Edgardo Carreras | Blog

Path to Enlightenment (Clojure koems)

August 01, 2021


Today I’m focusing on Clojure Koems. Koems are like TDD, but the test are written out for you, so you only have to make them pass. This git repository is a fork of the clojure koans. The develop branch has the answers if you are curious. My big AHA moment came after looking at how Clojure composes functions, including higher-order functions.

"Maps and filters may be combined."
(= [10 20 30] (map (fn [x] (* x 10)) (filter (fn [x] (< x 4)) [1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8])))

If the anonymous functions had descriptive names, this would read out like beautiful prose.

(= [10 20 30] (map multiplyByTen (filter (isLessThanFour?) [1 2 3 4 5 7 8])))

So elegant <3! Another AHA moment was the support Clojure had for polymorphism at runtime. Polymorphism is one of those refactoring tools that I really leverage to help the code adhere to the Single Responsibility Rule. I’m happy to start noticing Clojure as more than just a functional programing language, and more like a complete language.

(defmulti diet (fn [x] (:eater x)))
(defmethod diet :herbivore [a] (let [name (:name a)]
                                 (str name  " eats veggies.")))
(defmethod diet :carnivore [a] (let [name (:name a)]
                                 (str name " eats animals.")))
(defmethod diet :default [a] (let [name (:name a)]
                               (str "I don't know what " name " eats.")))
"Multimethods allow more complex dispatching"
(= "Bambi eats veggies."
   (diet {:species "deer" :name "Bambi" :age 1 :eater :herbivore}))
"Animals have different names."
(= "Thumper eats veggies."
   (diet {:species "rabbit" :name "Thumper" :age 1 :eater :herbivore}))
"Different methods are used depending on the dispatch function result."
(= "Simba eats animals."
   (diet {:species "lion" :name "Simba" :age 1 :eater :carnivore}))
"You may use a default method when no others match."
(= "I don't know what Rich Hickey eats."
   (diet {:name "Rich Hickey"})))

I later refactored the defmethods to be less verbose but still, be readable.

(defmethod diet :herbivore [a] (str (:name a) " eats veggies."))
(defmethod diet :carnivore [a] (str (:name a) " eats animals."))
(defmethod diet :default [a] (str "I don't know what "  (:name a) " eats."))

Only a few more koems to go. Up next, my first Kata = Bowling Game KATA.


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Written by Edgardo Carreras.

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