If you didn't read my previous post, you'll want to check that out first: The Purely Functional Python Brainfuck Challenge.

So, today was the first day I really invested some thought and time into the challenge. I decided that before just diving into code I'd spend some time reading up on functional programming in python, and learn a bit.

The first thing I read through was the official python functional programming page which you can find here. This had a bunch of useful information regarding functional programming tools in python, but didn't really have any examples of actual functional programs.

I learn by reading, and code samples are very helpful to me, so today I spent a while looking for some better functional programming docs, and found an extremely useful series: Charming Python: Functional Programming in Python (written by IBM engineers) which not only has code samples, but also contains a list of tricks and hints for building purely functional programs in python! Just what I needed >:)

I learned about the python ternary operator trick yesterday, and used that to generate my main() function like so:

(__name__ == '__main__' and main())

Which is a purely functional way to check for the program being ran, and then call our main function. But what if the program is included instead of ran? I doubt anyone would do this, but just incase, I want to print a message. The way I could implement this (logically) would be to do something like:

(__name__ == '__main__' and main()) or print 'Run me!'

But, unfortunately, python won't let you use print (as it doesn't return anything) in that context. So, the way I eventually figured it out was to use sys.stdout.write, as you can see here:

(__name__ == '__main__' and main()) or sys.stdout.write('Run me!')

Which returns a value, and therefore is acceptable to use in a ternary operation like the one above.

That's all for today, but tomorrow I'll work on impelementing functional file reading and parsing, and I'll make another post detailing my findings.

Best luck to all challengers!