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Lightweight global state management for PureScript Halogen.


What is this?

PureScript Halogen Helix is a global state management library for Halogen app.

At the time of writing, there already exists a great library sharing the same purpose: halogen-store, but this library differs in several points:

  • This library only supports hook style components.
  • Instead of having a single large store, you can define small stores as many as you want.
  • You can extend store functionality via middlewares.
  • No typeclass, no transformers

Quick Start

We start by defining a store. As with halogen-store or other similar libraries, a Helix store consist of three parts: State, Action, and Reducer.

type State = Int

data Action = Increment | Decrement

reducer :: State -> Action -> State
reducer st = case _ of
  Increment -> st + 1
  Decrement -> st - 1

And then we use the makeStore' function from this library. Note that makeStore' itself is not a hook function, but a higher-order hook, because it accepts some inputs and produce a hook function. The first argumnt is the unique identifier of our store. The second argument is the initial state value.

Please be sure not to create multiple stores of the same ID, because doing so will bring things to mess up.

import Halogen.Helix (makeStore', UseHelix)

useCounter :: forall ctx m. MonadEffect m => Eq ctx => UseHelixHook State Action ctx m
useCounter = makeStore' "counter" 0 reducer

It's now time to connect our Halogen components to the Helix store! To do that, it is as simple as calling our hook returned by the makeStore'. The hook function accepts single argument selector, which has a type State -> part, selects the part of the store visible to the component. In this case, the State type is Int, and we want our component to have access to the entire store, so we provide identity.

import Halogen as H
import Halogen.Hooks as Hooks
import Halogen.HTML as HH
import Halogen.HTML.Properties as HP
import Halogen.HTML.Events as HE

counter :: forall q i o m. MonadEffect m => H.Component q i o m
conuter = Hooks.component \_ _ ->
  state /\ ctx <- useCounter identity

useCounter hook returns two things:

  1. state, the current state value
  2. ctx, the store context object.

As with other hooks, the state is pure value and intended only to be used in the render function.

The context object contains two functions:

  • getState :: HookM m state ... returns the current value of the (selected part of the)
  • dispatch :: action -> HookM m Unit ... accepts the Action value and dispatches it to the Helix store manager. Behind the scene, the Helix store manager calculates the next state value using the dispatched action and reducer, updates the state with that value.

Here is our completed example:

counter :: forall q i o m. MonadEffect m => H.Component q i o m
conuter = Hooks.component \_ _ ->
  state /\ ctx <- useCounter identity

  Hooks.pure do
      [ HH.div_
        [ HH.text $ "Counter: " <> show state ]
      , HH.div_
        [ HH.button
          [ HP.type_ HP.ButtonButton
          , HE.onClick \_ -> ctx.dispatch Decrement
          [ HH.text  "-1"
        , HH.button
          [ HP.type_ HP.ButtonButton
          , HE.onClick \_ -> ctx.dispatch Increment
          [ HH.text  "+1"

For a bit more realistic example, please refer to the example director, which contains a very simple Todo app.


The Helix store is kept intentionally simple; we can manipulate the store in a very restricted manner - the only thing we can do to interact with store is to dispatch an action, and calculating of the next state is a pure computation. Sometimes, however, it might be necessary to do more than such a thing, and state manipulation might be accompanied by some effectful tasks, especially in a real-world app.

For such a needs, Helix offers the way to extend store's functionality via almost arbitrary effectful computation: Middlewares. A Helix middleware is a bunch of effectful computations which can be inserted in various points in dispatching - reducer - state update flow. Via middlewares, we can do almost arbitrary effectful task, as long as it is captured by the HooM m monad. For instance, we can do:

  • logging a value to the console
  • generating random unieuq IDs (such as UUID)
  • making an AJAX call
  • controlling store manupulation flow by canceling state update or dispatching other actions conditionally

A Helix middleware is just a function of three arguments:

type HelixMiddleware state action m
   = HelixContext state action m
  -> action
  -> (action -> m Unit)
  -> m Unit

myMiddleware :: HelixMiddleware State Action m
myMiddleware = \ctx action next -> ...
  • ctx is a Helix context object, enabling us to access the store via getState and dispatching further actions via dispatch.
  • action is a dispatched action.
  • next is a next middleware. Middlewares can be added as many as you need, forming the middleware stack. By calling next with action, we can delegate the process to the next layer middleware.

For instance, you can do logging dispatched action to the console via a middleware like this:

actionLogger :: HelixMiddleware state action m
actionLogger ctx action next = do
  Console.log $ "Action dispatched: " <> show action
  next action

A middleware like this gives ability to logging the state value before and after updates:

stateLogger :: HelixMiddleware state action m
stateLogger ctx action next = do
  ctx.getState >>= show >>> ("Before state: " <> _) >>> Console.log
  next action
  ctx.getState >>= show >>> ("After state: " <> _) >>> Console.log

and you can combine two middlewares by |> operator:

import Halogen.Helix (HelixMiddleware, (|>))

middlewareStack :: HelixMiddleware state action m
middlewareStack = stateLogger |> actionLogger

You can apply your middleware to your store by using non-prime makeStore:

useCounter :: forall m s. MonadEffect m => Eq s => UseHelixHook State Action s m
useCounter = makeStore "counter" 0 reducer middlewareStack

For more realistic usecase, please see the example app.

Run example app

In the project root,

npm i
npm run example

Open your favorite browser and go to http://localhost:5173.