vpavkin / scalist   0.2.0

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Todoist API client library for Scala

Scala versions: 2.11


Todoist API client for Scala

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Scalist is a client library for Todoist API, written in Scala. It is built on top of Cats and Shapeless with a special attention to type safety. You don't need deep knowledge of Shapeless or Cats to use this library.

Scalist works on Scala 2.11 with Java 7/8.

Warning: Project is at early stages now. Most major features are implemented, but there can be performance problems. Also, a great work should be done on clearing out what types should be made private/public.

  1. Getting started
  2. Setup
  3. Calling the API 1. Queries 2. Commands 3. Request execution 4. Response handling 5. Result type 6. Authorization helpers
    1. OAuth step 1 url generator
    2. OAuth step 3 request
  4. Design
  5. Modules
  6. API dependencies
  7. Type safety
  8. Documentation
  9. Supported resources and commands
  10. Contributing

Getting started


Currently, there's only one API implementation, based on Dispatch HTTP and Circe JSON libraries. To get it, include this in your build.sbt:

libraryDependencies += "ru.vpavkin" %% "scalist-dispatch-circe" % "0.2.0"

Next, import the API toolkit where you need it:

import ru.pavkin.todoist.api.core.model._
import ru.pavkin.todoist.api.dispatch.circe.default._
// Most of the times you would like to have syntax import alongside.
import ru.pavkin.todoist.api.dispatch.circe.default.syntax._

Use your token to get an authorized API wrapper:

// here you'll need to have an implicit ExecutionContext in scope
val api = todoist.withToken("<your_token_here>")

This is everything you need to start calling Todoist API.

Calling the API


Build a single resource query:

val projectsReq = api.get[Projects]

Build a multiple resource query:

val multipleReq1 = api.get[Projects]

// or this way (using shapeless HList)
val multipleReq2 = api.getAll[Projects :: Labels :: Tasks :: HNil]

// or this to load all resources
val multipleReq3 = api.getAll[All]

Scalist request builder tracks the list of requested resources, so that you can't, for instance, require same resource twice. These calls won't compile:

val invalidReq1 = api.get[Projects].and[Labels].and[Projects]
val invalidReq2 = api.getAll[Projects :: Projects :: HNil]
val invalidReq3 = api.getAll[All].and[Projects]


Build a single command request:

val addProject = api.perform(AddProject("Learn scalist", Some(ProjectColor.color18)))

Build a typesafe multiple command request (multiple ways). Notice the usage of projectId tagger to mark raw UUID as a project id. All entity ids have tagged types for additional compile time safety.

import java.util.UUID

val existingProject: UUID = UUID.randomUUID() // and id of some existing project

// note the existingProject.projectId conversion: we have to tag the raw UUID as a ProjectId
val addStuff1 = api.perform(AddProject("Learn Scalist"))
                   .and(AddProject("Try Scalist"))
                   .and(AddTask("Add Scalist to my project", existingProject.projectId))

// or this way (using shapeless HList with some syntactic sugar to avoid HNils)
val addStuff2 = api.performAll(AddProject("Learn Scalist") :+
                               AddProject("Try Scalist") :+
                               AddTask("Add Scalist to my project", existingProject.projectId))

Command chains (using temp_id parameter):

// single dependant command
val addProjectWithTask = api.performAll(
    AddProject("Project").andForIt(projId => AddTask("Task1", projId)) 
    // or more concise: AddProject("Project").andForIt(AddTask("Task1", _)) 

// multiple dependant commands
val addProjectWithTasks = api.performAll(
    AddProject("Project").andForItAll(projId => 
      AddTask("Task1", projId) :+
      AddTask("Task2", projId) :+
      AddTask("Task3", projId)

Note, that tagged ids help to avoid misuse here: for instance, you won't be able to create AddTask command with a temp id of a label:

// labelId and taskId have differently tagged types
val invalidCommand = AddLabel("Label").andForIt(AddTask("Task1", _)) 

Request execution

Everything we created in Queries and Commands sections examples are just request definitions: no requests were actually executed yet.

Given a request definition we can send the request by just calling execute method on the request definition instance:


Response handling

Every API call result has type Future[Xor[Error, Result]], where:

  • Xor is an alternative implementation of Either from Cats library (see more). It's the only public dependency on Cats or Shapeless you'll have to use.
  • Error can be either:
  • HTTPError, that means nonsuccessful HTTP code returned from Todoist API
  • DecodingError, that means some inconsistency between Scalist and the Todoist API. If you got that, please file an issue.
  • Result is typesafe representation of API response, based on what you requested.

With this in mind, we can handle the result this way:

import cats.data.Xor // we need this for Xor pattern matching

  case Xor.Left(error) => println(s"Error: $error"
  case Xor.Right(result) => 
    println(s"Projects: ${result.projects}")
    println(s"Labels: ${result.labels}")

Of course, you are good to go here with all well known combinators for Future and Xor, as well as with XorT monad transformer.

Result type.

