this time
  • Start Date: 2019-12-15
  • Relevant Team(s): Ember.js
  • RFC PR: #567
  • Tracking: (leave this empty)

@use and Resources


Adds an API for defining and using Resources, which are lifecycle-driven state managers. Resources can be used to make a number of common tasks much more ergonomic, such as loading data in components, setting up and updating subscriptions to external events, and controlling external libraries.

For instance, one could use @use and resources to create a RemoteData resource that manages fetching data from a URL, while presenting the state of fetching in a declarative way, similar to ember-concurrency.

export default class SearchResults extends Component {
  @use products = remoteData(this.args.searchUrl);
{{#if this.products.isLoading}}
  {{#each as |product|}}
    <ProductCard @product={{product}} />


Ember Octane introduced autotracking, which is a general-purpose reactivity system that redefines the way that state flows throughout Ember applications. Native getters, helpers, and modifiers have all been integrated with autotracking, and collectively these changes have made state flow more declarative and targeted, and generally have been well received by early adopters.

One of the pieces of feedback we've received, however, is that there are some gaps in the this reactivity sytem. Some example use cases include:

  • Triggering asynchronous requests based on changing arguments, and consuming the results in templates and getters in a natural way.
  • Controlling external libraries such as Leaflet and Three.js using components and the rendering tree, rather than manual library code.
  • More generally, controlling state outside of Ember itself. A great example is TurboPatent, an Electron app which needs to sync the state of the app with the state of the native menu bar, outside of the document and Ember's rendering layer entirely.

These use cases were handled sporadically in a number of different ways in Ember Classic. Users could use component lifecycle hooks, observers, and external libraries like ember-concurrency and ember-async-await-helper to solve these problems, but there was not a good general solution that fit all of them.

Fundamentally, the issues come down to mixing declarative code (like getters and helpers, where tracked properties are used to produce a new result based on their values) and imperative code (like component lifecycle hooks Ember Classic, where a the user wants to run some code that does not return a value whenever something else changes).

This RFC proposes a new primitive, Resources, built specifically for this general problem of mixing imperative and declarative code; one that will complement the existing Octane programming model, and improve its ergonomics overall.

Case Study: Triggering Async

To demonstrate the gap that Resources fill, we can take a look at a fairly common use case that users of ember-concurrency tasks have had: Rerunnning a task whenever a component argument changes.

In Ember Classic, it would be straightforward to set this up:

export default Component.extend({
  products: task(function*(url) {
    let response = yield fetch(url);
    let data = yield response.json();
    return data;

  didReceiveAttrs() {

With Ember Octane, it is possible to get the same behavior using ember-concurrency-decorators and @ember/render-modifiers, but it is a bit more convoluted:

export default class SearchResults extends Component {
  *products(url) {
    let response = yield fetch(url);
    let data = yield response.json();
    return data;
  {{did-insert (perform this.products @searchUrl)}}
  {{did-update (perform this.products @searchUrl)}}

We can see that this has a few disadvantages compared to the original approach:

  • It requires us to switch contexts between the template and the JS to understand the flow of the component.
  • It requires us to explicitly list all of the dependencies for a task twice. This is reminiscent of dependency lists in computed properties and observers, and has similar drawbacks in some cases.
  • It requires us to add an element to our template, one which potentially does nothing at all other than exist to allow us to invoke the modifiers.

This approach does have one advantage over the original - it will only call perform if @searchUrl has actually changed. This would have potentially been a subtle bug in the original, since it could cause search results to reload if unrelated args changed. But the extra weight and other caveats make this solution feel worse overall, as we've discovered through the experience of Octane's early adopters.

Introducing @use and Resources

There are two core issues here:

  1. With Glimmer components, there is no simple way to define behavior that has its own self contained lifecycle, independent of a template.
  2. Historically, even before Glimmer components, there has been no standard way to mix imperative and declarative code, and expose the results naturally. ember-concurrency comes close, but only solves one specific problem.

The @use API aims to solve both of these issues, and to do so in a way that integrates with autotracking so that users don't have to list out dependencies constantly in a repetitive manner. The core of the API consists of:

  • The @use decorator (and the complementary {{use}} helper)
  • The resource base class (implemented via a ResourceManager, similar to both components and modifiers).

