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Functional Programming

A programming paradigm that treats computation as the evaluation of mathematical functions.
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James Sinclair jrsinclair.com

Magical, mystical JavaScript transducers

A fascinating read on how transducers work, building them up from scratch from reducers using JavaScript, then showing how to uses built-in transducers from Ramda. And if all that sounds like gobbledygook, you’re not alone - but read this article and it will start to make sense. :) Author James Sinclair on why bother learning this challenging concept: A solution that would give us the elegance of using small, simple functions. But also the efficiency of doing our processing in a single pass through the array. What is this magical solution? It’s a concept called a transducer.

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James Sinclair jrsinclair.com

Functional JavaScript: how to use Array Reduce for more than just numbers

I’m blown away by the clarity of explanation in this post, and came away with it excited to start using Reduce way more. Definitely worth a read to level up your game. Reduce is the Swiss-army knife of array iterators. It’s really powerful. So powerful, you can build most of the other array iterator methods with it, like .map(), .filter() and .flatMap(). And in this article we’ll look at some more amazing things you can do with it. But, if you’re new to array iterator methods, .reduce() can be confusing at first.

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JavaScript medium.com

Making the case for "functional-ish" JavaScript

Daniel Brain makes the case for “functional-ish” JavaScript… code that utilizes functional programming concepts without going all-in on functional. But functional programming does not need to be all-or-nothing, and in my view it’s better to be a little more pragmatic. That is to say, if you don’t do anything else, try writing code that’s functional-ish. This definitely matches my personal approach. Fully functional still kinda blows my brain, but layering in functional approaches has dramatically improved my code. What about you? Would love to hear some functional or functional-ish “war stories”.

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JavaScript jrsinclair.com

Elegant error handling with the JavaScript Either monad

This is an absolute mindbender if you’re not already deeply in the functional world, but this post by James Sinclair is also a readable & fascinating look at how to incrementally move from a try/catch error management approach to a fully functional approach. In this article, we’ll assume you already know about function composition and currying. If you need a minute to brush up on those, that’s totally OK. And a word of warning. If you haven’t come across things like monads before, they might seem really… different. Working with tools like these takes a mind shift. And that can be hard work to start with.

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Go github.com

Fo = Functional Go

Go already supports many features that functional programmers might want: closures, first-class functions, errors as values, etc. The main feature (and in fact only feature for now) that Fo adds is type polymorphism via generics. Generics encourage functional programming techniques by making it possible to write flexible higher-order functions and type-agnostic data structures. People have been asking for Generics in Go since the beginning of time. (2009) At this time, Fo should be thought of primarily as an experiment or proof of concept. It shows what Go looks like and feels like with some new language features and allows us to explore how those features interact and what you can build with them. Perhaps Fo’s author is hoping that enough traction/excitement around this project will convince the Go team to add Generics to the language.

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Thoughtbot Icon Thoughtbot

The mechanics of Maybe

Joël Quenneville: Our world is full of uncertainty. This uncertainty bleeds into our programs. A common way of dealing with this is null/nil. Unfortunately, this leads to even more uncertainty because this design means any value in our system could be null unless we’ve explicitly checked it’s presence. Imagine how many developer-hours are wasted globally each year dealing with null/nil. The number would probably astound us. The major advantage of guard clauses is to suss out invalid inputs (often nils) at the perimeter of your program/module/function, so the rest of your code doesn’t have to concern itself with these uncertainties. But Maybe there’s another way… In Elm, all values are guaranteed to be present except for those wrapped in a Maybe. This is a critical distinction. You can now be confident in most of your code and the compiler will force you to make presence-checks in places where values are optional. Click through to learn the mechanics of it all.

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The Changelog The Changelog #194

Elixir and the Future of Phoenix with José Valim

José Valim joined the show to talk about Elixir. We learned about the early days of José’s start as a programmer. José took us back to the beginning of Elixir and shared why Erlang got him so excited, we broke down features of the language, we talked about functional programming, concurrency, developing for multi-core systems, we talked about the Elixir community, the future of Phoenix, Ecto, and more.

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