01. Services - gracicot/kangaru GitHub Wiki

Every type that should be managed by this library is considered a service, even if it's a single, non-single, abstract or concrete type. Those types considered service will be manageable by the dependency injection container provided with kangaru.

A service is simply a fancy name for a type that can be used with the container. Service are the building block of injection with this library. Every injectable type is a service.

The container won't use your classes directly. It instead uses a proxy called the definition of a service. A definition contains the config and metadata for the container to use your class the desired way. For example, of you want your class to have a shared instance between injections, you simply opt-in for it in the definition.

tl;dr: The definition of a service is the place where we define how the service is contained in the container, how it's constructed and how it's injected into other services.

Your first service

In order to transform a class into a service, you wont need to modify your class. All you have to do, is to make a new definition, or new config for your class. Let's start with a simple case. Let's say we have a camera class we want to turn into a service:

struct Camera {
    int position;

All we have to do is declare the following service definition:

struct CameraService : kgr::service<Camera> {};

We made it! Now we can use the container to create a camera. The container has a function called service. That function will return an instance of the class specified in CameraService, thus Camera in our case:

kgr::container container;
Camera camera = container.service<CameraService>();

Yay! The container created an instance of Camera through our service definition.

Also, arguments sent to the service function are forwarded to the service's constructor:

Camera furtherCamera = container.service<CameraService>(14);

// furtherCamera.position == 14

You might wonder why we are doing this. Why using an indirect way to construct our simple classes? As we are using other functionalities of kangaru, we'll quickly see why.


The above example weren't so useful by itself. Let's add another service. Now, we want to make a Scene class that uses a camera.

struct Scene {
    Camera camera;
    int width = 800;
    int height = 600;

Now instead of sending an instance of a camera into our scene, let's express this as a dependency between our services. This will make the container aware of the link between our classes so the container will create one instance of camera, and inject it into the scene.

Let's make our definition:

struct SceneService : kgr::service<Scene, kgr::dependency<CameraService>> {};

The second argument to the kgr::service class is the dependencies of the service.

Now, since we expressed our dependency there, we don't need to explicitly create a camera and send it. Instead, the container will take care of the dependencies without the call site to be aware of them:

// A camera is created and sent into the scene.
Scene scene = container.service<SceneService>();

As before, we can forward arguments to the constructor of Scene note that we still don't need to send the camera there.

// A camera is created and sent into the scene.
// The scene has a size of 1920x1080
Scene scene = container.service<SceneService>(1920, 1080);

Now we can clearly see the point of using the container to create classes that have dependencies. The usage site of the scene class don't need an instance of a camera in hand to create a scene. Also, the day you need additional dependencies, you won't need to refactor every place we construct a scene!


In the previous example, we did not bother making our members private. Making them so is not a limitation. We can define our class like we're used to:

struct Scene {
    Scene(Camera c, int w = 800, int h = 600) :
        camera{c}, width{w}, height{h} {}
    Camera camera;
    int width;
    int height;

Note that this change in our class have no impact on the definition. Since our class has the exact same semantics as before, the container will continue to call Scene{camera} without it being aware of the change.

Single Services

Single services are created and saved in the container for reuse. They are created one time at the first call to service(), and then saved inside the container. The container will then reuse the instance for all future injections.

Also, since the constructor will only be called at the first injection, or the first service() call, argument forwading is disabled. We'll see how to counter this limitation in the section about supplied services.

Now, let's say we want only one scene in our application. We want the same scene to be injected and returned by the container. We will do that by inheriting from the kgr::single_service definition. That definition tells the container to reuse the instance and inject as a reference.

struct SceneService : kgr::single_service<Scene, kgr::dependency<CameraService>> {};

That's it! A reference is now returned by the container:

Scene& scene1 = container.service<SceneService>();
Scene& scene2 = container.service<SceneService>();

assert(&scene1 == &scene2); // Passes! Both scenes are the same object.

Multiple Dependency

A service can have multiple dependencies. kgr::dependency can receive as many dependent definition as needed. Consider we want a screen class. A screen both need a scene and it's own camera. Here's how the class and it's definition would look like:

struct Screen {
    Scene& scene;
    Camera camera;

struct ScreenService : kgr::service<Screen, kgr::dependency<SceneService, CameraService>> {};

Here, we can see that the dependency matches the members. In fact, the orders of dependencies must match the order of parameter the Screen class constructor have. This is because the container will do the equivalent of calling Screen{scene, camera}. As long as there is a matching constructor, to the dependencies, the definition is well formed.

Also, note that the scene member is a reference. This is because Scene is a single service, and the injected type of a kgr::single_service is a reference. Indeed, every Screen will be constructed with the same instance of Scene:

Screen screen1 = container.service<ScreenService>();
Screen screen2 = container.service<ScreenService>();

assert(&screen1.scene == &screen2.scene); // Passes! Same scene injected into both screens!

In that code, many things happened. At the first call of service(), a screen must be created. The container will first need to create the dependencies of the scene. And recursively, the dependencies it's dependencies. So in the end, these actions are performed:

  • A camera is first created,
  • Then a scene is created with that camera,
  • We save the scene into the container,
  • Another camera is created,
  • Then our screen is created with the scene and the new camera.

For the second call, the service finds the saved scene, so it simply create a screen with that scene and a new camera. All this code that do these action (except saving to the container) would have been written without kangaru. Now, we simply configure our classes with service definitions and the container handle the thing automatically.

This is the most basic usage of kangaru. Yet we achieved recursive dependency resolution and single instances. With only that, many use cases are covered and may already be useful. But don't stop there! The fun has just begun! In the next chapter, we'll see how to use injection into function parameter. Just like with classes, function can also benefit from dependency injection.

You can go check example1, which covers everything related to this chapter.

Next chapter: Invoke

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