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Flyweight

Flyweight in TypeScript

Flyweight is a structural design pattern that allows programs to support vast quantities of objects by keeping their memory consumption low.

Pattern achieves it by sharing parts of object state between multiple objects. In other words, the Flyweight saves RAM by caching the same data used by different objects.

Learn more about Flyweight

Usage of the pattern in TypeScript

Complexity:

Popularity:

Usage examples: The Flyweight pattern has a single purpose: minimizing memory intake. If your program doesn’t struggle with a shortage of RAM, then you might just ignore this pattern for a while.

Identification: Flyweight can be recognized by a creation method that returns cached objects instead of creating new.

Conceptual Example

This example illustrates the structure of the Flyweight design pattern. It focuses on answering these questions:

  • What classes does it consists of?
  • What roles do these classes play?
  • In what way the elements of the pattern are related?

index.ts: Conceptual Example

/**
 * The Flyweight stores a common portion of the state (also called intrinsic
 * state) that belongs to multiple real business entities. The Flyweight accepts
 * the rest of the state (extrinsic state, unique for each entity) via its
 * method parameters.
 */
class Flyweight {
    private sharedState: any;

    constructor(sharedState: any) {
        this.sharedState = sharedState;
    }

    public operation(uniqueState): void {
        const s = JSON.stringify(this.sharedState);
        const u = JSON.stringify(uniqueState);
        console.log(`Flyweight: Displaying shared (${s}) and unique (${u}) state.`);
    }
}

/**
 * The Flyweight Factory creates and manages the Flyweight objects. It ensures
 * that flyweights are shared correctly. When the client requests a flyweight,
 * the factory either returns an existing instance or creates a new one, if it
 * doesn't exist yet.
 */
class FlyweightFactory {
    private flyweights: {[key: string]: Flyweight} = <any>{};

    constructor(initialFlyweights: string[][]) {
        for (const state of initialFlyweights) {
            this.flyweights[this.getKey(state)] = new Flyweight(state);
        }
    }

    /**
     * Returns a Flyweight's string hash for a given state.
     */
    private getKey(state: string[]): string {
        return state.join('_');
    }

    /**
     * Returns an existing Flyweight with a given state or creates a new one.
     */
    public getFlyweight(sharedState: string[]): Flyweight {
        const key = this.getKey(sharedState);

        if (!(key in this.flyweights)) {
            console.log('FlyweightFactory: Can\'t find a flyweight, creating new one.');
            this.flyweights[key] = new Flyweight(sharedState);
        } else {
            console.log('FlyweightFactory: Reusing existing flyweight.');
        }

        return this.flyweights[key];
    }

    public listFlyweights(): void {
        const count = Object.keys(this.flyweights).length;
        console.log(`\nFlyweightFactory: I have ${count} flyweights:`);
        for (const key in this.flyweights) {
            console.log(key);
        }
    }
}

/**
 * The client code usually creates a bunch of pre-populated flyweights in the
 * initialization stage of the application.
 */
const factory = new FlyweightFactory([
    ['Chevrolet', 'Camaro2018', 'pink'],
    ['Mercedes Benz', 'C300', 'black'],
    ['Mercedes Benz', 'C500', 'red'],
    ['BMW', 'M5', 'red'],
    ['BMW', 'X6', 'white'],
    // ...
]);
factory.listFlyweights();

// ...

function addCarToPoliceDatabase(
    ff: FlyweightFactory, plates: string, owner: string,
    brand: string, model: string, color: string,
) {
    console.log('\nClient: Adding a car to database.');
    const flyweight = ff.getFlyweight([brand, model, color]);

    // The client code either stores or calculates extrinsic state and passes it
    // to the flyweight's methods.
    flyweight.operation([plates, owner]);
}

addCarToPoliceDatabase(factory, 'CL234IR', 'James Doe', 'BMW', 'M5', 'red');

addCarToPoliceDatabase(factory, 'CL234IR', 'James Doe', 'BMW', 'X1', 'red');

factory.listFlyweights();

Output.txt: Execution result

FlyweightFactory: I have 5 flyweights:
Chevrolet_Camaro2018_pink
Mercedes Benz_C300_black
Mercedes Benz_C500_red
BMW_M5_red
BMW_X6_white

Client: Adding a car to database.
FlyweightFactory: Reusing existing flyweight.
Flyweight: Displaying shared (["BMW","M5","red"]) and unique (["CL234IR","James Doe"]) state.

Client: Adding a car to database.
FlyweightFactory: Can't find a flyweight, creating new one.
Flyweight: Displaying shared (["BMW","X1","red"]) and unique (["CL234IR","James Doe"]) state.

FlyweightFactory: I have 6 flyweights:
Chevrolet_Camaro2018_pink
Mercedes Benz_C300_black
Mercedes Benz_C500_red
BMW_M5_red
BMW_X6_white
BMW_X1_red

Flyweight in Other Languages

Design Patterns: Flyweight in Java Design Patterns: Flyweight in C# Design Patterns: Flyweight in PHP Design Patterns: Flyweight in Python Design Patterns: Flyweight in Ruby Design Patterns: Flyweight in Swift