Design Pattern: Singleton

“Beauty!”, when I see some really amazing code that is my first reaction, but what makes a piece of code beautiful? Is it neatly named variables? Is it the uniform indentation?

Well the answer is yes but there is something a little more than these factors and that is an elegant  solution to the problem. When I say elegant solution what is that I am talking about ? What makes a solution elegant? It is the way you approach a problem.

Design Patterns in the programming world adds to the beauty of the solution, it sometimes feels that it is the missing piece of the puzzle. And the solution so magically fits to solve the problem. The various patterns that I came across are Singleton, Mixin, Pub-Sub etc. The way I approached it and studied them is a little different, design patterns are actually tailored way to react to a given situation.

Let me elaborate on that now suppose there is an emergency and somebody got hurt, what is the first thought that comes to your mind ? It is to handle it using First Aid, this is actually a catered thought which has been imbibed in us from ages and people have design First Aid boxes in such a way that it has all the first come fixes for all the emergencies.

For me I see Design Pattern in the same manner it has gone through the test of time and proved to be the best way to solve a specific type of problem.  It is like a ready made template but you should be aware enough to know the problem and to know the pattern that solves that problem. 

I have read about a lot of design patterns but to be very frank I have seldom seen one being applied in the code-base that I have came across, this could be because I have not appreciated it much and also because I was not able to observe the pattern. It was very recently when I was working with Gautham Sir I began to appreciate the beauty of it. We were writing a utility in jnaapti using EcmaScript 6. He made me feel to appreciate the beauty of it and taught me how to implement it as well.

Let us break it down more and see the type of problems in which Singleton design pattern can be used.

What is Singleton design pattern?

A Singleton design pattern puts a restriction of returning the same object irrespective of how many times the class is being instantiated. This makes sure that whatever is the state of object that state is preserved. Don’t be overwhelmed if you are not able to understand it now it will make more sense once you see the code.

The benefit you get is having a kind of a global store where you can put in data and retrieve it when you desire to.

Lets us make it more clear imagine there is a class Library now through out the life cycle of the software what we want is there should be only one Library object and when ever I get this object I should be able to add and delete books from the library hence modifying the library now when I do this the library object anywhere being use should get this information.

Lets chalk out some code and try to understand it, I have 3 files Library.js, Customer.js and LibraryPlayGround.js.  The content of those file are very straight forward.

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Library.js

Now we need customers or readers for simplifying things i have only included on one method that is return books.

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Customer.js

Once all this is done we need a playground where we can see things happening and experiment with it.

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LibraryPlaygroud.js

Now if you see the code farhaan object has tried to access the same Library object that is being exported. No matter what it well return the same instance which has been instantiated in the beginning of the lifecycle of the software. This is how I tried implementing Singleton .

I have used ECMAScript here to demonstrate that concept and to implement it, I am a learner so there could have been certain things I wouldn’t have made clear, you can leave a comment regarding the same, if you have something to add I would love to know.

Till then Happy Hacking

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