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Frequently Asked Questions

How does Wire relate to other Go dependency injection tools?

Other dependency injection tools for Go like dig or facebookgo/inject are based on reflection. Wire runs as a code generator, which means that the injector works without making calls to a runtime library. This enables easier introspection of initialization and correct cross-references for tooling like guru.

How does Wire relate to other non-Go dependency injection tools (like Dagger 2)?

Wire's approach was inspired by Dagger 2. However, it is not the aim of Wire to emulate dependency injection tools from other languages: the design space and requirements are quite different. For example, the Go compiler does not support anything like Java's annotation processing mechanisms. The difference in languages and their idioms necessarily requires different approaches in primitives and API.

Why use pseudo-functions to create provider sets or injectors?

In the early prototypes, Wire directives were specially formatted comments. This seemed appealing at first glance as this meant no compile-time or runtime impact. However, this unstructured approach becomes opaque to other tooling not written for Wire. Tools like gorename or guru would not be able to recognize references to the identifiers existing in comments without being specially modified to understand Wire's comment format. By moving the references into no-op function calls, Wire interoperates seamlessly with other Go tooling.

What if my dependency graph has two dependencies of the same type?

This most frequently appears with common types like string. An example of this problem would be:

type Foo struct { /* ... */ }
type Bar struct { /* ... */ }

func newFoo1() *Foo { /* ... */ }
func newFoo2() *Foo { /* ... */ }
func newBar(foo1 *Foo, foo2 *Foo) *Bar { /* ... */ }

func inject() *Bar {
	// ERROR! Multiple providers for *Foo.
	wire.Build(newFoo1, newFoo2, newBar)
	return nil

Wire does not allow multiple providers for one type to exist in the transitive closure of the providers presented to wire.Build, as this is usually a mistake. For legitimate cases where you need multiple dependencies of the same type, you need to invent a new type to call this other dependency. For example, you can name OAuth credentials after the service they connect to. Once you have a suitable different type, you can wrap and unwrap the type when plumbing it through Wire. Continuing our above example:

type OtherFoo Foo

func newOtherFoo() *OtherFoo {
	// Call the original provider...
	foo := newFoo2()
	// ...then convert it to the new type.
	return (*OtherFoo)(foo)

func provideBar(foo1 *Foo, otherFoo *OtherFoo) *Bar {
	// Convert the new type into the unwrapped type...
	foo2 := (*Foo)(otherFoo)
	// ...then use it to call the original provider.
	return newBar(foo1, foo2)

func inject() *Bar {
	wire.Build(newFoo1, newOtherFoo, provideBar)
	return nil

Why does Wire forbid including the same provider multiple times?

Wire forbids this to remain consistent with the principle that specifying multiple providers for the same type is an error. On the surface, Wire could permit duplication, but this would introduce a few unintended consequences:

  • Wire would have to specify what kinds of duplicates are permissible: are two wire.Value calls ever considered to be the "same"?
  • If a provider set changes the function it uses to provide a type, then this could break an application, since it may introduce a new conflict between another provider set that was specifying the "same" provider.

As such, we decided that the simpler behavior would be for this case to be an error, knowing we can always relax this restriction later. The user can always create a new provider set that does not have the conflicting type. A proposed subtract command would automate the toil in this process.

Should I use Wire for small applications?

Probably not. Wire is designed to automate more intricate setup code found in larger applications. For small applications, hand-wiring dependencies is simpler.

Who is using Wire?

Wire is still fairly new and doesn't have a large user base yet. However, we have heard a lot of interest from Go users wanting to simplify their applications. If your project or company uses Wire, please let us know by either emailing us or sending a pull request amending this section.

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