Best way to call an async function within map?

I’m mapping over an array and for one of the return values of the new object, I need to make an async call.

var firebaseData = teachers.map(function(teacher) {
  return {
    name: teacher.title,
    description: teacher.body_html,
    image: urlToBase64(teacher.summary_html.match(/src="(.*?)"/)[1]),
    city: metafieldTeacherData[teacher.id].city,
    country: metafieldTeacherData[teacher.id].country,
    state: metafieldTeacherData[teacher.id].state,
    studioName: metafieldTeacherData[teacher.id].studioName,
    studioURL: metafieldTeacherData[teacher.id].studioURL
  }
});

The implementation of that function will look something like

function urlToBase64(url) {
  request.get(url, function (error, response, body) {
    if (!error && response.statusCode == 200) {
      return "data:" + response.headers["content-type"] + ";base64," + new Buffer(body).toString('base64');
    }
  });
}

I’m not clear what’s the best approach to do this… promises? Nested callbacks? Use something in ES6 or ES7 and then transpile with Babel?

What’s the current best way to implement this?

Thanks!

Answer

One approach is Promise.all (ES6).

This answer will work in Node 4.0+. Older versions will need a Promise polyfill or library. I have also used ES6 arrow functions, which you could replace with regular functions for Node < 4.

This technique manually wraps request.get with a Promise. You could also use a library like request-promise.

function urlToBase64(url) {
  return new Promise((resolve, reject) => {
    request.get(url, function (error, response, body) {
      if (!error && response.statusCode == 200) {
        resolve("data:" + response.headers["content-type"] + ";base64," + new Buffer(body).toString('base64'));
      } else {
        reject(response);
      }
    });
  })
} 

// Map input data to an Array of Promises
let promises = input.map(element => {
  return urlToBase64(element.image)
    .then(base64 => {
      element.base64Data = base64;
      return element;
    })
});

// Wait for all Promises to complete
Promise.all(promises)
  .then(results => {
    // Handle results
  })
  .catch(e => {
    console.error(e);
  })

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