CoffeeScript Singleton design pattern

Singleton design pattern is preffered over globals, as they do not pollute the global scope and still makes sure that same class is not getting initiated every time you need it.

How does it work

Singleton methods/classes are self responsible for making sure that they are not re-initiating themselves.

Cache class can be a perfect example of singleton , becuase we want to share the cache store across our application and also making sure that we carry the same instance from one file to another.

Let's start by creating a Cache class which as of now will only return and change the cache store name.

class Cache

  constructor: (@store='default') ->

  changeStore : (storeName) ->
    @store = storeName

  getStore : -> @store

module.exports = Cache  

What it is does is pretty simple , can be explained as follows:-

  1. First we expect a store name while initiating a class , and set it's default value to default.

  2. changeStore method will change the store name as expected.

  3. And getStore will return the current store name.

So far our class is not singleton , as we have not written any code to make it singleton.

But let's see what problem will occur if we do not have singleton class for our Cache store.

## Requiring cache store
Cache = require './Cache'

## Initiating and assigning store to variable cache
cache = new Cache()

## Changing store name to users
cache.changeStore 'users'

## Re intiating cache store and this time assigning it to another variable
cache2 = new Cache()

## Getting current store name and output it to console
console.log cache2.getStore()  

If you will run the above file in browser or on server(using node) , you will find the final console prints default. Where it should be users as we changed the store name on line 8.

In brief , we are not able to maintain the state of our cache store which is important as it has to be shared across the application. At this point whether we can create a global variable and assign cache store to it or we should make our store singleton.

Making cache store singleton

class Cache  
  ## Added new private variable called instance
  instance = null

  constructor: (@store='default') ->
    ## Added check to return same instance
    if !instance then instance = this
    return instance

  changeStore : (storeName) ->
    @store = storeName

  getStore : -> @store

module.exports = Cache  
  1. We have added a private variable instance on line 4 , which will hold the your instance.

  2. Finally we have added an if statement to our constructor making sure we return the current instance or set it when does not exists.


Without changing a line code inside your file , you will see your console message returns users instead of default.