Cancelable

A one-time idempotent action that can be used to cancel async computations, or to release resources that active data-sources are holding, it is the equivalent of java.io.Closable, but without the I/O focus, or to IDisposable from .NET, or to akka.actor.Cancellable (but with an l dropped :)).

Base Cancelable

package monix.execution

trait Cancelable {
  def cancel(): Unit
}

The contract for well-behaved Cancelable instances:

  1. cancel is idempotent, calling it multiple times has the same effect as calling it once
  2. cancel is thread-safe, otherwise you cannot guarantee idempotency

In order to quickly build Cancelable instances:

import monix.execution.Cancelable

// A cancelable that doesn't do anything on cancel
val c = Cancelable.empty

// Same thing, a cancelable that doesn't do anything
val c = Cancelable()

// Specify a callback to be called on cancel
val c = Cancelable(() => println("Canceled!"))

BooleanCancelable

The BooleanCancelable represents a cancelable that can be queried for its canceled status, adding the necessary isCanceled query for when we need it.

See the API Documentation.

package monix.execution.cancelables

trait BooleanCancelable extends Cancelable {
  def isCanceled: Boolean
}

To have a reusable (immutable) BooleanCancelable instance that’s already canceled:

import monix.execution.cancelables._

// Building an instance that's already canceled
val c = BooleanCancelable.alreadyCanceled

// Doesn't do anything
c.cancel()

// Always returns true
c.isCanceled

To build an instance without a callback, but that can be used to check for isCanceled:

val c = BooleanCancelable()
// c: monix.execution.cancelables.BooleanCancelable = [email protected]

c.isCanceled
// res5: Boolean = false

c.cancel()

c.isCanceled
// res7: Boolean = true

To build an instance out of a callback that behaves like you’d expect it to:

val c = BooleanCancelable(() => println("Effect!"))

CompositeCancelable

The CompositeCancelable is an aggregate of cancelable references (to which you can add new references or remove existing ones) and that are handled in aggregate when doing a cancel().

See the API Documentation.

The contract for CompositeCancelable:

  • adding and removing cancelables from the composite is thread-safe
  • if the composite was already canceled, then adding new references to it will trigger their cancelation
  • upon cancelation all references are released

Usage:

import monix.execution.Cancelable

val c = CompositeCancelable()

c += Cancelable(() => println("Canceled #1"))
c += Cancelable(() => println("Canceled #2"))
c += Cancelable(() => println("Canceled #3"))

// Cancelling will trigger all 3 of them
c.cancel()

// Appending a new cancelable to it after cancel
// will trigger its cancelation immediately
c += Cancelable(() => println("Canceled #4"))
// => Canceled #4

We can add cancelables references to our composite, but we can also remove them, maybe because they are no longer relevant, for GC purposes, etc:

val composite = CompositeCancelable()

val c1 = Cancelable(() => println("Canceled #1"))
val c2 = Cancelable(() => println("Canceled #2"))

composite += c1
composite += c2

// Removing from our composite
composite -= c1

// Canceling will now only cancel c2
composite.cancel()
// => Canceled #2

MultiAssignmentCancelable

The MultiAssignmentCancelable is a cancelable that behaves like a variable, referencing another cancelable reference that can be swapped as needed.

See the API Documentation.

Contract:

  • assignment is thread-safe
  • cancelation will trigger the cancelation of the underlying cancelable and releasing it in order to be free for GC
  • if our assignable cancelable was canceled, then upon subsequent assignments, the references will be canceled immediately

Usage:

val multiAssignment = MultiAssignmentCancelable()

val c1 = Cancelable(() => println("Canceled #1"))
multiAssignment := c1

val c2 = Cancelable(() => println("Canceled #2"))
multiAssignment := c2

// Canceling it will only cancel the last assignee
multiAssignment.cancel()
// => Cancelled #2

// Subsequent assignments are canceled immediately
val c3 = Cancelable(() => println("Canceled #3"))
multiAssignment := c3
// => Canceled #3

In a multi-threading environment sometimes we cannot guarantee an ordering on assignment and obviously ordering is important. There’s a second assignment operation that takes an order numeric argument and in case the update was made with an order that’s strictly bigger than the current one you’re trying to make, then the assignment gets ignored, so:

// Let's simulate a race condition
import monix.execution.Scheduler.{global => scheduler}

val c = MultiAssignmentCancelable()

scheduler.execute(new Runnable {
  def run(): Unit =
    c.orderedUpdate(
      Cancelable(() => println("Number #2")),
      order = 2)
})

c.orderedUpdate(
  Cancelable(() => println("Number #1")),
  order = 1)

In the example above, there is no happens-before relationship between the two orderedUpdate attempts, so we have non-determinism, because a parallel thread might be faster than our current one and trigger the number 2 update before number 1. But this will leave us with a result that we might not want, because then the last update would be number 1. So here is where orderedUpdate comes in handy. We explicitly specify an order argument and thus force an ordering to it.