The API effect is always the same:

type Effect[Result] = Future[Xor[Error, Result]]

Result type depends on what you requested. Take a look at following examples:

Single resource request returns just a List of entity instances:

api.get[Projects] // List[Project]

Multiple resources request returns an HList of requested resources collections:

   .and[Labels]   // List[Labels] :: List[Projects] :: HNil  

You won't need to work with HLists - there're typesafe helpers, defined for such results:

// later in response handler:
result.projects // List[Project]
result.labels // List[Label]
result.filters // won't compile as we didn't request filters

Single command returns CommandResult object for simple commands and TempIdCommandResult for commads with temp_id parameter (e.g. adding new resources):

api.perform(UpdateTask(1, "NewText")) // CommandResult
api.perform(AddProject("Project")) // TempIdCommandResult

Without going into details both CommandResult and TempIdCommandResult are success/failure containers. TempIdCommandResult also holds the real id, assigned to the created resource.

All command sequences, defined either with perform().and().and() or performAll(), return HList of corresponding results.

Again, you don't have to deal with HLists explicitly:

  • resultFor(N) helper is typesafe, you get results with corresponding type being calculated at compile time:
   .and(UpdateTask(1, "task"))

// later
result.resultFor(_0) // TempIdCommandResult of AddProject command
result.resultFor(_1) // CommandResult of UpdateTask 
result.resultFor(_2) // won't compile, only 2 commands were sent
  • Runtime typed resultFor(uuid: UUID) allows to get the result of a command with particular uuid.

Note, that it gives much less compile time safety: method calls always compile and the return type is always Option[TodoistCommandResult], where TodoistCommandResult is a super-trait for any command result.

val addProject = AddProject("project")
   .and(UpdateTask(1, "task"))

// later
// Option[TodoistCommandResult], resolves to Some(TempIdCommandResult)

result.resultFor(UUID.randomUUID) // returns None at runtime
  • isSuccess allows to quickly find out, if all the commands in the request finished successfully:
result.isSuccess // true or false

Authorization helpers

Scalist can't provide all the requests, required by the OAuth flow, because some of them should be handled on the application level. But there's something Scalist can help with:

OAuth step 1 URL generator

Scalist can generate URLs for OAuth step 1 redirect (see more here):

todoist.auth.oAuthStep1URL("<clientId>", Set(TokenScope.Read, TokenScope.AddTasks), "<state>")

This call returns a url string for supplied clientId, state and set of scopes. See all list of available scopes in TokenScope companion object.

OAuth step 3 request

Scalist can perform the "token exchange" request which is the step 3 of Todoist OAuth flow:


Note that request definition here does not support chaining and only allows to call execute on it.

In result you will get an instance of AccessToken class (of course it will be under the same API effect as all other responses):

case class AccessToken(token: String, tokenType: String)


Scalist is designed with three correlated requirements:

  1. Expressive, readable and concise DSL.
  2. Strong type safety with minimum ways for a library user to shoot himself in a foot.
  3. You don't have to know the libraries project depends on (Shapeless, Cats, Circe, etc.) to use Scalist.

Most design decisions are guided by those requirements. That's why, for instance, performance is not and won't be a concern in the first versions of Scalist. Moreover, project domain doesn't set any strict requirements for performance.


While currently Scalist has only one end-user module scalist-dispatch-circe, it's built from several internal modules for easy extension:

  1. scalist-core: contains model and DTO classes as well as the DSL abstractions. Depends on cats-core and shapeless.
  2. scalist-dispatch: general machinery for HTTP requests based on Dispatch HTTP client.
  3. scalist-circe: Circe based implementations of core abstractions for request/response serialization. Depends on circe-core, circe-generic and circe-parser.
  4. scalist-dispatch-circe: Complete API implementation, using scalist-dispatch and scalist-circe.

Modules for other libraries like play-json are in future plans.

API dependencies

You don't need to know Cats or Shapeless to use Scalist. However, some of their APIs are intentionally exposed to Scalist user:

  1. cats.data.Xor is a part of API effect. There's no need in reinventing the wheel. Standard Either lacks some useful features, so Scalist uses high-quality Xor tool for typesafe error handling.
  2. shapeless.HLists are construction material for multi-command or multi-query requests, and they also hold the results of such requests. You don't need to directly call any of it's methods, because Scalist supplies convenient syntax wrappers for HList. However, returning raw HLists allows experienced developers to use all shapeless power in their advance.

Type safety

Some type level tricks, that were used within the Scalist DSL will be described here.



Full API documentation is under development. For now, please, check the Getting started guide or file an issue with a question.

Also, all methods that can be used by library user are documented in the source. Full scaladocs are located here.

Model classes are good to study right in the source.

Supported resources and commands:

Currently supported resources:

  • Project
  • Label
  • Filter
  • Task
  • Note
  • Reminder
  • User

Full list of commands, currently supported by Scalist:

  • AddAbsoluteTimeBasedReminder
  • AddFilter
  • AddLabel
  • AddLocationBasedReminder
  • AddNote
  • AddProject
  • AddRelativeTimeBasedReminder
  • AddTask
  • AddTaskToInbox
  • ArchiveProjects
  • CloseTask
  • DeleteFilter
  • DeleteLabel
  • DeleteNote
  • DeleteProjects
  • DeleteReminder
  • DeleteTasks
  • MoveTasks
  • UnarchiveProjects
  • UncompleteTasks
  • UpdateFilter
  • UpdateLabel
  • UpdateNote
  • UpdateProject
  • UpdateTask


Any contribution is welcome! :) If you want to, please, don't hesitate to:

  • File and issue.
  • Send a pull request.
  • Ask or leave feedback on gitter channel.

Full contribution guide is TBD.