Scala: How to use higher-order functions with Option (instead of match expressions) alvin October 27, 2019 - 5:36pm
Table of Contents1 - Sample data2 - From match expressions to higher-order functions3 - Notes4 - Resources5 - Comments

I originally wrote a long introduction to this article about Scala Options, but I decided to keep that introduction for a future second article in this series. For this article I’ll just say:

  • idiomatic Scala code involves never using null values
  • because you never use nulls, it’s important for you to become an expert at using Option, Some, and None
  • initially you may want to use match expressions to handle Option values
  • as you become more proficient with Scala and Options, you’ll find that match expressions tend to be verbose
  • becoming proficient with higher-order functions (HOFs) like map, filter, fold, and many others are the cure for that verbosity

An example of using enums in Scala 3 (Dotty)

Here’s a quick example of how to use Scala 3 (Dotty) enums, including using them as constructor and method parameters, and in a match expression. First, some Scala 3 enums for a pizza store application:

A Scala 3 (Dotty) enum match/case expression example alvin August 22, 2019 - 9:26am

Here’s a little Scala 3 (Dotty) enum match/case expression example:

Scala match/case expressions (syntax, examples) alvin July 16, 2019 - 12:03pm
Table of Contents1 - Scala match expressions2 - Aside: A quick look at Scala methods3 - Using a match expression as the body of a method4 - Handling alternate cases5 - Using if expressions in case statements6 - Even more ...

This is a lesson on Scala match/case expressions from my book, Hello, Scala.

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Scala match expressions

Scala has a concept of a match expression. In the most simple case you can use a match expression like a Java switch statement:

// i is an integer
i match {
    case 1  => println("January")
    case 2  => println("February")
    case 3  => println("March")
    case 4  => println("April")
    case 5  => println("May")
    case 6  => println("June")
    case 7  => println("July")
    case 8  => println("August")
    case 9  => println("September")
    case 10 => println("October")
    case 11 => println("November")
    case 12 => println("December")
    // catch the default with a variable so you can print it
    case _  => println("Invalid month")

As shown, with a match expression you write a number of case statements that you use to match possible values. In this example I match the integer values 1 through 12. Any other value falls down to the _ case, which is the catch-all, default case.

My Scala Sed project: More features, returning strings alvin July 11, 2019 - 7:13pm
Table of Contents1 - Basic use2 - Using a Map3 - Match expressions4 - Sed limitations5 - My Sed project6 - Bonus: Factories and HOFs

My Scala Sed project is still a work in progress, but I made some progress on a new version this week. My initial need this week was to have Sed return a String rather than printing directly to STDOUT. This change gave me more ability to post-process a file. After that I realized it would really be useful if the custom function I pass to Sed had two more pieces of information available to it:

  • The line number of the string Sed passed to it
  • A Map of key/value pairs the helper function could use while processing the file

Note: In this article “Sed” refers to my project, and “sed” refers to the Unix command-line utility.

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Basic use

In a “basic use” scenario, this is how I use the new version of Sed in a Scala shell script to change the “layout:” lines in 55 Markdown files whose names are in the files-to-process.txt file:

A good reason to use sealed traits and classes in Scala

This documentation page shares a good reason to use “sealed” traits and classes: When you created sealed traits, the compiler can easily tell all of the subtypes of your class or trait, and as just one benefit, you don’t need to add a default, “catch-all” case in your Scala match expressions.

A little Scala `sed` class alvin February 17, 2019 - 11:41am

A few times during the past year I got tired of trying to remember the Unix/Linux sed syntax while wanting to make edits to many files, so this weekend I wrote a little sed-like Scala class.

Scala/Java: How to write a pattern that matches a minimum to maximum number of specified characters

If you’re using Java or Scala and need to write a pattern that matches a range of characters, where those characters occur between a minimum and maximum number of times in the pattern, the following example shows a solution I’m currently using.

The idea is that the pattern "[a-zA-Z0-9]{1,4}" means, “Match a string that has only the characters a-z, A-Z, and 0-9, where those characters occur a minimum of one time and a maximum of four times.” The following tests in the Scala REPL shows how this works: