Tag Archives: FunctionalGeekery

Ibid.

During my interview with Gene Kim on for Functional Geekery, Episode 128, Gene talked about how he had a problem he was asking different people for how they would solve it nicely with a functional approach, to see how to improve his Clojure solution to be more idiomatic.

His problem was on “rewriting” Ibid. entries in citation references, to get the authors names instead of the Ibid. value, as Ibid. is a shorthand that stands for “the authors listed in the entry before this”.

As he was describing this problem, I was picturing the general pseudo-code with a pattern match in my head. To be fair, this has come from a number of years of getting used to thinking in a functional style as well as thinking in a pattern matching style.

The following Erlang code is a close representation to the pseudo-code that was in my head.

-module(ibid).

-export([ibid/1]).

ibid(Authors) ->
    ibid(Authors, []).

ibid([], UpdatedAuthors) ->
    {ok, lists:reverse(UpdatedAuthors)};
ibid(["Ibid." | _], []) ->
    {error, "No Previous Author for 'Ibid.' citation"};
ibid(["Ibid." | T], UpdatedAuthors=[H | _]) ->
    ibid(T, [H | UpdatedAuthors]);
ibid([H | T], UpdatedAuthors) ->
    ibid(T, [H | UpdatedAuthors]).

Running this in the Erlang shell using erl results in the following

> ibid:ibid(["Mike Nygard", "Gene Kim", "Ibid.", "Ibid.", "Nicole Forsgren", "Ibid.", "Jez Humble", "Gene Kim", "Ibid."]).
{ok,["Mike Nygard","Gene Kim","Gene Kim","Gene Kim",
     "Nicole Forsgren","Nicole Forsgren","Jez Humble","Gene Kim",
     "Gene Kim"]}
> ibid:ibid(["Ibid."]).
{error,"No Previous Author for 'Ibid.' citation"}

Throughout the editing of the podcast, I continued to think about his problem, and how I would approach it in Clojure without built-in pattern matching, and came up with the following using a cond instead of a pure pattern matching solution:

(defn
  update_ibids
  ([authors] (update_ibids authors []))
  ([[citation_author & rest_authors :as original_authors] [last_author & _ :as new_authors]]
    (let [ibid? (fn [author] (= "Ibid." author))]
      (cond
        (empty? original_authors) (reverse new_authors)
        (and (ibid? citation_author) (not last_author))
          (throw (Exception. "Found `Ibid.` with no previous author"))
        :else (recur
          rest_authors
          (cons
            (if (ibid? citation_author)
                last_author
                citation_author)
            new_authors))))))

And if we run this in the Clojure REPL we get the following:

user=> (def references ["Gene Kim", "Jez Humble", "Ibid.", "Gene Kim", "Ibid.", "Ibid.", "Nicole Forsgren", "Micheal Nygard", "Ibid."])

user=> (update_ibids [])
()
user=> (update_ibids ["Ibid."])
Execution error at user/update-ibids (REPL:8).
Found `Ibid.` with no previous author
user=> (update_ibids references)
("Gene Kim" "Jez Humble" "Jez Humble" "Gene Kim" "Gene Kim" "Gene Kim" "Nicole Forsgren" "Micheal Nygard" "Micheal Nygard")

That solution didn’t sit well with me (and if there is a more idiomatic way to write it I would love some of your solutions as well), and because of that, I wanted to see what could be done using the core.match library, which moves towards the psuedo-code I was picturing.

(ns ibid
  (:require [clojure.core.match :refer [match]]))


(defn
  update_ibids
  ([authors] (update_ibids authors []))
  ([orig updated]
    (match [orig updated]
      [[] new_authors] (reverse new_authors)
      [["Ibid." & _] []] (throw (Exception. "Found `Ibid.` with no previous author"))
      [["Ibid." & r] ([last_author & _] :seq) :as new_authors] (recur r (cons last_author new_authors))
      [[author & r] new_authors] (recur r (cons author new_authors)) )))

And if you are trying this yourself, don’t forget to add to your deps.edn file:

{:deps
  {org.clojure/core.match {:mvn/version "0.3.0"}}

After the first couple of itches were scratched, Gene shared on Twitter Stephen Mcgill’s solution and his solution inspired by Stephen’s.

And then, just for fun (or “just for defun” if you prefer the pun intended version), I did a version in LFE (Lisp Flavored Erlang) due to it being a Lisp with built in pattern matching from being on the Erlang runtime.

