Feature #14423

Updated by zverok (Victor Shepelev) over 2 years ago

Sometimes (or rather often), there is a programming pattern of "start from one object, do something, look at the result, do the same, look at the result (and so on)".  


 * fetch page by URL, if pagination present, fetch next page; 
 * take 10 jobs from the queue, process them, exit when queue is empty; 

 Typically, those are represented by `while` or `loop` + `break` which somehow feels "not functional enough", and even "not Ruby enough", so much less expressive than `map` and other `Enumerable`/`Enumerator`-based cycles. 

 In some functional languages or libraries, there is function named `FixedPoint` or `converge`, whose meaning is "take an initial value, repeat the block provided on the result on prev computation, till it will not 'stable'". I believe this notion can be useful for Rubyists too. 

 Reference implementation (name is disputable!): 

 class Object 
   def converge(&block) { |y| 
       prev = self 
       y << self 
       loop do 
         cur = 
         raise StopIteration if cur == prev 
         y << cur 
         prev = cur 

 Examples of usage: 

 # Functional kata: find the closest number to sqrt(2): 
 1.0.converge { |x| (x + 2 / x) / 2 }.to_a.last # => 1.414213562373095 
 Math.sqrt(2) # => 1.4142135623730951 

 # Next page situation: 
 get(url).converge { |page| }  
 # => returns [page,,, ...til the result is nil, or same page repeated] 

 # Job queue situation: { |jobs|  
 # => takes top 10 jobs, till queue is empty (`[]` is returned two successful times) 

 # Useful for non-converging situations, too: 
 2.converge { |x| x ** 2 }.take(4) 
 # => [2, 4, 16, 256] 

 # Idiomatic Fibonacci: 
 [0, 1].converge { |f0, f1| [f1, f0 + f1] }.take(10).map(&:first) 
 # => [0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34] 

 Reference to similar things: 

 * Clojure [iterate]( "Returns a lazy sequence of `x`, `(f x)`, `(f (f x))` etc." No converging, just infinite sequence... And maybe that is even more basic and idiomatic. The name is nice, too. 
 * WolframLang [FixedPoint]( 
 * Ramda [converge]( 
 * Elixir [Stream#unfold]( (ends iteration when `nil` is returned) 
 * Scala [Iterator#iterate]($.html#iterate%5BT%5D%28start%3AT%29%28f%3AT%3D%3ET%29%3AIterator%5BT%5D) (just infinite sequence) 

 Possible call-seq: 

 * If converges: `Object#converge(&block)`, `Enumerator.converge(object, &block)`; 
 * If just an infinite sequence: `Object#iterate(&block)`, `Object#deduce(&block)` (as opposed to `reduce`), `Enumerator.iterate(object, &block)`, `Enumerator#enumerate(object, &block)`. 


 PS: Can imagine somebody already proposed that, yet can't find nothing similar in the tracker for all keywords I've tried.