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Functional Terminology ⨐

☕️ 3 min read

Pure Functions

  • These return a value based on what is passed in to the function.
  • For instance, if we pass x into a function as input we will get F of x out as output.
  • Another property of a pure function is that it will always return the same result for the same passed in value.
  • If we pass input x into the function again, we should get back the exact same value, F of x. You should be able to do this an infinite amount of times and always get back the same output for a specific input. In addition, pure functions do not modify values outside of its scope. They are independent from any state in the system.
  • They never mutate data and they do not produce side effects. Generally, they can also easily be reused.

First-Class Functions

  • First, a programming language must support first-class functions to support the functional programming paradigm.
  • First-class functions can be stored as a variable, they can be passed as an argument, and also they can be returned as the result of a function call.
  • In addition, a first-class function can also be bound to a variable name, as well as stored in a data structure. Basically, you can generally do anything with a first-class function that you would be able to do with a variable or object.

Higher-order Functions

  • These are functions that can operate on other functions. They can take in a function as input, or even return one as output.
  • First-class functions are useless without higher-order functions to pass them into or return them from.

Anonymous Functions

  • The roots of anonymous functions lie heavily in lambda calculus.
  • An anonymous function allows us to define ad hoc logic as we need, without needing to declare a formal named function.
  • They are nameless and they can also serve as an argument to another function.
  • Also, they can be assigned to a variable. They are basically a nameless first-class function.
  • Anonymous functions can be passed into or returned from a higher-order function.

Clousures

  • Closures are lexically scoped name binding in languages with first-class functions. Closures give us function portability. Closures are what allow us to pass around and store functions.
  • A closure is defined as a persistent local variable scope which holds on to local variables after the code execution has moved out of that block.
  • Captured variables can be accessed through the closure’s copies of variable values or references when the function is invoked outside of their scope. A closure, which is the scope of a function, is kept alive by a reference to that function. Variables which were in scope when that function was defined will still be in scope when we call it later in a different context.
  • A closure can also be thought of as a record storing a function together with a environment. One final way of defining a closure is as a mapping associating each variable of the function with the value or reference to which the name was bound when the closure was created. Next up, let’s go over functional composition.

Some-more

  • Monad, Think of monad as a context object that wraps a value and allows us to apply a set of transformations on that value and get it back out with all the transformations applied.
  • Stream and Optional are Monads, when they are used as Stream.of() and Optional.of() as constructors and map() and flatMap() as binding functions.
OptionalMonad.java
Optional.of(5).flatMap(addOne).flatMap(addTwo).equals(Optional.of(5).flatMap(addThree));
  • collect() method is called fold in FP terms, which summarizes bunch of values into one.
Published 7 Dec 2018

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