Introducing Songbird

Would you rather write this:

var updateUser = function(id, attributes, callback) {
  User.findOne(id, function (err, user) {
    if (err) return callback(err);

    user.set(attributes);, updated) {
      if (err) return callback(err);

      console.log("Updated", updated);
      callback(null, updated);

Or this:

  User.promise.findOne(id).then( (user) →
  ).then (user) -> console.log("Updated", user)

Songbird allows you to easily mix asynchronous and synchronous programming styles in node.js.

I based Songbird on the bluebird promise library (hence the name).


Songbird requires node version 0.6.x or greater.

npm install songbird


Without Songbird

Using standard node callback-style APIs without Songbird, we write (from the fs docs):

fs.readFile('/etc/passwd', function (err, data) {
  if (err) throw err;

Using the promise property

Using Songbird, we write:


Object & Function mixins

Songbird mixes promise into Function.prototype so you can use them directly as in:

readFile = require('fs').readFile;

Songbird adds promise to Object.prototype correctly so they are not enumerable.

These proxy methods also ignore all getters, even those that may return functions. If you need to call a getter with Songbird that returns an asynchronous function, you can do:

func = obj.getter, args)

Handling Multiple Promises

Requiring the songbird library updates the Object and Function prototype and returns a Promise library. This library allows you to carry out certain actions that are hard to handle from the promise property.

For example: You're dealing with multiple promises but don't care what order they complete in.

Promise = require("songbird");

Promise.all([task1, task2, task3]).spread(function(result1, result2, result3){


Normally when using .then the code would look like:

Promise = require("songbird");

Promise.all([task1, task2, task3]).then(function(results){
    var result1 = results[0];
    var result2 = results[1];
    var result3 = results[2];

For more information about the underlying bluebird promise API, the API docs are here.


Some people don't like libraries that mix in to Object.prototype and Function.prototype. If that's how you feel, then Songbird is not for you.


git clone git://
npm install
npm test

Songbird is written in CoffeeScript with source in src/ compiled to lib/.

Tests are written with mocha and chai in test/.

Run tests with npm test which will also compile the CoffeeScript to lib/.

Pull requests are welcome. Please provide tests for your changes and features. Thanks!