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GX Library Banner

GX is a data-oriented library for defining and manipulating directed acyclic graph's of state machines, for Clojure(Scipt).

Initially designed as an alternative to component systems such as Integrant, Component or Mount.

Graph topologies, signal definitions and normalisation stategies are configurable. GX makes few assumptions about the lifecycle of your system or intended usecase, but takes a batteries included approach with defaults geared towards defining component systems.

Documentation - WIP


TODO expand these topics:

  • Data driven
  • REPL first approach
  • First class error handling/reporting
  • Inline transformations for referenced values
  • Components are maps without any external dependencies
  • Validation of data flow (component props schemas using malli)
  • Validation of dependencies

Example configuration


{;; data component
 :http/options {:port 8080}
 ;; data component with a linked fully qualified function
 :http/routes ["/users" {:get {:handler app/get-users}}]

 ;; link to a predefined component with signal processors
 :http/ring-router {:gx/component components/ring-router-component
                    :gx/props {:routes (gx/ref :http/routes)}}

 :http/server {:gx/component components/http-kit-component
               :gx/props {:handler (gx/ref :http/ring-router)
                          :options (gx/ref :http/options)}}

 ;; data component which evaluates to function call on start signal
 :app (println "Application starting on port " (gx/ref :http/options))

 :another {:gx/start (println "another starting")
           :gx/stop (println "another stopping")}}


Referencing nodes

Configuration may contain gx/refs - references to a specific node value or a subset of its value. There are two kind of refs:

  • gx/ref - gets value of a node
  • gx/ref-keys - is a shorthand for (select-keys whole-config [:key1 key2])
;; config.edn file
{:env {:db/uri "some db uri"
       :http/port 8080}
 :env-copy (gx/ref :env)
 :db/opts (gx/ref-keys [:env]) ;; {:env {:db/uri "some db uri"
                               ;;        :http/port 8080}}
 ;; use core function `get` to take a value of a specific key
 :http/opts {:port (get (gx/ref :env) :http/port)}}}) ;; 8080

Creating a new system

System configuration usually defined in an external file, but can be used as a simple map during developmet and experimenting.

System config

;; define a config by loading from external source
(def system-config {:graph (edn/read-string (slurp "config.edn"))})
;; or define it inline
;; note: in source code all fully qualified symbols and gx/refs should be quoted
(def system-config {:graph {:http/options {:port 8080}
                            :http/routes ["/users" {:get {:handler 'app/get-users}}]
                            {:gx/component 'components/ring-router-component
                             :gx/props {:routes '(gx/ref :http/routes)}}}})

System API functions

Despite all magic is happening in k16.gx.beta.core the direct usage of it is considered for advanded cases. The namespase k16.gx.beta.system contains convenient utility functions to work with systems:

(ns main
  (:require [k16.gx.beta.system :as gx]))

(def system-config
  {:graph {:user {:first-name "John"
                  :last-name "Show"
                  :company '(gx/ref :company)}
           :company {:name "The Wall inc."
                     ;; notice intentionnal mistake: circular dependency
                     :members '[(gx/ref :user)]}}})


Register and validate a system by name, may throw validation errors. Returns registered system.

(gx/register! ::my-system system-config)

This call throws an exception with following formatted message:

Normalize error
Dependency errors: signal = ':gx/start'
	• circular :company -> :user -> :company
Dependency errors: signal = ':gx/suspend'
	• circular :company -> :user -> :company
Dependency errors: signal = ':gx/resume'
	• circular :company -> :user -> :company
Dependency errors: signal = ':gx/stop'
	• circular :company -> :user -> :company


Even if error is thrown system is still accessible. This function returns (pre)normalized system with following keys:

  • :graph - normalized graph
  • :initial-graph - system-config map
  • :context - GX configuration with sane defaults in core namespace
  • :failures - list of failures as maps
(gx/get-by-name ::my-system)


Is used to examine a failures of a system. Returns a list of failures as data structures.

