Ramda Chops: Map, Filter & Reduce

Feb 8, 2018

Thanks to Jillian Silver, Patrick Eakin and @zerkms for their review of this post.

The map, filter and reduce methods on Array.prototype are essential to adopting a functional programming style in JavaScript, and in this post we're going to examine how to use these three concepts with ramda.js.

If you are unfamiliar with these three concepts, then be sure to first read the MDN documentation on each (linked above).


Pre-requisite ramda posts:

Other ramda posts:

Our Data Set: Films!

This is the test data set we will reference throughout the post:

const films = [
  { title: 'The Empire Strikes Back', rating: 8.8 },
  { title: 'Pulp Fiction', rating: 8.9 },
  { title: 'The Deer Hunter', rating: 8.2 },
  { title: 'The Lion King', rating: 8.5 }
]

Our Goal

There are a few conditions that are required for us to meet our goal. We must construct a function that:

  • only selects those with an 8.8 rating or higher
  • returns a list of the selected titles interpolated in an HTML string that has this structure:
    <div>TITLE: <strong>SCORE</strong></div>
    

Given these requirements, a pseudotype signature for this might be:

// `output` takes in a list of films
// and returns a list of HTML strings
//
// output :: [Film] -> [Html]

Step 1: Get the HTML Part Working

films.map(film => `<div>${film.title}, <strong>${film.rating}</strong></div>`)
// => [
//      "<div>The Empire Strikes Back, <strong>8.8</strong></div>",
//      "<div>Pulp Fiction, <strong>8.9</strong></div>",
//      "<div>The Deer Hunter, <strong>8.2</strong></div>",
//      "<div>The Lion King, <strong>8.5</strong></div>"
//    ]

Try this code in the ramda REPL

Step 2: Extract the map Callback

// filmHtml :: Film -> Html
const filmHtml = film =>
  `<div>${film.title}, <strong>${film.rating}</strong></div>`

films.map(filmHtml)

Try this code in the ramda REPL

Step 3: filter Out Lower Scores

films
  .filter(x => x.rating >= 8.8)
  .map(filmHtml)

// => [
//      "<div>The Empire Strikes Back, <strong>8.8</strong></div>",
//      "<div>Pulp Fiction, <strong>8.9</strong></div>",
//    ]

Try this code in the ramda REPL

But wait! We can extract that filter callback, as well:

// hasHighScore :: Film -> Bool
const hasHighScore = x =>
  x.rating >= 8.8

films
  .filter(hasHighScore)
  .map(filmHtml)

Try this code in the ramda REPL

Step 4: Composing filter and map

We can use ramda's function currying capabilities and function composition to create some very clear and concise pointfree functions.

import { compose, filter, map } from 'ramda'

// output :: [Film] -> [Html]
const output =
  compose(map(filmHtml), filter(hasHighScore))

output(films)

Try this code in the ramda REPL

One thing to remember with ramda functions (like map and filter) is that ramda typically orders arguments from least likely to change to most likely to change. Callback/transformation functions here are passed as the first argument, and the data comes last. To understand this further, check out the following links:

Step 5: Extracting The Composition Further

If we want to not only reuse our filtering and mapping functions but also make them more readable, we can pull out the pieces that make up our output function into smaller bits:

// filmsToHtml :: [Film] -> [Html]
const filmsToHtml =
  map(filmHtml)

// highScores :: [Film] -> [Film]
const highScores =
  filter(hasHighScore)

// output :: [Film] -> [Html]
const output =
  compose(filmsToHtml, highScores)

output(films)

Try this code in the ramda REPL

Step 6: Another Way With reduce

We can accomplish the same goals as filter and map by making use of reduce.

films.reduce((acc, x) => {
  return hasHighScore(x)
    ? acc.concat(filmHtml(x))
    : acc
}, [])

// or, for better performance

films.reduce((acc, x) => {
  if (hasHighScore(x)) {
    acc.push(filmHtml(x))
  }

  return acc
}, [])

Try this code in the ramda REPL

If you're not familiar with reduce, be sure to play with the live example to better understand how those pieces work before moving on.

It's also worth noting that you can do just about anything in JavaScript with the reduce function. I highly recommend going through Kyle Hill's slides on reduce Is The Omnifunction.

But wait! We can extract the reduce callback like we did with map and filter before:

// highScoresHtml :: ([Html], Film) -> [Html]
const highScoresHtml = (acc, x) =>
  hasHighScore(x)
    ? acc.concat(filmHtml(x))
    : acc

films.reduce(highScoresHtml, [])

Try this code in the ramda REPL

Step 7: Making Our Reduce Arguments Reusable

import { reduce } from 'ramda'

const output =
  reduce(highScoresHtml, [])

output(films)

Try this code in the ramda REPL

As before with map & filter, output can be reused over and over again and passed any set of films to generate HTML for. To further understand the parameter order used here, check out the docs for ramda's reduce.


This step-by-step process we've walked through is as close to real-life refactoring/rethinking as I could do in a post. Thanks for making it this far.

Until next time,
Robert

Get notified of new posts

Note: I will never give out your email nor spam you. Unsubscribe at any time.