Unison Functions and Procedures: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you ready to take your Unison programming skills to the next level? Do you want to learn how to create efficient and effective functions and procedures that will make your code more readable and maintainable? Look no further than this comprehensive guide to Unison functions and procedures!

What are Unison Functions and Procedures?

Before we dive into the details, let's make sure we're all on the same page. Unison functions and procedures are blocks of code that perform a specific task. They can take input parameters, perform operations on those parameters, and return a result. Functions and procedures are essential building blocks of any programming language, and Unison is no exception.

Defining Functions in Unison

In Unison, you define a function using the let keyword, followed by the function name, input parameters, and the function body. Here's an example:

let add x y = x + y

This function is called add, and it takes two input parameters, x and y. The function body performs the addition operation on x and y and returns the result.

You can call this function by passing in two arguments:

add 3 4

This will return 7.

Procedures in Unison

Procedures in Unison are similar to functions, but they don't return a value. Instead, they perform a series of operations on their input parameters. Here's an example:

let printName name = println ("Hello, " ++ name ++ "!")

This procedure is called printName, and it takes one input parameter, name. The procedure body performs a concatenation operation on the input parameter and a string literal, and then prints the result to the console.

You can call this procedure by passing in a single argument:

printName "Alice"

This will print Hello, Alice! to the console.

Higher-Order Functions in Unison

One of the powerful features of Unison is its support for higher-order functions. A higher-order function is a function that takes another function as an input parameter or returns a function as a result. This allows you to create more flexible and reusable code.

Here's an example of a higher-order function in Unison:

let applyTwice f x = f (f x)

This function is called applyTwice, and it takes two input parameters: a function f and a value x. The function body applies the function f twice to the value x and returns the result.

You can use this function with any other function that takes a single input parameter and returns a value. For example, you can define a function that doubles its input parameter:

let double x = x * 2

And then use applyTwice to apply this function twice to a value:

applyTwice double 3

This will return 12.

Anonymous Functions in Unison

Sometimes you may want to define a function on the fly, without giving it a name. This is where anonymous functions come in. An anonymous function is a function that is defined inline, without a name.

Here's an example of an anonymous function in Unison:

applyTwice (\x -> x * 2) 3

This code defines an anonymous function that takes a single input parameter x and returns x * 2. The function is passed as an input parameter to applyTwice, which applies it twice to the value 3.

Partial Application in Unison

Partial application is a technique that allows you to create a new function by fixing some of the input parameters of an existing function. This can be useful when you want to reuse a function with some of its input parameters already set.

Here's an example of partial application in Unison:

let add5 = add 5

This code defines a new function called add5 that is created by fixing the first input parameter of the add function to 5. Now you can use add5 just like any other function:

add5 3

This will return 8.


Functions and procedures are essential building blocks of any programming language, and Unison is no exception. In this comprehensive guide, we've covered the basics of defining functions and procedures in Unison, as well as some advanced topics like higher-order functions, anonymous functions, and partial application.

With this knowledge, you'll be able to create efficient and effective functions and procedures that will make your code more readable and maintainable. So what are you waiting for? Start exploring the world of Unison functions and procedures today!

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Written by AI researcher, Haskell Ruska, PhD (haskellr@mit.edu). Scientific Journal of AI 2023, Peer Reviewed