The example above is obvious, right? But the following one isn’t and it’s in fact a pretty common pattern. Let’s build a function that executes things with a delay, tasks that can be canceled. To add a delay, we’d use a Scheduler and we want to return a Cancelable that can cancel either the delay or the result of our passed function argument, like:

// INCORRECT EXAMPLE
import concurrent.duration._
import monix.execution._

def delayedExecution(cb: () => Cancelable)
  (implicit s: Scheduler): Cancelable = {

  val ref = MultiAssignmentCancelable()

  ref := s.scheduleOnce(5.seconds) {
    ref := cb()
  }

  ref
}

You may not notice it, but this is a race condition that can yield non-deterministic behavior. Lets say the garbage collector has problems and freezes the whole process for 5 whole seconds. This can mean that ref := cb() might execute before the result of s.scheduleOnce returns, as the call to := does not have a happens-before relationship with the actual delayed scheduling. Which means the cancelable returned by our function will be incorrect.

Lets fix it:

import concurrent.duration._
import monix.execution._

def delayedExecution(cb: () => Cancelable)
  (implicit s: Scheduler): Cancelable = {

  val ref = MultiAssignmentCancelable()
  val delay = s.scheduleOnce(5.seconds) {
    ref.orderedUpdate(cb(), 2)
  }

  // This should be the first update, but
  // if not, then it is ignored!
  ref.orderedUpdate(delay, 1)
  ref
}

SingleAssignmentCancelable

The SingleAssignmentCancelable is similar to the MultiAssignmentCancelable, except that it can be assigned once and only once.

See the API Documentation.

The contract:

  • it is thread-safe
  • if canceled after assignment, the underlying cancelable gets canceled and the reference released for GC purposes
  • if canceled while empty, then the assigned cancelable will be canceled immediately on assignment
  • if assignment happens a second time, then the operation will throw an IllegalStateException, so don’t do that

It is useful in cases you need a forward reference, like:

val ref = SingleAssignmentCancelable()

ref := scheduler.scheduleAtFixedRate(0.seconds, 5.seconds) {
  // This wouldn't be correct without having an already
  // initialized value, as it would be a forward reference
  // (e.g. a reference used before it's initialized), which
  // could lead to a NullPointerException, not cool!
  ref.cancel()
}

It is also possible to specify at construction time an extra cancelable reference to cancel, in addition to the assigned reference:

val c = {
  val guest = Cancelable(() => println("extra canceled"))
  SingleAssignmentCancelable.plusOne(guest)
}

c := Cancelable(() => println("primary canceled"))

c.cancel()
//=> extra canceled
//=> primary canceled

You can use MultiAssignmentCancelable for the same purpose of course, but the implementation of SingleAssignmentCancelable is more efficient (e.g. using getAndSet, cheaper than compareAndSet) and the IllegalStateException is nice when dealing with concurrent code that isn’t doing what it’s supposed to do.

SerialCancelable

The SerialCancelable is also similar to MultiAssignmentCancelable, being a cancelable whose underlying reference can be swapped by another cancelable, causing the previous cancelable to be canceled on assignment.

See the API Documentation.

Contract:

  • assignment is thread-safe
  • cancelation will trigger the cancelation of the underlying cancelable and releasing it in order to be free for GC
  • if our assignable cancelable was canceled, then upon subsequent assignments, the references will be canceled immediately
  • an assignment of a new cancelable will cause the previously stored cancelable to be canceled

Usage:

val ref = SerialCancelable()

ref := Cancelable(() => println("Canceled #1"))

// Will cancel the previous one
ref := Cancelable(() => println("Canceled #2"))
// => Canceled #1

// Will cancel the previous one
ref := Cancelable(() => println("Canceled #3"))
// => Canceled #2

// Will cancel the current one
ref.cancel()
// => Canceled #3

// Afterwards everything gets canceled on assignment
ref := Cancelable(() => println("Canceled #4"))
// => Canceled #4

RefCountCancelable

Represents a Cancelable that can create dependent cancelable objects and that only executes the canceling logic when all dependent cancelable objects have been canceled.

Contract:

  • thread-safe
  • if we create a total number of N children cancelables with acquire(), in order for cancelation to occur we need to cancel all N cancelables, in addition to triggering a cancelation on the parent
  • the ordering of cancelation doesn’t matter (e.g. parent first, children next, or vice-versa)
  • on creating cancelables with acquire(), if our parent is already canceled, then the returned reference will be a Cancelable.empty

Sample:

val refs = RefCountCancelable { () =>
  println("Everything was canceled")
}

// acquiring two cancelable references
val ref1 = refs.acquire()
val ref2 = refs.acquire()

// Starting the cancelation process
refs.cancel()

// This is now true, but the callback hasn't been invoked yet
refs.isCanceled
// res: Boolean = true

// After our RefCountCancelable was canceled, this will return
// a Cancelable.empty
val ref3 = refs.acquire()

ref3 == Cancelable.empty
// res: Boolean = true

// Release reference 1, nothing happens here
ref1.cancel()

// Release reference 2, now we can execute
ref2.cancel()
// => Everything was canceled

This cancelable type is actually used in Observable.merge (•‿•)

You are viewing the documentation for the latest Monix 3.x series.
If you're looking for the older 2.x click here!