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Graphile Export

Graphile Export enables you to export a GraphQL Schema (or other code) as executable JavaScript code. You must, however, write your code in a way that makes it exportable; we have ESLint plugins to make this less onerous.

How it works

The system works by converting values in memory into source code strings. One of the key things that's challenging to export is functions (and function-derived things such as classes). In JavaScript you can see the source code of a function by calling .toString() on it:

> (function add(a, b) { return a + b }).toString()
'function add(a, b) { return a + b }'

However this quickly falls down if you are using values from a parent closure:

> const a = 7;
undefined
> function add(b) { return a + b };
undefined
> add(3)
10
> add.toString()
'function add(b) { return a + b }'

See how the function definition string add.toString() returns its definition, but you cannot determine from that what the value of a is. This is a problem.

Graphile Export solves this by having you define your functions a bit like React hooks - you must state the dependencies explicitly:

> const { EXPORTABLE } = require("graphile-export")
undefined
> const a = 7;
undefined
> const add = EXPORTABLE((a) => function add(b) { return a + b; }, [a]);
undefined

When you do so, the add function is augmented with the properties $exporter$factory and $exporter$args that represent the first and second arguments to the EXPORTABLE(factory, args) function respectively.

The function still works as before:

> add(3)
10
> add.toString()
'function add(b) { return a + b; }'

But graphile-export can access these special properties when it writes the code out, and now it can see the value of that "invisible" a=7:

> add.$exporter$factory.toString()
'(a) => function add(b) { return a + b; }'
> add.$exporter$args
[ 7 ]

Thus everything that can have these kinds of hidden properties must be wrapped in an EXPORTABLE call. Sometimes the inputs to the EXPORTABLE call themselves also have to be wrapped in an EXPORTABLE call. You'll figure out which things need wrapping by looking at the exported code and seeing where references are broken.