You are previewing Functional Programming in C#: Classic Programming Techniques for Modern Projects.

Functional Programming in C#: Classic Programming Techniques for Modern Projects

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. About the Author
  5. Credits
  6. Contents
  7. Introduction
  8. Part I : Introduction to Functional Programming
    1. Chapter 1 : A Look at Functional Programming History
      1. What Is Functional Programming?
      2. Functional Languages
      3. The Relationship to Object Oriented Programming
      4. Summary
    2. Chapter 2 : Putting Functional Programming into a Modern Context
      1. Managing Side Effects
      2. Agile Programming Methodologies
      3. Declarative Programming
      4. Functional Programming Is a Mindset
      5. Is Functional Programming in C# a Good Idea?
      6. Summary
  9. Part II : C# Foundations of Functional Programming
    1. Chapter 3 : Functions, Delegates, and Lambda Expressions
      1. Functions and Methods
      2. Reusing Functions
      3. Anonymous Functions and Lambda Expressions
      4. Extension Methods
      5. Referential Transparency
      6. Summary
    2. Chapter 4 : Flexible Typing with Generics
      1. Generic Functions
      2. Generic Classes
      3. Constraining Types
      4. Other Generic Types
      5. Covariance and Contravariance
      6. Summary
    3. Chapter 5 : Lazy Listing with Iterators
      1. The Meaning of Laziness
      2. Enumerating Things with .NET
      3. Implementing Iterator Functions
      4. Chaining Iterators
      5. Summary
    4. Chapter 6 : Encapsulating Data in Closures
      1. Constructing Functions Dynamically
      2. The Problem with Scope
      3. How Closures Work
      4. Summary
    5. Chapter 7 : Code Is Data
      1. Expression Trees in .NET
      2. Analyzing Expressions
      3. Generating Expressions
      4. .NET 4.0 Specifics
      5. Summary
  10. Part III : Implementing Well-known Functional Techniques in C#
    1. Chapter 8 : Currying and Partial Application
      1. Decoupling Parameters
      2. Calling Parts of Functions
      3. Why Parameter Order Matters
      4. Summary
    2. Chapter 9 : Lazy Evaluation
      1. What’s Good about Being Lazy?
      2. Passing Functions
      3. Explicit Lazy Evaluation
      4. Comparing the Lazy Evaluation Techniques
      5. How Lazy Can You Be?
      6. Summary
    3. Chapter 10 : Caching Techniques
      1. The Need to Remember
      2. Precomputation
      3. Memoization
      4. Summary
    4. Chapter 11 : Calling Yourself
      1. Recursion in C#
      2. Tail Recursion
      3. Accumulator Passing Style
      4. Continuation Passing Style
      5. Indirect Recursion
      6. Summary
    5. Chapter 12 : Standard Higher Order Functions
      1. Applying Operations: Map
      2. Map, Filter, and Fold in LINQ
      3. Standard Higher Order Functions
      4. Summary
    6. Chapter 13 : Sequences
      1. Understanding List Comprehensions
      2. A Functional Approach to Iterators
      3. Ranges
      4. Restrictions
      5. Summary
    7. Chapter 14 : Constructing Functions from Functions
      1. Composing Functions
      2. Advanced Partial Application
      3. Combining Approaches
      4. Summary
    8. Chapter 15 : Optional Values
      1. The Meaning of Nothing
      2. Implementing Option(al) Values
      3. Summary
    9. Chapter 16 : Keeping Data from Changing
      1. Change Is Good — not!
      2. False Assumptions
      3. Implementing Immutable Container Data Structures
      4. Alternatives to Persistent Data Types
      5. Summary
    10. Chapter 17 : Monads
      1. What’s in a Typeclass?
      2. What’s in a Monad?
      3. Why Do a Whole Abstraction?
      4. A Second Monad: Logging
      5. Syntactic Sugar
      6. Binding with SelectMany?
      7. Summary
  11. Part IV : Putting Functional Programming into Action
    1. Chapter 18 : Integrating Functional Programming Approaches
      1. Refactoring
      2. Writing New Code
      3. Finding Likely Candidates for Functional Programming
      4. Summary
    2. Chapter 19 : The MapReduce Pattern
      1. Implementing MapReduce
      2. Abstracting the Problem
      3. Summary
    3. Chapter 20 : Applied Functional Modularization
      1. Executing SQL Code from an Application
      2. Rewriting the Function with Partial Application and Precomputation in Mind
      3. Summary
    4. Chapter 21 : Existing Projects Using Functional Techniques
      1. The .NET Framework
      2. LINQ
      3. Google MapReduce and Its Implementations
      4. NUnit
      5. Summary
  12. Index
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ANONYMOUS FUNCTIONS AND LAMBDA EXPRESSIONS

Not all functions are important enough to have a name. C# has supported anonymous functions since version 2.0, and a second syntactic variation — lambda expressions — was introduced in version 3.0. Generally speaking, these are functions that don’t live on the class level and that don’t have names. References to such functions are stored in variables, so effectively the function can be called wherever the reference to it is available.

Technically speaking, there are certain restrictions in place on anonymous functions. One is particularly unfortunate, and that’s the fact that they can’t be generic (more on generics in Chapter 4). They also can’t be used to implement iterators (more on iterators in Chapter 5), which is another desirable thing. But apart from that, anonymous functions can do almost everything “normal” methods can do. The term anonymous functions is a bit diluted because it can be a general term that encompasses all types of functions that don’t have names, but it can also be used as a name for the C# 2.0 feature specifically. The feature was really called anonymous methods, but anonymous functions is widely used as an exchangeable term.

Here’s what one of the earlier comparison functions could look like in C# 2.0 syntax:

static void AnonymousMethods( ) {

  Bubblesorter.IsAGreaterThanBDelegate compareInt =

    delegate(object a, object b) {

      return ((int) a) > ((int) b);

    };

}

As you can see, the keyword delegate ...

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