The Stamp Specification: Composables





GitHub Stars



Last Commit

2yrs ago






Size (min+gzip)




Type Definitions





Stamp Specification v1.6

Gitter Greenkeeper Badge


This specification exists in order to define a standard format for composable factory functions (called stamps), and ensure compatibility between different stamp implementations.


The specification is currently used by the following officially supported implementations:

Reading Function Signatures

This document uses the Rtype specification for function signatures:

(param: Type) => ReturnType


interface Composable: Stamp|Descriptor

A composable is one of:

  • A stamp.
  • A POJO (Plain Old JavaScript Object) stamp descriptor.


A stamp is a composable factory function that returns object instances based on its descriptor.

stamp(options?: Object, ...args?: [...Any]) => instance: object
const newObject = stamp();

Stamps have a method called .compose():

Stamp.compose(...args?: [...Composable]) => Stamp

When called the .compose() method creates new stamp using the current stamp as a base, composed with a list of composables passed as arguments:

const combinedStamp = baseStamp.compose(composable1, composable2, composable3);

The .compose() method doubles as the stamp's descriptor. In other words, descriptor properties are attached to the stamp .compose() method, e.g. stamp.compose.methods.

Overriding .compose() method

It is possible to override the .compose() method of a stamp using staticProperties. Handy for debugging purposes.

import differentComposeImplementation from 'different-compose-implementation';
const composeOverriddenStamp = stamp.compose({
  staticProperties: {
    compose: differentComposeImplementation


Composable descriptor (or just descriptor) is a meta data object which contains the information necessary to create an object instance.

Standalone compose() pure function (optional)

(...args?: [...Composable]) => Stamp

Creates stamps. Take any number of stamps or descriptors. Return a new stamp that encapsulates combined behavior. If nothing is passed in, it returns an empty stamp.

Detached compose() method

The .compose() method of any stamp can be detached and used as a standalone compose() pure function.

const compose = thirdPartyStamp.compose;
const myStamp = compose(myComposable1, myComposable2);

Implementation details


Stamp(options?: Object, ...args?: [...Any]) => Instance: Object

Creates object instances. Take an options object and return the resulting instance.

Stamp.compose(...args?: [...Composable]) => Stamp

Creates stamps.

A method exposed by all stamps, identical to compose(), except it prepends this to the stamp parameters. Stamp descriptor properties are attached to the .compose method, e.g. stamp.compose.methods.

The Stamp Descriptor

interface Descriptor {
  methods?: Object,
  properties?: Object,
  deepProperties?: Object,
  propertyDescriptors?: Object,
  staticProperties?: Object,
  staticDeepProperties?: Object,
  staticPropertyDescriptors?: Object,
  initializers?: [...Function],
  composers?: [...Function],
  configuration?: Object,
  deepConfiguration?: Object

The names and definitions of the fixed properties that form the stamp descriptor. The stamp descriptor properties are made available on each stamp as stamp.compose.*

  • methods - A set of methods that will be added to the object's delegate prototype.
  • properties - A set of properties that will be added to new object instances by assignment.
  • deepProperties - A set of properties that will be added to new object instances by deep property merge.
  • propertyDescriptors - A set of object property descriptors used for fine-grained control over object property behaviors.
  • staticProperties - A set of static properties that will be copied by assignment to the stamp.
  • staticDeepProperties - A set of static properties that will be added to the stamp by deep property merge.
  • staticPropertyDescriptors - A set of object property descriptors to apply to the stamp.
  • initializers - An array of functions that will run in sequence while creating an object instance from a stamp. Stamp details and arguments get passed to initializers.
  • composers - An array of functions that will run in sequence while creating a new stamp from a list of composables. The resulting stamp and the composables get passed to composers.
  • configuration - A set of options made available to the stamp and its initializers during object instance creation. These will be copied by assignment.
  • deepConfiguration - A set of options made available to the stamp and its initializers during object instance creation. These will be deep merged.

