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Powerful "refined" steroids for schema library.

Type refinement is all about making the types (schemas) more precise to keep you away from errors and bugs. All heavy lifting of checking/validation the shape of the data is done by schema library. Here we introduce a few new concepts to make schemas flexible and more expressive:

  • types are basically schemas (see Schema protocol). All operations with types return types, but we're trying to deal with them as data not just functions. We gain a lot from such approach (schema would force you treat your type checks as black boxes)

  • predicates, like (LessThan 10) or NonEmpty, that you can combine using logical operations and, or, not etc (or define your own)

  • product types with Struct that you can accrete and reduce "on fly" (think, as maps on steroids)

  • sum types with explicit dispatching that you can use not loosing flexibility (think, as schema.core/conditional on steroids)

  • refined to glue all the above together (think, as schema.core/constrained on steroids)

And more!

Add to your project with Leiningen/Boot:

[com.attendify/schema-refined "0.3.0-alpha4"]

or with deps.edn

com.attendify/schema-refined {:mvn/version "0.3.0-alpha4"}

Our Goals

  • Readability and Soundness

  • Being as precise as we can

  • Avoid as many bugs as possible

  • Provide clean and useful error messages

Talks and Tutorials

Inspired By


Get ready!

(require '[schema-refined.core :as r])
(require '[schema.core :as s])


schema-refined.core/refined is a supercharged version of schema.core/constrained. This function takes two params: a type (which should be a valid schema) and a predicate (which should either satisfy schema-refiend.core/Predicate protocol or be a function from value of given type to boolean) and returns a schema that checks both that "basic" schema (given as a type) is satisfied and the predicates returns true for this specific value. You can also use another schema as a predicate. There are a lot of built-in predicates, please check the listing below. Predicates are composable, you can create a new one from existing using logical rules And, Or, Not and On (checks predicate after applying to the value given function). There're also a few high-level predicaetes to deal with collections, like Forall, First, Last etc.

Motivational example.

;; "manually" with refined and predicates
(def LatCoord (r/refined double (r/OpenClosedInterval -90.0 90.0)))

;; the same using built-in types
;; (or functions to create types from other types, a.k.a. generics)
(def LngCoord (r/OpenClosedIntervalOf double -180.0 180.0))

;; Product type using a simple map
(def GeoPoint {:lat LatCoord :lng LngCoord})

;; using built-in types
(def Route (r/BoundedListOf GeoPoint 2 50))

;; or same with predicates
(def Route (r/refined [GeoPoint] (BoundedSize 2 50)))

(def input [{:lat 48.8529 :lng 2.3499}
            {:lat 51.5085 :lng -0.0762}
            {:lat 40.0086 :lng 28.9802}])

;; Route now is a valid schema, so you can use it as any other schema
(s/check Route input)

Even more motivational example.

(def InZurich {:lat (r/refined double (r/OpenInterval 47.34 47.39))
               :lng (r/refined double (r/OpenInterval 8.51 8.57))})

(def InRome {:lat (r/refined double (r/OpenInterval 41.87 41.93))
             :lng (r/refined double (r/OpenInterval 12.46 12.51))})

;; you can use schemas as predicates
(def RouteFromZurich (r/refined Route (r/First InZurich)))
(def RouteToRome (r/refined Route (r/Last InRome)))
(def RouteFromZurichToRome (r/refined Route (r/And (r/First InZurich) (r/Last InRome))))

;; or even more
;; note, that predicates are composable
(def FromZurichToRome (r/And (r/First InZurich) (r/Last InRome)))
(def RouteFromZurichToRomeWithLess3Hops
  (r/refined Route (r/And FromZurichToRome (r/BoundedSize 2 5))))

Naming Convention

The library follows a few rules on how names are made, so it's easier to make sense of types and predicates:

  • function that takes type (schema) to create refined version has Of suffix. E.g. NonEmptyListOf

  • specific refined type has suffix of a basic type, predicates are suffix-free. E.g. LowerCased is a predicate, LowerCasedStr is a type

Sum Types

Schema previously had s/either to deal with sum types. Which didn't work the way e.g. one-of doesn't work when dealing with JSON schema: the description is fragile and error messages is not useful at all ("typing" message that given data does not conform any of the listed options would only confuse). That's why schema switch to conditional where you have to specify branching predicate in advance. schema-refined includes slightly more readable version of conditionals r/dispatch-on that covers the fundamental use case of having a single predicate to decide on the branch (option).

(def EmptyScrollableList
  {:items (s/eq [])
   :totalCount (s/eq 0)
   :hasNext (s/eq false)
   :hasPrev (s/eq false)
   :nextPageCursor (s/eq nil)
   :prevPageCursor (s/eq nil)})

(defn NonEmptyScrollableListOf [dt]
  (r/dispatch-on (juxt :hasNext :hasPrev)
    [false false] (SinglePageOf dt)
    [true  false] (FirstPageOf dt)
    [false true]  (LastPageOf dt)
    [true  true]  (ScrollableListSliceOf dt)))

(defn ScrollableListOf [dt]
  (r/dispatch-on :totalCount
    0 EmptyScrollableList
    :else (NonEmptyScrollableListOf dt)))

Product Types

schema-refined.core/Struct creates a product type which works like a simple map, but can be flexible refined with schema-refined.core/guard. Guarded struct still can be changed "on fly" using assoc (think: adding a new field to the record) and dissoc (think: removing specific field from the record).

