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Function references in Scala October 17, 2011

Posted by CK in Software.
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I’m starting to learn Scala, and have some trouble coming to terms with its syntax. Maybe I’m spoiled by Python. In any case, here’s an example of things that I find annoying:

scala> def f(x:Int):Int = x
f: (x: Int)Int

scala> def g(f:Int=>Int, y:Int, b:Boolean):Int = if (b) g(f, y, false) else y
g: (f: (Int) => Int,y: Int,b: Boolean)Int

scala> def h=f
:6: error: missing arguments for method f in object $iw;
follow this method with `_' if you want to treat it as a partially applied function
def h=f
scala> def h=f _
h: (Int) => Int

So basically, although it is fine to use just f when defining function g, in the definition of function h it is necessary to postfix f with an underscore.

I haven’t read the language reference yet, and there may be good reasons to do it like this (although I can’t think of any right now), but the inconsistency is quite confusing.

Clojure November 6, 2009

Posted by CK in IT, Software.
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Even before I actually study it in detail, Clojure becomes my latest fixation. A Lisp-based functional, general-purpose language, which produces JVM bytecode and has access to Java libraries? Sounds like a dream come true. I never liked Java, and as a matter of fact, I consider myself a Java-dyslexic. No matter how much I tried in the past, I never got around learning enough of it to use further than “Hello, world”s. Its syntactic resemblance to C, with which I am (was?) quite proficient, didn’t help much. Nevertheless, the breadth and depth of libraries that exist in Java are mind-boggling, and the ability to use them with a different language is just great. I know there are other JVM-based languages, e.g. Scala, but somehow after reading introductory material they never enticed me enough. Also, I really don’t know how come, although a big fan of Python I never tried Jython. I assume I just preferred the real thing — Python also has an extensive and compelling set of libraries.

In any case, I’ll try to get a closer look at Clojure and come back with a more complete opinion.