Docs / Language Manual / Lazy Value

Lazy Value

If you have some expensive computations you'd like to defer and cache subsequently, you can wrap it with lazy:

ReScriptJS Output
// Read the directory, only once
let expensiveFilesRead = lazy({
  Js.log("Reading dir")

Check the JS Output tab: that expensiveFilesRead's code isn't executed yet, even though you declared it! You can carry it around without fearing that it'll run the directory read.

Note: a lazy value is not a shared data type. Don't rely on its runtime representation in your JavaScript code.

Execute The Lazy Computation

To actually run the lazy value's computation, use Lazy.force from the globally available Lazy module:

ReScriptJS Output
// First call. The computation happens
Js.log(Lazy.force(expensiveFilesRead)) // logs "Reading dir" and the directory content

// Second call. Will just return the already calculated result
Js.log(Lazy.force(expensiveFilesRead)) // logs the directory content

The first time Lazy.force is called, the expensive computation happens and the result is cached. The second time, the cached value is directly used.

You can't re-trigger the computation after the first force call. Make sure you only use a lazy value with computations whose results don't change (e.g. an expensive server request whose response is always the same).

Instead of using Lazy.force, you can also use pattern matching to trigger the computation:

ReScriptJS Output
switch expensiveFilesRead {
| lazy(result) => Js.log(result)

Since pattern matching also works on a let binding, you can also do:

ReScriptJS Output
let lazy(result) = expensiveFilesRead

Exception Handling

For completeness' sake, our files read example might raise an exception because of readdirSync. Here's how you'd handle it:

ReScriptJS Output
let result = try {
} catch {
| Not_found => [] // empty array of files

Though you should probably handle the exception inside the lazy computation itself.