Stateful Actions

After you start using Pot (for medicinal purposes!) in your application, you will soon realize you have a lot of actions covering various aspects of the loading process.

case class LoadTodos extends Action
case class UpdateTodos extends Action
case class LoadTodosFailed extends Action
case class LoadTodosPending extends Action

Because this is such a common pattern, wouldn't it be nice to abstract this functionality into a trait and reuse it for all your Pot actions?


The PotAction trait simplifies creation of stateful actions for Pot data. To use it, simply define a case class extending PotAction and define the next function to build a new instance of your action. The PotAction trait extends Diode's Action trait, so all your classes using it will automatically be valid for dispatching.

case class UpdateTodos(potResult: Pot[Todos] = Empty) extends PotAction[Todos, UpdateTodos] {
  def next(newResult: Pot[Todos]) = UpdateTodos(newResult)

Now you can write an action handler managing the different states of your UpdateTodos.

override def handle = {
  case action: UpdateTodos =>
    val updateEffect = action.effect(loadTodos())(todos => Todos(todos))
    action.handle {
      case PotEmpty =>
        updated(value.pending(), updateEffect)
      case PotPending =>
      case PotReady =>
      case PotUnavailable =>
      case PotFailed =>
        val ex = action.result.failed.get

We use action.effect to convert a normal function call returning a future into an Effect returning a new PotAction. The second parameter is a mapping function to transform the result of the future into the correct type for our action.

Looking at the state handler it seems that there is nothing specific to our UpdateTodos action, so perhaps we can further reduce code size?

Common Handlers

The state management of your PotActions is typically identical, so it makes sense to extract it into a common handler. PotAction supports handling the action via an external handler function through handleWith.

val updateEffect = action.effect(loadTodos())(todos => Todos(todos))

override def handle = {
  case action: UpdateTodos =>
    action.handleWith(this, updateEffect)(PotAction.handler())

Here we use a predefined handler from the PotAction object. Note how the updateEffect definition can be moved outside the handling function because it's immutable.

Notifications while Pending

If a Pot stays in pending state for too long, you often want to notify the user by showing something in the user interface. But by default the model is not updated while an operation is running, so we need to do that ourselves. Easiest way to do that is to use a delayed effect that refreshes model state at a given interval. You can create a second, delayed effect with Effect.action(action.pending).after(someTime) and combine it with the normal update effect using the + operator.

case PotEmpty =>
  updated(value.pending(), updateEffect + Effect.action(action.pending).after(someTime))

Now after someTime the effect completes and dispatches the action.pending action which is handled below:

case PotPending =>
    updated(value.pending(), Effect.action(action.pending).after(someTime))

First we check if the Pot is still pending (it hasn't transitioned into failed or ready state in the meanwhile) and if so, we "update" the value to pending state (which makes a copy of the Pot, creating a new reference, triggering an update in the view) and resubmit a delayed effect. This continues while the PotAction is in pending state, updating the model at a steady interval.

The common handlers also support sending updates while pending. You just need to provide the interval time to the handler

import scala.concurrent.duration._

override def handle = {
  case action: UpdateTodos =>
    action.handleWith(this, updateEffect)(PotAction.handler(400.milliseconds))

In the view you can check how long the Pot has been pending by calling duration() and act accordingly.

if (pot.isPending) {
  val duration = pot.asInstanceOf[PendingBase].duration()


For actions not involving Pot data you can use AsyncAction. It provides the same functionality but the state is separated from the value and the type of value is Try[A] to indicate success/failure.

case class UpdateTodos(
  state: PotState = PotState.Empty, 
  result: Try[Todos] = Failure(new AsyncAction.PendingException)
) extends AsyncAction[Todos, UpdateTodos] {
  def next(newState: PotState, newResult: Try[Todos]): P = UpdateTodos(newState, newResult)


A common pattern with async data is to retry failed operations a few times. AsyncActionRetriable and PotActionRetriable support this pattern by providing a retry policy. The retry policy resides in the action and it's updated on every retry. Therefore you need to pass it forward in the next method.

case class UpdateTodos(result: Pot[Todos] = Empty, retryPolicy: RetryPolicy = Retry.None) 
  extends PotActionRetriable[Todos, UpdateTodos] {
  def next(newResult: Pot[Todos], newRetryPolicy: RetryPolicy) = UpdateTodos(newResult, newRetryPolicy)

When a failure is encountered, the retry policy is consulted on what to do next:

// create an effect function that takes retry policy
val updateEffect = action.effectWithRetry(loadTodos())(todos => Todos(todos))

case PotFailed =>
  // extract exception from action and call retryPolicy
  action.retryPolicy.retry(action.result.failed.get, updateEffect) match {
    case Right((_, retryEffect)) =>
    case Left(ex) =>

Common retry policies Immediate and Backoff are available in the Retry object, but feel free to roll your own.

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