söndag 10 oktober 2021

Functional Python

All in Functional

In a previous post, I had some concerns about doing too much functional programming in Python and that it might not be Pythonic. But I'm not going worry about that here. I'll be writing Functional Python, with some help from a very nice library called toolz.

I have added example code in this GitHub repo and have also recorded a short video (about 8 minutes long). You'll find it embedded in this post, just scroll down a bit.

Functional in a nutshell

The video is very much inspired by one of my favorite recordings about functional programming in general, and about Clojure in specific: Clojure in a nutshell (Func Prog Sweden), by James Trunk. I have learned a lot from that talk and figured it would be fun to copy the workflow and examples that James uses in his excellent talk.

So, I've been translating Clojure code to Python. You'll also notice in the short video that I'm practicing a thing called REPL Driven Development.

Pipe functions with the toolz.thread_last function.

Composing, piping, chaining, threading

What I've learned so far is that it's a smooth ride to apply functional concepts into a language like Python. After all, functions are first class citizens here. Composing functions in a minimalistic - and readable - way is joyful. Yeah, these things also encourage to aim for simplicity in functions. Keeping functions stateless, single purposed and testable. All of that is really good stuff.

Intuitive, Pythonic & Effective?

Are those one-liners, like that thread_last thing that I use heavily in the video, Pythonic? Well, I guess it depends. As with most things, the features of cool toolz should be used wisely.

Yes, Python should be used wisely.

Remember to run import this in a Python shell now and then to remind yourself about and reflect on the Zen of Python 🧘. Does it say anything at all about OOP, or functional?

Here's an improvised 8 minute recording with live coding functional Python, using toolz:

Direct link to the Functional Python video.

Top photo by Charlein Gracia on Unsplash

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