Accept iterators as the first argument on your favorite Underscore.js methods!
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Accept iterators as the first argument on your favorite Underscore.js methods!

"Mmmmmmmmm.... Oden!"

Ever wish you could provide the iterator as the first argument to Underscore's map method? Now you can with Oden.js. It's as easy as:

ƒ.map(function(x){ return x + 10 }, [1,2,3]);


If you spend a lot of time in Clojure, you'll get used to the threading macros (->> and ->) that make function composition silky smooth. Underscore provides similar functionality with _.compose. The example from Underscore's docs is:

var greet    = function(name){ return "hi: " + name; };
var exclaim  = function(statement){ return statement.toUpperCase() + "!"; };
var welcome = _.compose(greet, exclaim);
// returns 'hi: MOE!'

Seems cool, right?

The Problem

The above example is cool, but it gets less elegant when composing methods like and _.reject. Partial application and/or function wrapping can make this better, but partial either solution can be a little bit verbose. Observe:

// Just flat out composing these two methods is way gross.
_.reject([8.56, 9.63], 
               function(x) { 
                return x * 1.07 
        function(x) { 
          return x > 10

// Using _.compose is better,  but this is still undesirable,
// and gets heftier with deeply composed functions. 
// (N.B.: Partial application *could* be used here to allow the iterators 
// to be defined on the fly, but that gets even messier.)
var mapSalesTax = function(coll){
  return, function(x) { return x * 1.07 })

var rejectExpensiveItems = function(coll){
  return _.reject(coll, function(x) { return x > 10})

var affordableItems = _.compose(rejectExpensiveItems, mapSalesTax);
affordableItems([8, 9, 10, 11]);
// returns [8.56, 9.63]

The Solution(?)

Oden makes this a little less painful (I hope?):

ƒ.reject(function(x) { return x > 10},
         ƒ.map(function(x) { return x * 1.07 },
               [8, 9, 10, 11]));

// returns [8.56, 9.63]

And it gets even better in CoffeeScript:

ƒ.reject (
  (x) -> x > 10), 
    (x) -> x * 1.07, 
    [8, 9, 10, 11])

Or if you like LISP-y CoffeeScript:

(ƒ.reject ((x) -> x > 10), (ƒ.map ((x) -> x * 1.07), [8, 9, 10, 11]))

What's included?

Oden supports a number of functions from Underscore. It doesn't make sense to swap the first two arguments of every method, but here are the few that have been implemented so far: each, map, find, filter, reject, sortBy, groupBy, indexBy, countBy, and times.

Each of these "swapped" methods are available under the ƒ and oden namespaces. Call oden.noConflict() to make Oden "give back" the ƒ global to its original owner (if it existed before Oden was loaded).

Aside from the ten methods listed above, ƒ.VERSION, ƒ._, and ƒ.noConflict, all unchanged Underscore methods are also available via the ƒ object.


Oden should work fine in both Node.js and browsers. It supports AMD, Node-style module exports, and plain old in-browser globals. Its only dependency is Underscore.js (lodash coming soon!), so make sure you've loaded that first.

For front end use:

bower install oden

or as a Node.js module (note the trailing .js in the module name):

npm install oden.js

After that require the module or load it via script tags and you're ready to go.


On a Mac, you can type the ƒ character with option+f. I don't have a Windows machine, but according to the Internet™ the shortcut is alt+159. The identical oden object is available, too, of course.


If you're not completely offended by this little library, please consider contributing. It's really an expirement, and only offers minimal syntactic improvements for a very niche issue. If you have an idea of how to actually make Oden.js useful, submit a pull request

BTW, what's the name mean?

This library is named after the wonderful, traditional Japanese winter food that goes by the same name: おでん.

Image credit: Nihon Sun. Cool.


Oden.js is licensed under the The MIT License (MIT)

Copyright (c) 2014 Mason Stewart See LICENSE for more details.