With these, we can create the RemoteData example at the beginning of this RFC like so:

class RemoteData {
  @tracked data = null;
  @tracked isLoading = false;

  get state() {
    return {
      isLoading: this.isLoading,

  async start(url) {
    this.isLoading = true;

    let response = await fetch(url);
    let data = await response.json();

    if (!this.isDestroyed) {
      this.isLoading = false; = data;

export const remoteData = resource(RemoteData);

And we would use it like so:

export default class SearchResults extends Component {
  @use products = remoteData(this.args.searchUrl);
{{#if this.products.isLoading}}
  {{#each as |product|}}
    <ProductCard @product={{product}} />

A Closer Look

Resources fundamentally revolve around two lifecycle hooks: start and teardown.

After a new instance of a resource is created it runs the start method, which receives the arguments passed to the resource function and is used to setup the state. This method and its arguments are autotracked, and if anything that was consumed in it changes, teardown is called to destroy the resource, and a new one is created with the new state in its place. When the parent of the resource (the class it is @used on) is destroyed, then its teardown hook is called one last time and it is removed completely.

Users can then define the state property, which is exposed externally on the field that was decorated with @use.

class Counter {
  @tracked count = 0;

  intervalId = null;

  // This is the value that is returned when `this.counter` is accessed on
  // the component, either in the template, or in the JS of the component.
  get state() {
    return this.count;

  // This runs the first time when an instance of MyComponent is created,
  // and then whenever `this.args.interval` changes.
  start(interval) {
    this.intervalId = setInterval(() => this.count++, interval);

  // This whenever `this.args.interval` changes, and when the parent
  // MyComponent is destroyed.
  teardown() {

const counter = resource(Counter);

// usage
class MyComponent extends Component {
  @use counter = counter(this.args.interval);

  get counterPlusOne() {
    // `this.counter` is equal to the return value of the `state`
    // getter on Counter.
    return this.counter + 1;
<!-- this shows the return value of the `state` getter on Counter -->

If users don't want their resource to be torn down and remade for every change, they can also add an update method to the definition. This will be called for any changes to consumed state instead, and will be autotracked in the same way that start is. It also receives the updated arguments that start receives, allowing the resource to respond to external state changes.

class Counter {
  @tracked count = 0;

  currentInterval = null;
  intervalId = null;

  get state() {
    return this.count;

  start(interval) {
    this.currentInterval = interval;
    this.intervalId = setInterval(() => this.count++, interval);

  // If `interval` ever changes, this hook is run again with
  // the new values.
  update(interval) {
    // only update the interval if the time period has changed
    if (interval !== this.currentInterval) {

      this.currentInterval = interval;
      this.intervalId = setInterval(() => this.count++, interval);

  teardown() {

const counter = resource(Counter);

// usage
class MyComponent extends Component {
  @use counter = counter(this.args.interval);
<!-- this shows the return value of the `state` getter on Counter -->

Now the counter can maintain its current count even if the interval is increased or decreased. Finally, @use desugars down to a function which can be used to manually add resources, and to start them eagerly.

class Interval {
  // private, internal state
  intervalId = null;

  start(fn, interval) {
    this.intervalId = setInterval(fn, interval);

  teardown() {

const interval = resource(Interval);

// usage
class MyComponent extends Component {
  constructor() {
    useResource(this, () => interval(this.sayHello, this.args.interval));

  sayHello() {

This could be used to create a simple and generic resource for side-effects, like rendering to a Three.js scene.

class Effect {
  start(fn) {
    this.destructor = fn();

  teardown() {

const effect = resource(Effect);

function useEffect(context, fn) {
  return useResource(context, () => effect(fn));

// usage
import THREE from 'three';

let geometry = new THREE.BoxGeometry( 2, 2, 2 );
let material = new THREE.MeshNormalMaterial();

export default class SceneBoxComponent extends Component {
  constructor(owner, args) {
    super(owner, args);

    this.mesh = new THREE.Mesh(geometry, material);
    this.mesh.position.set(0, 0, 0);

    useEffect(this, () => {
      let { rotation: r } = args;


  willDestroy() {

This design allows users to mix imperative and declarative code in an ergonomic way, anywhere that it is needed.

Stepping Back

Resources are designed to address a gap in the Octane programming model: running imperative, lifecycle driven code based on changes to state. This gap is exacerbated by changes in Octane, but it is not entirely new; Ember Classic never really provided a full answer to these problems, and that's why libraries like ember-concurrency were built in the first place.

The following table shows the different broad categories of state flow in an Ember app, and shows which features from the Classic edition cover which types of state flow.

