Getting Work Done With Effectful Functional Programming
A workshop on programming with Effectful Functional Programming. This can be described as a style of pure functional programming emphasizing the use of effects. It readily handles the complex or messy programming problems that are often encountered in industry.
What are Effects?
So what's a "effect" then? Like many abstract concepts, it is best grasped by seeing many examples, as we'll do in this workshop. But here's a brief overview:
- Recall that functional programs can only act upon the world through the values they compute.
- Effectful function programs compute effectful functional values, which have the form
- The type
F[A]represents the pure payload value the program computes.
- The type that wraps around it,
F[_], represents the effects that the program must resolve in order to, or additional to, yielding the
It turns out that a huge variety and complexity of different program behaviours can be represented as an effectful value
The workshop consists of a series of practical exercises using the following open source libraries:
Each exercise is an alternate implementation of the same use case:
Ever had a full disk? Where does the space go? Implement a program that can find the largest N files in a directory tree
You will need Java 8+ and Simple Build Tool (
While SBT will download Scala and the Eff libraries on-demand, this can be a slow process. Before the workshop, it is recommended to run
sbt updatein the base directory to pre-download the required libraries. This may take a few minutes up to 1 hour, depending what you have cached locally in
Or work with any editor and the SBT command line if you prefer.
Be warned that IDE presentation compilers don't correctly handle some Eff code, and may flag valid code as invalid. Try your code with the full Scala compiler via SBT command line before concluding there is a problem.
The SBT base project contains nine exercise projects, each with a README with instructions to attempt. Each of them contains a different implementation of a file scanner program.
It is suggested to do the exercises in this order. The instruction pages are best viewed in a browser; reach them here:
- Classic - File Scanning in a classic Scala style
- Task effect - Using Monix task effect to defer execution
- Reader effect - Using Reader effect for dependency injection and abstracting the environment
- Error effect - Using Either effect for error handling
- Writer effect - Using Writer effect for logging
- State effect - Using State effect to keep track of Symlinks encountered
- Concurrency - Scanning directories in parallel with applicative traversal
- Optics - Using Optics to change the focus of a Reader effect
- Custom Effects - Using a custom Filesystem effect
There are three types of tasks you'll encounter
🔍Study Code Study existing application and test code 📝Write Code Adding missing code or changing existing code at an indicated line or method. ▶️Run Code Run the file scanner (eg
exercise1/run) or the unit tests (eg
exercise1/test) from SBT prompt.
Each project can be compiled, run or tested separately; errors in one project won't affect the others.
*Initially, most exercises will not compile and/or run, until you complete the specified tasks. To try running the code,
go to the corresponding
solutions project. *
There is a solutions subfolder containing corresponding solution subprojects.
There is learning value in attempting a hard problem, getting stuck, then reviewing the solution. Use the solutions if you get blocked!
Start SBT in the base directory and then operate from the SBT prompt. Invoking each
SBT command from the shell (eg
sbt exercise1/compile) is slower due to JVM startup costs.
/Users/ben_hutchison/projects/GettingWorkDoneWithExtensibleEffects $ sbt Getting org.scala-sbt sbt 0.13.13 ... ..further sbt loading omitted.. >
To list all exercise- and solution- subproject names:
Try running the file scanner (ie
main method) of subproject
solutionExerciseClassic on the current directory.
> solutionExerciseClassic/run .
To compile sources in subproject
To run any unit tests (in
src/test/scala/*) under subproject
SBT commands should be scoped to a subproject (eg
exerciseClassic/test). Running eg
test at the top level will load
10 copies of the classes into the SBT JVM, potentially leading to
"Learn by Doing"
This project teaches Extensible Effects in practice; what it feels like to code with the Eff framework.
It doesn't make any attempt to cover the complex, subtle theory behind Eff, a refinement of 25 years experience of programming with monads, and isn't a complete picture of Eff by any means. At the time of writing however, there are more resources available covering the theory, than practice, of Eff, including:
The original paper Extensible effects: an alternative to monad transformers in Haskell and followup refinement Freer Monads, More Extensible Effects.
Video presentation of the above material by Oleg Kiselyov
The Eff monad, one monad to rule them all by Eff library creator Eric Torreborre
My own video Getting Work Done with the Eff Monad in Scala
Initial version based on Eff 4.3.1, cats 0.9.0 and Monix 2.2.4. Includes 5 exercises introducing
Presented at Melbourne Scala meetup
- Presented at for YOW Lambdajam 2017, Sydney
Upgrade libraries to Eff 5.2, Monic 3.0, cats 1.1, sbt 1.1 and introduce Cats Effect 0.10.1 library to use IO effect rather than Task, and Monocle 1.5 optics library.
Rewrite existing exercises 1 - 5 to reflect updated libraries, slightly changed emphasis. Add three new exercises covering State, Optics and Custom effects
- Presented at Melbourne Scala meetup