(defmodule ibid
  (export (ibid 1)))


(defun ibid [authors]
  (ibid authors '[]))


(defun ibid
  ([[] updated]
    (tuple 'ok (: lists reverse updated)))
  (((cons "Ibid." _) '[])
    (tuple 'error "No Previous Author for 'Ibid.' citation"))
  ([(cons "Ibid." authors) (= (cons h _) updated)]
    (ibid authors (cons h updated)))
  ([(cons h rest) updated]
    (ibid rest (cons h updated))))

Which if we call it in LFE’s REPL gives us the following:

lfe> (: ibid ibid '["Mike Nygard" "Gene Kim" "Ibid." "Ibid." "Nicole Forsgren" "Ibid." "Jez Humble" "Gene Kim" "Ibid."])
#(ok
  ("Mike Nygard"
   "Gene Kim"
   "Gene Kim"
   "Gene Kim"
   "Nicole Forsgren"
   "Nicole Forsgren"
   "Jez Humble"
   "Gene Kim"
   "Gene Kim"))
lfe> (: ibid ibid '["Ibid."])
#(error "No Previous Author for 'Ibid.' citation")

If you have different solutions shoot them my way as I would love to see them, and if there looks to be interest, and some responses, I can create a catalog of different solutions similar to what Eric Normand does on his weekly challenges with his PurelyFunctional.tv Newsletter.

Giving an Intro to Erlang workshop at LambdaConf 2015

Just a quick post letting anyone who is going to be at LambdaConf 2015 this weekend in Boulder, Colorado.

I will be there giving an Intro to Erlang workshop on this coming Friday, the 22nd of May, so if you are going make sure to look for me around there at least. 😀

Feel free to track me down and say hi, as I would love to meet you as well. The offer is open for you to chat me up about Erlang specifically, functional programming in general, or what ever else we might find interesting.

And if you are going and we meet up, I might just have some Functional Geekery stickers to give away.

Look forward to seeing you there.

–Proctor

Ten Episodes of Functional Geekery Live!

I just released the tenth episode of my podcast Functional Geekery.

I had been thinking about doing a podcast for a while, in return of all the information I get out of listening to other podcasts as part of my “Automobile University”, but could never come up with the niche. It occurred to me about 3am in the morning when I was taking a shift to get our little one, Ada (yes, after that Ada) who was about 5 months old at the time, back to sleep; the best ideas to come when you are least prepared to think about them.

I told my wife about my “crazy idea”, and explained to her what my goal was, and got her support for this experiment I was wanting to do, and told her I could do this in a very lean manner. I had a headset with microphone already, and told her it would just be a domain, hosting, and recording setup. My goal was to see if I couldn’t start a podcast for only about $100 investment with all things totaled. I would shoot to see if I could get at least 10 episodes done, to amortize the cost to be about $10 an episode.

I figured if nobody listened, but I could have 10 interesting conversations, the learning and exposure to ideas from those conversations would easily outweigh that initial investment, and the podcast would give me a good way to reach out to people I would love to talk to but probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to talk to anytime soon.

I want to give a sincere heartfelt Thank You to all my guests so far, and everybody else I have reached out to so far to get initial conversations going about being a guest. Everyone has been much more receptive and open than I could have ever imagined. Everybody has been kind, and the worst I have gotten was some deferrals due to busy schedules, which I can appreciate. This is been even more honoring, as most of the people I have reached out to had likely never heard of me when I sent my emails to them asking if they would do me the honor of being a guest on the podcast I was starting. Thank you all for your support, and kindness, and if you ever have more things you would like to talk about, all of you always have an open invitation back.

I also want to thank everybody who has listened, and shared the podcast with others. I have gotten much better reception and response that I realistically imagined. Thank you for your shares, (re)tweets, comments, and suggestions. If you have anything else you want to share I would love to hear from you. If you need to find the best way to contact me, just head over to Functional Geekery’s About page.

Don’t worry, I am not planning on going anywhere at this point. I have another recording “in the can”, and am working to line up some more great guests. I also have a large list of people I would love to talk to at some point, and would hate to end before I got to use the podcast as a reason to be able to have a interesting conversation with them as well. 😉

As always, a giant Thank You goes out to David Belcher for the logo, who took my rough idea of a logo, and transformed it into something brilliant.

And an even bigger THANK YOU goes out to my wife, who has let me pursue this “crazy idea”.

Your host,
–Proctor

Functional Geekery

In a previous post I mentioned I had a new project in the works. I was a guest on the Ruby Rogues podcast and made an announcement there, but for those who didn’t catch that episode, I am now announcing Functional Geekery, a podcast about functional programming.

After some issues with getting the hosting setup properly, and working with the hosting provider’s support for a couple of issues, the first episode is ready to go live! I will be working on getting it in the iTunes store, and some of the other podcasting services, but in the meantime, you can find it online.

I am hoping to have a wide range of guests and topics, from Clojure, to Erlang, to JavaScript, to F#, as well as Scala, Haskell, and functional programming in languages like C# and Ruby. If you have any suggestions on shows, topics, or guests, check out the About Page on the site to submit ideas.

–Proctor