  • DOM Effects/Plugins: Includes using native APIs to customize the DOM, add event listeners, and use other built-in browser APIs, along with setting up external JS libraries (e.g. Tether.js, animation libraries).
  • Declarative Side-Effects: Includes using render-less components to control external libraries, like Three.js and Leaflet, and to side-effect otherwise just by their existence in the app.
  • Self-contained State: Includes setting up, managing, and exposing some sort of state that is not easy to control in a declarative way, such as async requests.
  • Derived State: Includes deriving state from base values (like @tracked properties) in the app and producing new values directly from them.
  • means that the feature is generally good at covering this type of state flow without major caveats, though it may still have nuances.
  • ⚠️ means that the feature partially covers this type of state flow, but it has major caveats or use cases which aren't covered well or at all.
  • means that the feature does not cover this type of state flow.
DOM Effects/Plugins Declarative Side-Effects Self-contained State Derived State
Classic Component Lifecycle ⚠️[1]
Observers ⚠️[2]
Ember Concurrency ⚠️[3]
Computed Properties
  1. Works for some types of side-effects nicely, like controlling external UI libraries like Leaflet, but not for all types of side-effects, particularly ones that don't map directly to component usage.
  2. Works for some types of side-effects, but only ones that can be modeled using chains of dependencies. Introduces lots of complicated data flows, which are difficult to predict and debug.
  3. Works incredibly well, and has had a major impact on the community, but solves one specific problem (async) and is not very generalizable.

We can see that the classic model had some pretty major gaps, most of which were partially covered, but not completely. It also wasn't entirely clear when to use which solution for which problem - e.g. should you use observers or lifecycle hooks to control an external library?

Resources plug this gap, and do so in a way that is unambiguous - DOM related tasks are handled by modifiers, other lifecycle driven tasks are handled by resources, and derived state is handled by getters and helpers. All of these are fundamentally driven by autotracking based on tracked properties, meaning that each construct only updates when needed - as opposed to classic lifecycle hooks, which would run with any changes.

DOM Effects/Plugins Declarative Side-Effects Self-contained State Derived State
@tracked + Getters

The fact that these concepts are so closely related is not a coincidence - they are complementary, and their APIs should likely reflect that. It's beyond the scope of this RFC to specify what the final built in Modifier design is, but it would make sense for it to match the Resource API proposed in this RFC, along with a new Helper API at some point in the future.

Detailed design

The design of Resources consists of three parts:

  1. The ResourceManager interface
  2. The useResource function for instantiating resources and associating them with a parent.
  3. The resource decorator/wrapper for creating resources

The @use decorator and the {{use}} helper wrap useResource and provide a easier to use and more ergonomic API.


Like most concepts that have been added to Ember recently, resources will be implemented using a manager that is pluggable under the hood. This will ensure that the design is flexible in case changes to the API need to be made in the future, and allow for experimentation with new resource base classes and APIs in general. The resource base class proposed in this RFC is implemented in terms of this manager, and could also be broken out into its own separate RFC.

The ResourceManager interface has the following signature:

type ManagedResource = object;
type ResourceDefinition = { resource: ManagedResource };

interface ResourceManagerCapabilities {
  disableAutotracking: boolean;

interface ResourceManager<Bucket> {
  capabilities: ResourceManagerCapabilities;

  createResource(parent: unknown, def: ResourceDefinition): Bucket;

  getState(bucket: Bucket): unknown;

  setupResource(bucket: Bucket): void;

  updateResource(bucket: Bucket): void;

  destroyResource(bucket: Bucket): void;

declare function setResourceManager(
  managerFactory: (owner: Owner) => ResourceManager,
  managed: ManagedResource

declare function capabilities(
  managerAPI: string,
  options: { disableAutotracking?: boolean }
): ResourceManagerCapabilities;

parent is exposed to the manager here to facilitate APIs that would require running within the parent's context, such as generator functions:

class MyComponent extends Component {
  @use filteredModels = task(function*() {
    let response = yield fetch(this.args.url);
    let { models } = yield response.json();

    return filterModels(models, this.args.filters);

Generators are a powerful syntax, but currently they do not have lexical binding built in (a la arrow functions). Passing the parent to the manager prevents having to add additional boilerplate for their usage. The default resource implementation will not directly expose the parent, however.

Both setupResource and updateResource should return an object that has a state getter on it. This allows @use and {{use}} to maintain a reference to the internal state of the resource, and get it again whenever it updates. The timing semantics of the hooks are as follows:


  • Called to create the resource.


  • Called whenever the state of the resource is accessed.


  • Called immediately after the resource is created (using useResource).