(def -FreeTicket (r/Struct
                  :id r/NonEmptyStr
                  :type (s/eq "free")
                  :title r/NonEmptyStr
                  :quantity (r/OpenIntervalOf int 1 1e4)
                  :description (s/maybe r/NonEmptyStr)
                  :status (s/enum :open :closed)))

(def FreeTicket (r/guard -FreeTicket '(:quantity :status) enough-sits-when-open))

;; #<StructMap {:description (constrained Str should-not-be-blank)
;;              :type (eq "free")
;;              :title (constrained Str should-not-be-blank)
;;              :status (enum :open :closed)
;;              :id java.lang.String
;;              :quantity (constrained int should-be-bounded-by-range-given)}
;;   Guarded with
;;     enough-sits-when-open over '(:quantity :status)>

You can easily extend the type now:

(def -PaidTicket (assoc FreeTicket
                        :type (s/eq "paid")
                        :priceInCents r/PositiveInt
                        :taxes [Tax]
                        :fees (s/enum :absorb :pass)))

(def PaidTicket
  (r/guard -PaidTicket '(:taxes :fees) pass-tax-included))

;; #<StructMap {...}
;;   Guarded with
;;     enough-sits-when-open over '(:quantity :status)
;;     pass-tax-included over '(:taxes :fees)>

and reduce:

(dissoc PaidTicket :status)

;; #<StructMap {...}
;;   Guarded with
;;     pass-tax-included over '(:taxes :fees)>

;; (only one guard left)

schema-refined.core/StructDispatch provides you the same functionality as schema-refined.core/dispatch-on, but the resulting type behaves like a one created with schema-refined.core/Struct.

(def Ticket (r/StructDispatch :type
              "free" FreeTicket
              "paid" PaidTicket))

;; #<StructDispatch on '(:type):
;;     free => {...}
;;     paid => {...}>

;; note, that when using `schema.core/conditional` the following would not
;; give you intended result! but it works as expected here
(def CreateTicketRequest (dissoc Ticket :id :status))


To find more examples and use cases, please see doc strings (whenever applicable) and tests.

Future Versions (a.k.a In Progress)

  • Separate "serialization" presentation (basic Scalar types) fro "business" logic and rules with a flexibility to send pointers to all predicates over the wire

  • Maybe we need another way to deal with generics to provide flexibility with higher kinded types (using function to build a new type hides some information about the underlying representation and it's impossible to extend w/o reimplemention)

  • Try to catch "impossible" predicates (which defines empty sets of values), like (And (Less 10) (Greater 100))

  • Clean and concise way to represent transformation invariants (right now you can only define your output type as a function from input value, doing manual manipulations, which might be kinda tricky and not very obvious for the reader of your code)

  • Support generative testing (probably bridge to the existing tools)

Appendix A: Builtin Predicates & Types

Predicate Combinators

  • Not
  • And
  • Or
  • On

Ordering Predicates

  • Equal
  • Less
  • LessOrEqual
  • Greater
  • GreaterOrEqual
  • Ascending
  • AscendingBy
  • AscendingOn
  • Descending
  • DescendingBy
  • DescendingOn

Numerical Predicates

  • Even
  • Odd
  • Modulo
  • DivisibleBy
  • NonDivisibleBy
  • OpenInterval
  • ClosedInterval
  • OpenClosedInterval
  • ClosedOpenInterval
  • Epsilon

Numerical Types

  • PositiveOf
  • NegativeOf
  • NonNegativeOf
  • NonPositiveOf
  • PositiveInt
  • NegativeInt
  • NonNegativeInt
  • NonPositiveInt
  • PositiveDouble
  • NegativeDouble
  • NonNegativeDouble
  • NonPositiveDouble
  • OpenIntervalOf
  • ClosedIntervalOf
  • OpenClosedIntervalOf
  • ClosedOpenIntervalOf
  • EpsilonOf

String Predicates

  • Uri
  • Url
  • StartsWith
  • EndsWith
  • Includes
  • LowerCased
  • UpperCased

String Types

  • NonEmptyStr
  • BoundedSizeStr
  • DigitChar
  • ASCIILetterChar
  • ASCIILetterOrDigitChar
  • BitChar
  • BitStr
  • IntStr
  • FloatStr
  • UriStr
  • UrlStr
  • StartsWithStr
  • EndsWithStr
  • IncludesStr
  • LowerCasedStr
  • UpperCasedStr

Collection Predicates

  • Empty
  • NonEmpty
  • BoundedSize
  • Distinct
  • DistinctBy
  • Forall
  • Exists
  • First
  • Second
  • Index
  • Rest
  • Last
  • Butlast
  • Pairwise

Collection Types

  • EmptyList
  • EmptySet
  • EmptyMap
  • NonEmptyListOf
  • NonEmptyMapOf
  • NonEmptySetOf
  • BoundedListOf
  • BoundedSetOf
  • BoundedMapOf
  • SingleValueListOf
  • SingleValueSetOf
  • SingleValueMapOf
  • DistinctListOf
  • NonEmptyDistinctListOf


  • Check for open issues or open a fresh issue to start a discussion around a feature idea or a bug.
  • Fork the repository on Github & fork master to feature-* (or ft-) branch to start making your changes.
  • Write a test which shows that the bug was fixed or that the feature works as expected.

or simply...

  • Use it.
  • Enjoy it.
  • Spread the word.


schema-refined is licensed under the MIT license, available at MIT and also in the LICENSE file.

Implementation of -def-map-type is based on Potemkin (Copyright © 2013 Zachary Tellman)

Can you improve this documentation? These fine people already did:
Alexey Kachayev, Ivan Kryvoruchko, Oleksii Kachaiev & serzh
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