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July 5, 2020

Clojure Goodness: Concatenation Of Map Function Results With mapcat

When we use a function as argument for the map function that returns a collection we would get nested collections. If we want to turn the result into a single collection we can concatenate the elements from the collections by applying the concat function, but we can do this directly with the function mapcat. The function mapcat takes as first argument a function (that returns a collection) and one or more collections as next arguments.

In the following examples we see several uses of mapcat:

(ns mrhaki.core.mapcat
  (:require [clojure.test :refer [is]]))

;; The function argument for mapcat returns a collection
;; with the original element of the collection
;; and the value added by 10.
(is (= [1 11 2 12 3 13]
       (mapcat (fn [n] [n (+ 10 n)]) [1 2 3])))

(is (= [1 1 2 2 3 3]
       (mapcat (partial repeat 2) [1 2 3])
       ;; Using apply concat with map returns the same result.
       (apply concat (map (partial repeat 2) [1 2 3]))))

;; Combined with juxt
(is (= ["mrhaki" 6 "blog" 4]
       (mapcat (juxt identity count) ["mrhaki" "blog"])))

;; Our first example rewritten with juxt.
(is (= [1 11 2 12 3 13]
       (mapcat (juxt identity (partial + 10)) [1 2 3])))

;; We can use multiple collections,
;; the function then accepts multiple arguments.
(is (= [1 100 100 2 200 400 3 300 900]
       (mapcat (fn [a b] [a b (* a b)]) [1 2 3] [100 200 300])))

Written with Clojure 1.10.1.