Composing Descriptors

Descriptors are composed together to create new descriptors with the following rules:

  • methods are copied by assignment
  • properties are copied by assignment
  • deepProperties are deep merged
  • propertyDescriptors are copied by assignment
  • staticProperties are copied by assignment
  • staticDeepProperties are deep merged
  • staticPropertyDescriptors are copied by assignment
  • initializers are uniquely concatenated as in _.union().
  • composers are uniquely concatenated as in _.union().
  • configuration are copied by assignment
  • deepConfiguration are deep merged
Copying by assignment

The special property assignment algorithm shallow merges the following properties:

  • The regular string key properties = "bla"
  • The Symbol key properties obj[Symbol.for('foo')] = "bla"
  • The JavaScript getters and setters { get foo() { return "bla"; }, set foo(val) { ... } }
Deep merging

Special deep merging algorithm should be used when merging descriptors.


  • Plain objects are deeply merged (or cloned if destination metadata property is not a plain object)
  • Arrays are concatenated using Array.prototype.concat which shallow copies elements to a new array instance
  • All other value types - Functions, Strings, non-plain objects, RegExp, etc. - are copied by reference
  • The last value type always overwrites the previous value type


  • The Symbol object keys are treated as regular string keys
  • The JavaScript getters and setters are merged as if they are regular functions, i.e. copied by reference

Priority Rules

It is possible for properties to collide, between both stamps, and between different properties of the same stamp. This is often expected behavior, so it must not throw.

Same descriptor property, different stamps: Last in wins.

Different descriptor properties, one or more stamps:

  • Shallow properties override deep properties
  • Property Descriptors override everything

Stamp Arguments

It is recommended that stamps only take one argument: The stamp options argument. There are no reserved properties and no special meaning. However, using multiple arguments for a stamp could create conflicts where multiple stamps expect the same argument to mean different things. Using named parameters, it's possible for stamp creator to resolve conflicts with options namespacing. For example, if you want to compose a database connection stamp with a message queue stamp:

const db = dbStamp({
  host: 'localhost',
  port: 3000,
  onConnect() {
    console.log('Database connection established.');

const queue = messageQueueStamp({
  host: 'localhost',
  port: 5000,
  onComplete() {
    console.log('Message queue connection established.');

If you tried to compose these directly, they would conflict with each other, but it's easy to namespace the options at compose time:

const DbQueue = compose({
  initializers: [({db, queue}, { instance }) => {
    instance.db = dbStamp({
      port: db.port,
      onConnect: db.onConnect
    instance.queue = messageQueueStamp({
      port: queue.port,
      onConnect: queue.onConnect

myDBQueue = DbQueue({
  db: {
    host: 'localhost',
    port: 3000,
    onConnect () {
      console.log('Database connection established.');
  queue: {
    host: 'localhost',
    port: 5000,
    onConnect () {
      console.log('Message queue connection established.');

Initializer Parameters

Initializers have the following signature:

(options: Object, { instance: Object, stamp: Stamp, args: Array }) => instance?: Object
  • options The options argument passed into the stamp, containing properties that may be used by initializers.
  • instance The object instance being produced by the stamp. If the initializer returns a value other than undefined, it replaces the instance.
  • stamp A reference to the stamp producing the instance.
  • args An array of the arguments passed into the stamp, including the options argument.

Note that if no options object is passed to the factory function, an empty object will be passed to initializers.

Composer Parameters

Composers have the following signature:

({ stamp: Stamp, composables: Composable[] }) => stamp?: Object
  • stamp The result of the composables composition.
  • composables The list of composables the stamp was just composed of.

Note that it's not recommended to return new stamps from a composer. Instead, it's better to mutate the passed stamp.

Similarities With Promises (aka Thenables)

  • Thenable ~ Composable.
  • .then ~ .compose.
  • Promise ~ Stamp.
  • new Promise(function(resolve, reject)) ~ compose(...composables)


To contribute, please refer to the Contributing guide.

Rate & Review

Great Documentation0
Easy to Use0
Highly Customizable0
Bleeding Edge0
Responsive Maintainers0
Poor Documentation0
Hard to Use0
Unwelcoming Community0