Transforming Sequences

In imperative programs we use loops to iterate over lists and transform them to produce new values. For example, here is a Java 7 method to double the numbers in an ArrayList:

List<Integer> doubleAll(List<Integer> numbers) {
  List<Integer> ans = new ArrayList<Integer>();

  for(int i : numbers) {
    ans.push(i * 2);
  }

  return ans;
}

List<Integer> result = doubleAll(new ArrayList<Integer>(1, 2, 3, 4, 5));

There are a lot of lines in this example, many of which aren't to do with the desired operation of doubling numbers. We have to allocate a temporary list and push numbers onto it before returning it, all of which ought to be be handled by library code.

We can't easily abstract away the temporary list allocation in Java 7 because we have no direct way of abstracting the doubling operation. In Scala and Java 8 we can represent doubling succinctly using a function literal, aka a "closure":

(x: Int) => x * 2
// res2: Int => Int = <function1>

res2(10)
// res3: Int = 20

Scala's List class has a method called map that allows us to exploit functions to remove all of the boilerplate from our Java 7 example. map accepts a function as a parameter and returns a new List created by applying the function to every item:

List(1, 2, 3, 4, 5).map(i => i * 2)
// res4: List[Int] = List(2, 4, 6, 8, 10)

We can use the map method to convert Lists of values to Lists of Images:

val radii = List(10, 20, 30, 40, 50)
// radii: List[Int] = List(10, 20, 30, 40, 50)

val circles = radii.map(i => Circle(i * 10))
// circles: List[doodle.core.Circle] = // ...

Doodle contains a handful of convenient methods to convert values of type List[Image] to single Images. One of these is allBeside, which lays a list of images out beside one another:

allBeside(circles).draw

A row of circles

Other combinators are listed below:


Operator Type Description Example ------------------------- ------- -------------------------- ----------------------------------- allBeside(listOfImages) Image Places images horizontally allBeside(Circle(10), Circle(20)) next to one another.

allAbove(listOfImages) Image Places images vertically allAbove(Circle(10), Circle(20)) above one another.

allBelow(listOfImages) Image Places images vertically allBelow(Circle(10), Circle(20)) below one another.

allOn(listOfImages) Image Places images centered allOn(Circle(10), Circle(20)) on top of one another.

allUnder(listOfImages) Image Places images centered allUnder(Circle(10), Circle(20)) underneath one another. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We can recreate our concentric circles example trivially using allOn or allUnder. Much simpler than writing a recursive method!

val radii = List(10, 20, 30, 40, 50)
// radii: List[Int] = List(10, 20, 30, 40, 50)

val circles = radii.map(i => Circle(i))
// circles: List[Circle] = // ...

allOn(circles).draw

Exercise: Colour Palette

Create an application to show the range of colours you can get in HSL space. Create a two-dimensional grid of rectangles, with hue varying from 0 to 360 degrees on the x-axis and lightness varying from 0.0 to 1.0 on the y-axis.

HSL Colour Palette

Here are some tips:

  1. Think about the structure of your image and build it from the bottom up. Start by building a single square of constant hue and lightness, then compose a sequence of squares into a single column, then compose a sequence of columns together to form the palette.
  1. You can create an HSL colour as follows:

    val hue = 180.degrees
    
    val lightness = 0.5.normalized
    
    val color = Color.hsl(hue, 1.0.normalized, lightness)

For extra credit, allow the user to specify parameters for the step size along each axis and the basic shape used in each cell:

HSL Colour Palette

<div class="solution"> First let's define a method to create a single square. We'll call the method cell to keep the naming shape-independent and specify size, hue, and lightness as parameters:

def cell(size: Int, hue: Int, lightness: Double): Image =
  Rectangle(size, size) strokeWidth 0 fillColor Color.hsl(hue.degrees, 1.0.normalized, lightness.normalized)

Next let's create a single column of varying lightness. We start with a list of lightness values, map over the list to produce the squares, and build the column using allAbove or allBelow:

def column(cellSize: Int, hue: Int): Image = {
  val cells =
    (0.0 until 1.0 by 0.01).toList map { lightness =>
      cell(cellSize, hue, lightness)
    }

  allAbove(cells)
}

Finally let's assemble the columns into a palette. We start with a list of hues, map over it to create columns, and build the palette using allBeside:

def palette(cellSize: Int): Image = {
  val columns =
    (0 until 360 by 2).toList map { hue =>
      column(cellSize, hue)
    }

  allBeside(columns)
}

For the extra credit solution we add hStep, lStep, and cell parameters. hStep and lStep are of type Int and Double respectively, and cell is of type (Int, Double) => Image. In the example below we use a type alias to make the type of the cell parameter more explicit. Type aliases are simply a way of naming types---the compiler treats an aliased type exactly the same as an unaliased one:

// Type alias for cell constructor functions:

type CellFunc = (Int, Double) => Image

// Different types of cell:

def squareCell(size: Int): CellFunc =
  (hue: Int, lightness: Double) =>
    Rectangle(size, size) strokeWidth 0 fillColor Color.hsl(hue.degrees, 1.0.normalized, lightness.normalized)

def circleCell(size: Int): CellFunc =
  (hue: Int, lightness: Double) =>
    Circle(size/2) strokeWidth 0 fillColor Color.hsl(hue.degrees, 1.0.normalized, lightness.normalized)

// Code to construct a palette:

def column(hue: Int, lStep: Double, cell: CellFunc): Image = {
  val cells =
    (0.0 until 1.0 by lStep).toList map { lightness =>
      cell(hue, lightness)
    }

  allAbove(cells)
}

def palette(hStep: Int, lStep: Double, cell: CellFunc): Image = {
  val columns =
    (0 until 360 by hStep).toList map { hue =>
      column(hue, lStep, cell)
    }

  allBeside(columns)
}

// Example use of the palette() method:

palette(2, 0.01, circleCell(10))

</div>

There are many other methods in the Scala standard library for transforming sequences using functions as parameters. We won't cover them in this course, but here is a sample of a few really useful ones:


Start with Method Parameter Result Description ---------- --------- -------------- ----------- ---------------------------------- List[A] map A => B List[B] Return all elements, transformed by the function.

List[A] filter A => Boolean List[A] Return all elements for which the function returns true.

List[A] flatMap A => List[B] List[B] Return all elements, transformed by the function and concatenated into a single List.

List[A] find A => Boolean Option[B] Return the first element for which the function returns true. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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