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API translation

The Vert.x Mutiny bindings are generated from the existing Vert.x APIs.

Vert.x and asynchronous operation methods

Vert.x is a toolkit that simplifies asynchronous I/O programming. The Vert.x APIs rely on simple conventions to denote methods doing asynchronous operations:

  1. methods that accept a callback as a last parameter, and
  2. methods that return a Vert.x Future.

Vert.x has historically relied on callbacks, as in:

public void someOperation(Foo a, Bar b, Baz c, Handler<AsyncResult<T>> handler) {
    // (...)

Here someOperation is a method where a, b and c are parameters, and handler is a callback:

  • the callback is notified when the asynchronous operation done in someOperation completes (continuation), and
  • callbacks are always passed as a last parameter of type Handler<AsyncResult<T>>, and
  • AsyncResult encapsulates an asynchronous result of type T, or a failure.

Since Vert.x 4 asynchronous operations can also be defined by returning a Future<T>, as in:

public Future<T> someOperation(Foo a, Bar b, Baz c) {
    // (...)

Code generators (e.g., Mutiny, RxJava, Kotlin coroutines, etc) can spot these methods and derive their own shim APIs.

For instance with Mutiny someOperation becomes:

public Uni<T> someOperation(Foo a, Bar b, Baz c) {
    // (...)

What does the Mutiny code generator do?

Mutiny code generator

The code generator is applied to selected modules from the Vert.x stack.

The translation rules are the following.

Rule Translation
io.vertx package io.vertx.mutiny package
Asynchronous method A method returning a Uni<T>
ReadStreams<T> Consumed as a Multi<T>
WriteStreams<T> Consumed as a Reactive Streams Subscriber<T>

Because Mutiny is a Reactive Streams compliant implementation, the generated shims also adapt the Vert.x back-pressure protocol to that of Reactive Streams.

Method erasure

The Mutiny code generator erases methods. Given an asynchronous method foo(Handler<AsyncResult<T>>), then it is not present in the generated shim as it is replaced with Uni<T> foo().

Helper methods

Given an asynchronous operation method, the Mutiny code generator also provides 2 further variants:

  • xAndAwait() to block the caller thread until the outcome is received, or throw a RuntimeException when a failure arises, and
  • xAndForget() to trigger the operation then discard the outcome (failures will be logged).

Given the someOperation method above, the generator provides these 3 methods:

// The canonical Mutiny method
public Uni<T> someOperation(Foo a, Bar b, Baz c) {
    // (...)

// Blocks, may throw a RuntimeException
public T someOperationAndAwait(Foo a, Bar b, Baz c) {
    // (...)

// Does not block, the result or failure is discarded
public void someOperationAndForget(Foo a, Bar b, Baz c) {
    // (...), 

Generate Mutiny variants from your own APIs

Vert.x uses an open code generator, so you can generate Mutiny APIs for your own asynchronous interfaces.

The code generator is available from the io.smallrye.reactive:vertx-mutiny-generator artifact. It works with the Vert.x io.vertx:vertx-codegen annotation processor.

You can generate bindings by having the artifacts on the classpath for annotation processing at compilation time, or you may use other ways in your builds. The code for this project shows how to generate the files using Maven plugins.