Function Composition

You actually have already seen some Function Composition in previous chapters, like higher-order function, map, fold and Currying. In that example, map is composited from fold and reverse.

This is the functional conception, compositing new function from the functions we already have.

As shown in the figure above, (g.f)(x) is equivalent to g(f(x)), which is a function composited from f and g. In the case of map, which implemented in previous section, is equivalent to (reverse.fold)(list).


Eweda provides us a convenient compose function.

var gh = E.compose(f, g)

We have talked about composition, currying, so right now I can explain clearly why choosing Ewada over Underscore.js.

Supposing I need to find out all elements where its completed equals true in a list, and sort them by id.

In underscore, you may write some thing like this:

    .filter( task => task.completed===true)
    .sortBy( task =>

This code doesn't look like functional, it likes object-oriented, with a bunch of method that return it self.

_.sortBy(_.filter(tasks, task => task.completed===true), task =>

Well, it looks better now. But why we didn't choose use underscore, but use Eweda:

E.compose(E.sortBy(task=>, E.filter(task=>task.completed===true))(tasks)

It seems that the code doesn't make any difference, it just use compose.

However, the big difference here is, in E.compose, tasks is the final parameter passed into E.compose(), while, in _.sortBy, tasks is a fixed parameter of _.filter, which means it's one time only composition. Howerver, E.compose has already compose functions before accepting data, so you still have chance to reuse it for other data, or compose it into other function.

If you haven't seen the benefit of this, let's take a look at the example. Suppose we have a list groupedTasks which contains few group of tasks lists, what I want to do is to find out the elements of completed === true, and sort them by id in each group. the data will look simply like this:

[{completed:false, id:1},{completed:true, id:2}],
[{completed:false, id:4},{completed:true, id:3}]

In underscore, we write:, tasks => _.sortBy(_.filter(tasks, task => task.completed===true), task =>

I am not sure whether you can understand it or not, anyway I can not understand it.

While in more functional way, we'd write:

var completedAndSorted = E.compose(E.sortBy(task=>, E.filter(task=>task.completed===true))
// now i got my tasks updated, and I wanna sort it again
groupedTasks = newGroupedTasks

Have you notice that the thinking of processing data is totally different.

While we doing function composition, functions are automatic currying, so that they can be composited at will, then we use the composed function to deal with the data. This is functional composition conception.

However, in underscore, either we keep intermediate data in Object, applying various functions on target by chaining approach(this is called Flow-Base programming, but I think it's same thing as Monad I'll cover in next chapter), or we use nested functions passing the target through each level.

Similar to compose, Eweda has a function called pipe, which executes function in opposite direction of compose. Like pipe(f, g), Eweda executes f at first, then passes result to g. Does this remind you of pipe in bash?

find / | grep porno

It's actually pipe(find, grep(porno))(/) isn't it.

Yes, they are all the same. And this execution direction is more readable for human brain compiler.

source code