(gx/failures ::my-system)
;; =>
;; ({:internal-data {:errors ("circular :company -> :user -> :company")},
;;   :message "Dependency errors",
;;   :error-type :deps-sort,
;;   :signal-key :gx/start}
;;  {:internal-data {:errors ("circular :company -> :user -> :company")},
;;   :message "Dependency errors",
;;   :error-type :deps-sort,
;;   :signal-key :gx/suspend}
;;  {:internal-data {:errors ("circular :company -> :user -> :company")},
;;   :message "Dependency errors",
;;   :error-type :deps-sort,
;;   :signal-key :gx/resume}
;;  {:internal-data {:errors ("circular :company -> :user -> :company")},
;;   :message "Dependency errors",
;;   :error-type :deps-sort,
;;   :signal-key :gx/stop})

Lets fix our config by removing :company dependency from :user and re-register:

(def system-config
  {:graph {:user {:first-name "John"
                  :last-name "Show"}
           :company {:name "The Wall inc."
                     :members '[(gx/ref :user)]}}})

;; now registers without errors
(gx/register! ::my-system system-config)


Sends a signal to a system. Signal passes through numerous runtime validations and can throw an exception. Uses funcool promesa under the hood and returns promise:

@(gx/signal! ::my-system :gx/start)
;; retuns a system after signal execution


Returns values of a system:

(gx/values ::my-system)
;; =>
;; {:user {:first-name "John",
;;         :last-name "Show"},
;;  :company
;;  {:name "Ice Wall inc.",
;;   :members [{:first-name "John",
;;              :last-name "Show"}]}}


Returns states of a system

(gx/states ::my-system)
;; =>
;; {:user :started, :company :started}

Creating components

Components is a maps. You can define them anywhere and plug in to your config. Here is an example of counter component which runs as a background process, it has its own instance stored in a graph's node value.

(defn start
  [{:keys [props]}]
  (let [inst* (atom {:stop? false
                     :suspended? false
                     :counter (:counter props)})]
    (future (loop []
              (if (:stop? @inst*)
                (println "stopped")
                  (Thread/sleep 1000)
                  (when-not (:suspended? @inst*)
                    (println "counting...")
                    (swap! inst* update :counter inc))
    ;; rerutns its instance, this becomes node's value

(defn suspend
  [{:keys [value]}]
  ;; modifying atom in existing node value
  (swap! value assoc :suspended? true)
  ;; value should be returned from every processor handler

(defn resume
  [{:keys [value]}]
  (swap! value assoc :suspended? false)

(defn stop
  [{:keys [value]}]
  (swap! value assoc :stop? true)
  ;; we don't need value anymore

;; definitions of a component
(def my-counter-component
  {:gx/start {:gx/processor start}
   :gx/suspend {:gx/processor suspend}
   :gx/resume {:gx/processor resume}
   :gx/stop {:gx/processor stop}})

;; configuration with plugged-in component
(def system-config
  {:graph {:user {:first-name "John"
                  :last-name "Show"}
           :company {:name "Ice Wall inc."
                     :members '[(gx/ref :user)]}
           ;; initial counter value
           :init-counter 10
           ;; link as fully qualified symbol
           :counter {:gx/component 'readme-examples/my-counter-component
                     :gx/props {:counter '(gx/ref :init-counter)}}}})

  (gx/register! ::my-system system-config)

  ;; when you start a component, it begins to print "counting..."
  ;; every second
  @(gx/signal! ::my-system :gx/start)
  ;; suspended component stops printing, but it is ready to continue
  @(gx/signal! ::my-system :gx/suspend)
  ;; continues printing
  @(gx/signal! ::my-system :gx/resume)
  ;; stops completely
  @(gx/signal! ::my-system :gx/stop)

  (gx/values ::my-system)
  ;; =>
  ;; {:user {:first-name "John", :last-name "Show"},
  ;;  :company
  ;;  {:name "Ice Wall inc.", :members [{:first-name "John", :last-name "Show"}]},
  ;;  :init-counter 10,
  ;;  :counter #<Atom@69168527: {:stop? false, :suspended? false, :counter 14}>}



VERSION=2.0.0-SNAPSHOT just build

To run clj tests

clj -X:test

To run node tests

# install deps
npm i
# run tests
clojure -M:dev:shadow-cljs compile test
# or with advanced compilation
clojure -M:dev:shadow-cljs release test

Can you improve this documentation? These fine people already did:
Alexis Vincent, Artem Medeusheyev, Artem Medeu & Arne Brasseur
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