Book Image

Functional Python Programming - Second Edition

By : Steven F. Lott
Book Image

Functional Python Programming - Second Edition

By: Steven F. Lott

Overview of this book

If you’re a Python developer who wants to discover how to take the power of functional programming (FP) and bring it into your own programs, then this book is essential for you, even if you know next to nothing about the paradigm. Starting with a general overview of functional concepts, you’ll explore common functional features such as first-class and higher-order functions, pure functions, and more. You’ll see how these are accomplished in Python 3.6 to give you the core foundations you’ll build upon. After that, you’ll discover common functional optimizations for Python to help your apps reach even higher speeds. You’ll learn FP concepts such as lazy evaluation using Python’s generator functions and expressions. Moving forward, you’ll learn to design and implement decorators to create composite functions. You'll also explore data preparation techniques and data exploration in depth, and see how the Python standard library fits the functional programming model. Finally, to top off your journey into the world of functional Python, you’ll at look at the PyMonad project and some larger examples to put everything into perspective.
Table of Contents (22 chapters)
Title Page
Packt Upsell

Chapter 1. Understanding Functional Programming

Functional programming defines a computation using expressions and evaluation; often these are encapsulated in function definitions. It de-emphasizes or avoids the complexity of state change and mutable objects. This tends to create programs that are more succinct and expressive. In this chapter, we'll introduce some of the techniques that characterize functional programming. We'll identify some of the ways to map these features to Python. Finally, we'll also address some ways in which the benefits of functional programming accrue when we use these design patterns to build Python applications.

Python has numerous functional programming features. It is not a purely a functional programming language. It offers enough of the right kinds of features that it confers the benefits of functional programming. It also retains all the optimization power of an imperative programming language.

We'll also look at a problem domain that we'll use for many of the examples in this book. We'll try to stick closely to Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA) because its algorithms are often good examples of functional programming. Furthermore, the benefits of functional programming accrue rapidly in this problem domain.

Our goal is to establish some essential principles of functional programming. The more serious Python code will begin in Chapter 2, Introducing Some Functional Features.


We'll focus on Python 3.6 features in this book. However, some of the examples might also work in Python 2.