  • Called after the arguments to the resource have changed, or after any values tracked during the previous setupResource or updateResource have changed (unless the disableAutotracking capability is set to true).
  • Called asynchronously by default, unless the resource is accessed, in which case it is called synchronously before returning its internal state.
  • Called before the equivalent asynchronous update resources of any parent:
    • Components
    • Modifiers
    • Resources


  • Called asynchronously after the instance of the parent class that the resource is defined on is scheduled for destruction.
  • Called before the equivalent asynchronous destruction resources of any parent:
    • Components
    • Modifiers
    • Resources

Resource managers have the following capabilities and defaults:

interface ResourceManagerCapabilities {
  disableAutotracking: boolean = false;

The effects of these capabilities are as follows:

  • disableAutotracking: If set to false, then the setupResource and updateResource hooks will be autotracked, and changes to the state consumed while running them will trigger the updateResource hook again. If set to true, only changes to the incoming arguments themselves will cause updates.

Resource managers can be set on classes or objects using an API similar to the component and modifier manager APIs:

  owner => new CustomResourceManager(owner),

Like other managers, this manager will inherit down the prototype hierarchy, so it only needs to be set on the base class.


useResource is responsible for creating a resource and associating it with a parent, such as a component, controller, or another resource. It receives two arguments, and returns a resource instance.

type ManagedResource = object;
type ResourceDefinition = { resource: ManagedResource };
type ResourceDefinitionThunk = () => ResourceDefinition;

interface ResourceInstance {
  state: unknown,
  teardown(): void;

declare function useResource(
  context: object,
  definition: ResourceDefinitionThunk
): ResourceInstance;

The context argument to useResource is the parent of the resource. The resource's lifecycle will be entangled with this object, and the resource will be destroyed when it is destroyed (e.g. using the Destroyable API).


The definition function should always return an array containing:

  1. A value managed by a ResourceManager as the first value
  2. Any arguments to pass to the resource as the remaining values

This allows useResource to get the correct manager and apply it to the resource, and then to pass the arguments to it. This function will be rerun if any of the arguments change, in order to get the new argument values.


useResource returns the instance of the resource itself, which has a state property and a teardown method. The state property can be used to manually read the state of the resource, and teardown can be used to manually initiate the destruction of the resource.

Resources will continue to exist, run, and update as long as their context has not been destroyed, or until the teardown method has been called.


The @use decorator provides a helpful shorthand for the useResource function, like so:

class RemoteData {}

function resource(Class) {
  return (...args) => [Class, ...args];

const remoteData = resource(RemoteData);

@use data = remoteData(this.args.url);

// desugars to
get data() {
  if (!this._data) {
    // cache the resource to a local key (in a real implementation, this would
    // be a symbol or a WeakMap)
    this._data = useResource(this, () => remoteData(this.args.url));

  return this._data.state;

The {{use}} Helper

Resources should also be usable without a component class, in cases where they don't exist, and for more dynamic use cases. The {{use}} helper allows resources to be setup based solely on the template.

{{use SyncDocumentTitle @title}}

This helper will create and invoke the resource dynamically, and return its state as its value. If the resource definition itself were to change, the previous instance of the last resource is completely torn down, and a new instance of the new resource is created.

{{use}} will not attempt to resolve the resource, instead requiring the actual class (or other base implementation of the resource) to be passed as the first argument. This will limit its flexibility initially, since it will likely mean that the best way to get a value to it will be via a component class.

import SyncDocumentTitle from './resources';

class TitleSync extends Component {
  SyncDocumentTitle = SyncDocumentTitle;
{{use this.SyncDocumentTitle @title}}

The expectation is that once template imports are available, this form of invoking resources will be much more usable.


The resource function is provided by Ember and allows users to create resources with a default API. It receives a class, associates the default ResourceManager with that class and, returns a function that creates a ResourceDefinition with it:

interface ResourceClass {
  new(): Resource;
  public state;
  public isDestroying;
  public isDestroyed;

  static create();


declare function resource(Class: ResourceClass): (...args) => ResourceDefinition;

The semantics of the class are as follows.


A public field that represents the externally visible state of the resource instance. Can be a normal field or a getter, and accesses to it will be autotracked like usual.

isDestroying and isDestroyed

Public fields that expose the current state of the resource, whether it is destroyed or destroying.


A static method that receives an array of arguments and returns an instance of the Resource. The arguments passed will be stored and passed later on to start and update.


A lifecycle hook that starts the resource and sets up its initial state.

  • Runs after a new instance of the resource class has been created.
  • Receives the arguments passed to the resource definition.
  • Is autotracked, and any changes to state that is consumed while running start will trigger the update method if it exists, and the teardown hook otherwise.


