Replacing loops with collection-iteration functions

ref: and

Collection pipelines are a programming pattern where you organize some computation as a sequence of operations which compose by taking a collection as output of one operation and feeding it into the next. (Common operations are filter, map, and reduce.) This pattern is common in functional programming, and also in object-oriented languages which have lambdas.

Collection Pipeline is a special case of the Pipes and Filters pattern. The filters in Pipes and Filters correspond to the operations in Collection Pipeline, I replace “filter” with operation because filter is a common name for one of the kinds of operations in a Collection Pipeline. From another perspective, the collection pipeline is a particular, but common, case of composing higher-order functions, where the functions all act on some form of sequence data structure.

In a functional language the collections are collections in a similar way to that of an object-oriented language. However the items this time are generic collection types themselves – where an OO collection pipeline would use objects, a functional language would use a hashmap. The elements of the top level collection may be collections themselves and the hashmap’s elements may be collections – so like the object-oriented case we can have an arbitrarily complex hierarchical structure. The operations are functions, they may be composed either by nesting or by an operator that’s capable of forming a linear representation, such as Clojure’s arrow operators.


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