Use case: Async generators, streams in JavaScript

June 04, 2019

This post helps you to understand async generators and streams with an example. We are gonna implement logviewer of shell commands which shows shell output of git pull in real time. Showing logs in realtime gives better user experience than showing logs after command ran.

We need backend API which returns stream of git pull command. I implemented simple endpoint for that using NodeJS standard library. yes, we don’t need express.

import { spawn } from 'child_process';

server.on('request', (req, res) => {

  if (req.url === "/api" && req.method === "GET") {
    res.writeHead(200, {
      'Content-Type': 'text/html; charset=UTF-8',
      'Connection': 'Keep-Alive',
      "Access-Control-Allow-Origin": "*",
      "Access-Control-Allow-Methods": "HEAD, GET",
    const gitPull = spawn("git", ["clone", "--progress", "https://github.com/microsoft/vscode-docs.git"]);
    gitPull.on("exit", (code) => res.end());


  return res.writeHead(404).end();


What we are trying to do is in above code is, we are piping git pull output to server response. Here gitPull.stdout, gitPull.stderr are ReadableStreams and res is WritableStream. what pipe does is, its read from gitPull.stdout when data avaible and writes to res internally.

I am using react to consume API

import React, { useEffect, useState } from "react";

const decoder = new TextDecoder("utf-8");

async function* logReader() {
  const url = 'http://localhost:8000/api';
  const response = await fetch(url);
  const reader = response.body.getReader();

  while (true) {
    const {done, value} = await reader.read();
    if (done) break;
    const decoded =  decoder.decode(value);
    yield decoded;

const initialState = [];

const reducer = (state, action) => {
  switch (action.type) {
    case 'RESET':
      return initialState;
    case 'APPEND_LOG':
      return [...state, ...action.payload];
      return state;

const LogViewer = () => {
  const [logs, dispatch] = React.useReducer(reducer, initialState);
  const ref = React.useRef();

  useEffect(() => {
    (async function () {
      for await(const log of logReader()) {
        dispatch({ type: "APPEND_LOG", payload: log.split("\r").filter(Boolean) })
  }, []);

  useEffect(() => {
    ref.current.scrollTo(0, ref.current.scrollHeight);
  }, [logs])

  return (
    <div id="LogViewer"
        whiteSpace: "pre",
        fontFamily: "Fira Code",
        fontWeight: 500,
        margin: 15,
        border: "1px solid #e1e2e3",
        height: 400,
        padding: 15,
        borderRadius: 4,
        overflow: "auto"

export default LogViewer;


git pull command logs


Personal blog by REDDY PRASAD.
Writes about my tinkerings, things i think i forget and et cetera.
Follow me on Twitter