A lifecycle hook that updates the resource with fresh arguments.

  • If defined, runs after the arguments to a resource instance change, or after any state tracked in the previous start or update call has changed.
  • Receives fresh versions of the arguments passed to the resource definition.
  • By default update runs asynchronously, but if the state of the instance is consumed it will run synchronously before returning the state.
  • Is autotracked, and any changes to state that is consumed while running update will trigger another update.


A lifecycle hook that tears the resource instance down.

  • If no update method is defined, runs on the previous instance of resource whenever args or state tracked in start updates, before a new instance of the resource is created.
  • Runs before the parent that the resource belongs to is destroyed.

TypeScript Support

TypeScript is not officially supported by Ember, but as its adoption grows it's a good idea to make sure that the APIs we are designing can be typed, especially with APIs that use decorators. TypeScript users have historically had many issues with APIs that use decorators and are similar to @use, since decorators cannot change types currently. TS support for ember-concurrency-decorators for instance, is very difficult.

Since @use takes an instance of a class that is assigned to a class field and instead makes the field return the state property of that class, it could face similar issues here:

class MyState {
  state: number = 123;

let myState = resource(MyState);

class MyComponent extends Component {
  // This field will be a readonly number, but if `myState` is being accurate,
  // TS will _think_ it is an array
  @use myState = myState();

However, we can fudge the types a bit here to make it work better for TS:

interface Resource<State, Args extends any[] = any[]> {
  readonly state: State;

  start(...args: Args): void;
  update?: (...args: Args) => void;
  teardown?: () => void;

declare function resource<
  R extends Resource<State, Args>,
  Args extends any[] = any[],
>(from: R): (args: Args) => R['state'];

From most user's perspectives, the return value of the definition should be opaque anyways, and doing this will allow TS to "just work" with TypeScript out of the box.

Module API

The APIs described in this RFC would be fundamental to any Ember or Glimmer application. They also represent a new type of primitive to be introduced to the system. As such, they will be importable from the @glimmer/resource package:

import {
} from '@glimmer/resource';

Name Choice

The term "resource" is used in many programming languages to refer to a value which inherently has a managed lifecycle. Some examples include

How we teach this

@use and resources are a new concept in Ember Octane, but they are fundamentally related to the existing state flow patterns that were established. They should be introduced in the Components section of the guides, after modifiers. The docs should include useful examples for how to accomplish basic tasks, such as writing a RemoteData resource.

API Docs



  • Adds a new construct to the Octane programming model, which is another concept to learn and more overhead overall. However, it reduces a number of ad hoc concepts that were filling these gaps anyways.


  • Continue without adding a new construct, and recommend a mixture of helpers and modifiers for handling the types of side-effecting code that resources are designed for.

  • The timing of resources starting and updating is currently dependent on when they are consumed. This could be changed to be an explicit ResourceManager capability, with resournces being only scheduled or only consumed, and without forking behavior. In practice, it's unclear when this would matter.

  • As mentioned above in the detailed design section, the resource base class could be broken out into a separate RFC, and this RFC could focus on landing the manager. This strategy worked well for component managers, which already had a component class that was in common use, but has had mixed reactions with modifiers, and has caused a fair amount of confusion about the modifier API, so it may be better to land an initial implementation in the first pass, especially given the minimal API surface area.

  • One resource base class is proposed in this API, but we could have more than one for specific use cases - one for producing state, and another for reflecting it, for instance.

  • The "resource" terminology conflicts with a few other usages, most notably HTTP resources.

    • LiveState: The idea being that the class represents self contained state that is changing, hence "live". This gets confusing when talking about the state of the LiveState though, and is hard to pluralize.

    • Usable: This term is the opposite of @use, and makes it clear they go together. The downside is it doesn't really have any meaning on its own. Everything is usable, for some definition of the word - what is unique to this API?

    • TrackedHook: Resources consist of lifecycle hooks, and conceptually they occupy a similar space to "hooks" in other frameworks. However, fundamentally they are fairly different in the end, and the term could be more confusing than helpful because of this. This terminology also makes discussing the lifecycle hooks of resources themselves difficult.

  • The design of this RFC is heavily based on the limitations of stage 1/legacy decorators, in particular the inabliity for a decorator to add a getter and initializer to the same field. We could update the transform, or @use specifically, to circumvent this and allow us to run initialization code upon the creation of the class. This could be dangerous, since we don't know if the final version of decorators will allow this.