euphoria83 euphoria83 - 3 months ago 10
Java Question

Python-like list comprehension in Java

Since Java doesn't allow passing methods as parameters, what trick do you use to implement Python like list comprehension in Java ?

I have a list (ArrayList) of Strings. I need to transform each element by using a function so that I get another list. I have several functions which take a String as input and return another String as output. How do I make a generic method which can be given the list and the function as parameters so that I can get a list back with each element processed. It is not possible in the literal sense, but what trick should I use ?

The other option is to write a new function for each smaller String-processing function which simply loops over the entire list, which is kinda not so cool.

Answer

Basically, you create a Function interface:

public interface Func<In, Out> {
    public Out apply(In in);
}

and then pass in an anonymous subclass to your method.

Your method could either apply the function to each element in-place:

public static <T> void applyToListInPlace(List<T> list, Func<T, T> f) {
    ListIterator<T> itr = list.listIterator();
    while (itr.hasNext()) {
        T output = f.apply(itr.next());
        itr.set(output);
    }
}
// ...
List<String> myList = ...;
applyToListInPlace(myList, new Func<String, String>() {
    public String apply(String in) {
        return in.toLowerCase();
    }
});

or create a new List (basically creating a mapping from the input list to the output list):

public static <In, Out> List<Out> map(List<In> in, Func<In, Out> f) {
    List<Out> out = new ArrayList<Out>(in.size());
    for (In inObj : in) {
        out.add(f.apply(inObj));
    }
    return out;
}
// ...
List<String> myList = ...;
List<String> lowerCased = map(myList, new Func<String, String>() {
    public String apply(String in) {
        return in.toLowerCase();
    }
});

Which one is preferable depends on your use case. If your list is extremely large, the in-place solution may be the only viable one; if you wish to apply many different functions to the same original list to make many derivative lists, you will want the map version.