Clojure

Clojure Goodness: Create All Parent Directories For A File

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Hubert Klein Ikkink

The Clojure namespace clojure.java.io contains useful functions to work with files. One of those functions is make-parents. We can pass a java.io.File instance as arguments or use the same arguments that can be passed to the file function that is also in this namespace. The function will create all parent directories for the file. The return result is true if the directories are created (they didn’t exist before) and false when the directories didn’t have to be created (already exist).

In the following example we see an example of usage of the make-parents function:

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Clojure Goodness: Turning Map Values To Map Keys

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Hubert Klein Ikkink

In the clojure.set namespace we can find the function map-invert. This function returns a new map where the values are keys with the appropriates keys of the original map assigned as value. If the original map has duplicate values than the latest key for the duplicate value will be the value of the new key.

In the following example code we see the result of using map-invert:

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Clojure Goodness: Create New Instance Of Java Class

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Hubert Klein Ikkink

Working with Java classes from Clojure code is easy. If we want to invoke methods or access fields on instances of Java classes we must first create an instance by invoking the constructor. In Clojure we can do that using the special form new or using a dot (.) notation. The new special form has the class name of the Java class we want to create an instance of as argument followed by arguments for the Java class constructor. With the dot notation we place a . after the class name followed by arguments for the class constructor to create a new instance.

In the following example we see several ways to create an instance of a Java class.

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Clojure Goodness: Pure Function Sample Buying Coffee From FP Programming In Scala Written In Clojure

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Hubert Klein Ikkink

Some of our colleagues at JDriven work with Scala and we talked about the book Functional Programming in Scala written by Paul Chiusano and Runar Bjarnason. We looked at one of the examples in the first chapter in the book to show the importance of having pure functions without side effects. The example is about buying a cup of coffee and charging a credit card with the purchase. In three examples a function with side effects is refactored to a pure function without side effects. When looking at the example I was wondering how this would look like in Clojure using only functions and simple immutable data structures. We can look at the examples in Scala to see how it is explained and implemented in the book. There are also Kotlin samples available. In this post we see a possible implementation in Clojure to buy coffee and charge our credit card.

The first example is a buy-coffee function with a credit card type as parameter. When we invoke the function with a credit card argument the credit card gets charged as side effect and a coffee type is created and returned. The coffee type is simply a map with a price key.

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Clojure Goodness: Merge Maps With Function To Set Value Duplicate Keys

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Hubert Klein Ikkink

In Clojure we can use the merge function to merge multiple maps into a single map. If a key is in multiple maps the value of the key merged last will be used in the resulting map. If we want to influence how the value of a duplicate key is set we can use merge-with. We specify as first argument the function that will be used when the same key is available in multiple maps. The function must accept two arguments, where the the first argument is the value of the key in the first map and the second argument the value of the same key in the following map. The result is assigned to the key in the resulting map. If we pass more than two maps to the merge-with the function will be called multiple times for a key if it is part of more than two maps.

In the following example we use Clojure core functions and a custom function to merge multiples maps, so we can alter the value for duplicate keys:

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Clojure Goodness: Destructure Sequences

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Hubert Klein Ikkink

Clojure supports advanced destructure features. In a previous post we learned about destructuring maps, but we can also destructure vectors, list and sequences in Clojure using positional destructuring. We can define symbols for positions in the sequence to assign the value at a certain position to the symbol. The first symbol in the destructure vector gets the value of the first element in the sequence, the second symbol the value of the second element and so on. To get the remaining elements from the sequence without assigning them to specific symbols we can use & followed by a symbol. Then all remaining elements are assigned as sequence the symbol. Finally we can use :as to get the original vector, list or sequence.

The folowing examples show several destructure definitions for different type of collections and sequences:

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Clojure Goodness: Destructuring Maps

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Hubert Klein Ikkink

When we want to assign key values in a map to symbols we can use Clojure’s powerful destructure options. With destructuring a map we can use dense syntax to assign keys to new symbols. For example we can use that in a let special form to assign symbols, but also for function parameters that are a map. When we use it for function parameters we can immediately assign keys to symbols we want to use in the function. Clojure provides a simple syntax to destructure a key value to a symbol using {symbol key} syntax. The value of :key will be assigned to symbol. We can provide default values if a key is not set in the map using :or followed by the symbol and default value. This is very useful if we know not all keys in a map will have values. Finally there is a shorthand syntax to assign keys to symbols with the same name as the key: :keys. We must provide a vector to :keys with the name of the keys, which will automatically assigned to symbols with the same name. To use this destructuring to its fullest the keys in the map must be keywords. We can use the keywordize-keys function in the clojure.walk namespace if we have a map with string keys and we want to transform them to keywords.

In the following example code we see several example of map destructuring:

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Clojure Goodness: Remove Duplicates From A Collection With distinct

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Hubert Klein Ikkink

With the function distinct we can remove duplicate elements from a collection. The function returns a lazy sequence when we use a collection argument. Without arguments the function returns a transducer. When we want to remove duplicates and we don’t need the lazy sequence result we could also turn a collection into a set with for example the set or into functions.

In the following example we use the distinct function on several collections.

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Clojure Goodness: Remove Consecutive Duplicate Elements From Collection

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Hubert Klein Ikkink

The Clojure core namespace contains many functions. One of the functions is the dedupe function. This function can remove consecutive duplicates from a collection and returns a lazy sequence where only one of the duplicates remain. It will not remove all duplicate elements from the collection, but only when the element is directly followed by a duplicate element. The function returns a transducer when no argument is given.

In the following code sample we use the dedupe function on several collections:

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Clojure Goodness: Use .. For Invocation Java Method Chaining

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Hubert Klein Ikkink

Accessing Java from Clojure is easy. With the dot (.) special form we can invoke for example methods from a Java class or instance. If we want to invoke several methods together where the return value from one method is used to invoke the next method (method chaining) we can use the .. macro. The macro will expand into a nested expression with the . forms.

In the following example we see how to use the .. macro and how we can achieve the same result using nested . expressions and by using the thread first macro:

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Clojure Goodness: Invoke Java Method With Varargs Parameter

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Hubert Klein Ikkink

Sometimes we want to invoke Java methods from our Clojure code. If the Java method accepts a variable arguments (varargs) parameter and we want to invoke the method from Clojure we must pass an array as argument. To create an array in Clojure we can use several functions. The to-array function will transform a collection to an Object[] type. For primitive type arrays we can use for example int-array to get a int[] array. The function into-array is the most flexible function. This function accepts a sequence argument and optionally the class type of the resulting array. Once we have the array we can use it as argument value for the varargs parameter of the Java method we want to invoke.

In the following example we use into-array, to-array and short-array to invoke a Java method with varargs parameter and see how we can build different array types:

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Clojure Goodness: Getting Part Of A Vector With subvec

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Hubert Klein Ikkink

In Clojure we can get part of a vector collection using the subvec function. The function takes a vector as argument, a required begin index and optional end index. The returned value is a vector with part of the values of the original vector starting from the begin up to the end index. If we leave out the optional end index, the size of the vector is used as end index.

In the following example we use the subvec function with and without the end index:

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