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Control messages with debouncing and throttling
version 3.0.2
license MPL2
native-modules False
elm-version 0.18.0 <= v < 0.19.0
Tag 3.0.2
Committed At 2017-03-11 18:29:50 UTC
elm-lang/core 5.0.0 <= v < 6.0.0 5.1.1



This package enables debouncing and throttling of messages with as few modifications as possible of the original code.

Debouncing and throttling consist in limiting the number of time an emitted message is actually processed. For exemple with debouncing, we can detect when someone stop writing in a textarea. Let's say we debounce the change event of the area with a delay of 1s. It means that it won't emit anything until we make a pause of at least 1s.

I detail in the usage section how to do that.

For more details about debouncing and throttling, please refer to this very good article

Internally, it is coded using the State Monad concepts. Don't hesitate to peak at the code and give me feedback through issues or messages in the elm slack. (user mattpiz).


elm-package install mpizenberg/elm-debounce


Let's say you have a writable input field. The model is updated each time your write something.

type alias Model = { text : String }
initialModel = { text = "" }
init = ( initialModel, Cmd.none )

type Msg = Text String
update msg model =
    case msg of
        Text text -> ( {model | text = text }, Cmd.none )

view model = input [onInput Text] []

This updates the model everytime we press a key. Now we want to change the model only when we stop writing in the input. We will use debouncing in 3 simple steps:

  1. We modify the model to hold the debounced state of the message.
  2. We add a new update message that do the debouncing job.
  3. We mark the message we want to debounce in the view.

That's it.

Modification of the model

The modification of the model is trivial. It only consists in adding a state. In functional programming, we want to be in control of the states, and not hide them where they could be source of bugs.

type alias Model = { text : String, state : Control.State Msg }
initialModel = { text = "", state = Control.initialState }

Modification of the update

Then we add the necessary stuff for the work to be done in Msg and update: Since it needs to update the state, you have to pass a function to do that.

type Msg = Text String | Deb (Control Msg)
update msg model =
    case msg of
        Text text -> ( {model | text = text }, Cmd.none )
        Deb debMsg -> Control.update (\s -> { model | state = s }) model.state debMsg

Modification of the view

Finally, we need a slight modification of the view (the map debounce). For our usecase we will be using debouncing on trailing edge ("later"). For other purposes, you could be using leading edge ("immediate) or both edges.

view model = input [map debounce <| onInput Text] []
debounce = Control.Debounce.trailing Deb (1 * Time.second)


The complete code of this very example is available in the examples folder, along with other minimalist examples using debouncing and throttling. To run the examples, simply use elm-reactor:

$ cd examples/
$ elm-reactor
Listening on http://localhost:8000


You can find the package documentation on the elm package website


This Source Code Form is subject to the terms of the Mozilla Public License,v. 2.0. If a copy of the MPL was not distributed with this file, You can obtain one at


Feel free to contact me on the elm slack (user mattpiz) for any question and to star this package if you like it ;).


The early days of this work have been greatly inspired by the works of:

In case this package does not suit your needs, don't forget to look at their work and star it if you like it.