What is callback hell in Node.js ?
What is a callback?
- Callbacks are nothing but functions that take some time to produce a result.
- Usually, these async callbacks (async short for asynchronous) are used for accessing values from databases, downloading images, reading files, etc.
- As these take time to finish, we can neither proceed to the next line because it might throw an error saying unavailable nor we can pause our program.
- So we need to store the result and call back when it is complete.
What is callback hell?
This is a big issue caused by coding with complex nested callbacks. Here, each and every callback takes an argument that is a result of the previous callbacks. In this manner, The code structure looks like a pyramid, making it difficult to read and maintain. Also, if there is an error in one function, then all other functions get affected.
Example: This is an example of typical callback hell.
You can notice the nested callbacks look like a pyramid which makes it difficult to understand.
How to escape from a callback hell?
- A promise is a returned object from any asynchronous function, to which callback methods can be added based on the previous function’s result.
- Promises use .then() method to call async callbacks. We can chain as many callbacks as we want and the order is also strictly maintained.
- Promises use .fetch() method to fetch an object from the network. It also uses .catch() method to catch any exception when any block fails.
- So these promises are put in the event queue so that they don’t block subsequent JS code. Also once the results are returned, the event queue finishes its operations.
- There are also other helpful keywords and methods like async, wait, set timeout() to simplify and make better use of callbacks.
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