A library and middleware for Node.js Streams. Implementing your own Stream is easy!
Latest commit ddabb3d Feb 12, 2013 @thesmart Now with preloading!



Middleware for Node.js Streams. Creating your own Stream pipeline is easy!

npm install smart-stream

Example of an asynchronous pipeline:

var fs = require('fs');
var ss = require('smart-stream');

// open some file streams
var readStream = fs.createReadStream('./input.txt', { encoding: 'utf8' });
var writeStream = fs.createWriteStream('./output.txt');

// create your own stream middleware
var lowerCaseStream = new ss.SmartStream('LowerCaseStream'); // bi-directional stream
lowerCaseStream.setMiddleware(function(data, cb) {
    var result = data.toLowerCase();
    cb(null, result);
    // NOTE: set result to undefined to prevent it from moving downstream

// lay some pipe, Tex!




why r u all
so offended
by all caps???

Throttling feature

Ever have a producer (e.g. database) that is too fast for the consumer (e.g. http api)? Streams solve this problem!

// when slowStream hits 1,000 concurrent operations, it will ask fastStream to pause.
// when slowStream completes the operations, it will ask fastStream to resume.
var slowStream = new ss.SmartStream('name', 1000);

Accumulate operations

Sometimes you may want to accumulate multiple data items together before sending a single item downstream.

var ss = require('smart-stream');
var assert = require('assert');

// This MongoDB cursor loops over users in the database
var cursor = userCollection.find({});

// I want to accumulate 50 users in a batch
var accumulatorStream = new ss.AccStream('Accumulator', 50);

// not every batch will be exactly 50, but almost all but the last one will be
accumulatorStream.setMiddlewareSync(function(batch) {


SmartStream internals

Similar to unix piping, Streams can be piped together to form a pipeline:


This works via a combination of pub/sub and functional calls:

Readable Stream => Writable Stream

event 'data' => write(object)

event 'end' => end()

event 'drain' => resume()

event 'pause' => pause()

event 'close' => destroy()

event 'error' => event 'error'

Writable Streams

Methods: write, end, destroy Events: drain, error, close, pause

  • Methods:
    1. write(object) - called from an upstream Stream (or functionally) when data is ready for this node in the Stream pipeline. Increments "countUpstream" and the "countPending" count.
    2. end() - called from an upstream Stream when it has no data left to write
    3. destroy() - called to destroy the Stream node
  • Events:
    1. event 'drain' - emitted from a Stream any time it is no longer busy, meaning its "countPending" falls to safe levels. This allows any paused up-stream Stream to resume writing data.
    2. event 'error' - the Stream has encountered an error. This error will ripple through the pipeline.
    3. event 'close' - emitted by the last writeable stream in a pipeline when it is closed and should not be written to again ever.
    4. event 'pause' - emitted from a writable Stream when it is busy processing pending data, and needs up-stream to pause writing data. Does not guarantee that data will not be written, more of a "gentleman's" agreement.

Readable Streams

Methods: pause, resume, end, destroy Events: data, end, error

  • Methods:
    1. pause() - called to pause downstream production
    2. resume() - called to resume downstream production
    3. end() - called when the upstream Stream has no more data to write downstream
    4. destroy() - called to destroy the Stream node
  • Events:
    1. event 'data' - emitted with data read for downstream consumption
    2. event 'end' - emitted after end() is called, when there is no more data to emit
    3. event 'error' - the Stream has encountered an error. This error will ripple through the pipeline.

Further reading

Here is a simple blog article about Streams.

Here is a SlideShare discussing Streams in NodeJs