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Small additions to the standard package.



The package is a masterpiece yet misses some utility functions. For example, finding locations, bulk updates, lookups, breadth-first traversing and so on. This library brings some bits of missing functionality.



[com.github.igrishaev/zippo "0.1.3"]


{com.github.igrishaev/zippo {:mvn/version "0.1.3"}}

Usage & examples

First, import both Zippo and

(ns zippo.core-test
   [ :as zip]
   [zippo.core :as zippo]))

Declare a zipper:

(def z
  (zip/vector-zip [1 [2 3] [[4]]]))

Now check out the following Zippo functions.

A finite seq of locations

The loc-seq funtion takes a location and returns a lazy seq of locations untill it reaches the end:

(let [locs (zippo/loc-seq z)]
  (mapv zip/node locs))

;; get a vector of notes to reduce the output
[[1 [2 3] [[4]]]
 [2 3]

This is quite useful to traverse a zipper without keeping in mind the ending condition (zip/end?).

Finding locations

The loc-find function looks for the first location that matches a predicate:

(let [loc (zippo/loc-find
           (fn [loc]
             (-> loc zip/node (= 3))))]

  (is (= 3 (zip/node loc))))

Above, we found a location which node equals 3.

The loc-find-all function finds all the locatins that match the predicate:

(let [locs (zippo/loc-find-all
            (zippo/->loc-pred (every-pred int? even?)))]

  (is (= [2 4]
         (mapv zip/node locs))))

Since the predicate accepts a location, you can check its children, siblings and so on. For example, check if a location belongs to a special kind of parent.

However, most of the time you're interested in a value (node) rather than a location. The ->loc-pred function converts a node predicate, which accepts a node, into a location predicate. In the example above, the line

(zippo/->loc-pred (every-pred int? even?))

makes a location predicate which node is an even integer.

Updating a zipper

Zippo offers some functions to update a zipper.

The loc-update one takes a location predicate, an update function and the rest arguments. Here is how you douple all the even numbers in a nested vector:

(let [loc
       (zippo/->loc-pred (every-pred int? even?))
       zip/edit * 2)]

  (is (= [1 [4 3] [[8]]]
         (zip/root loc))))

For the updating function, one may use zip/append-child to append a child, zip/remove to drop the entire location and so on:

(let [loc
       (fn [loc]
         (-> loc zip/node (= [2 3])))

  (is (= [1 [2 3 :A] [[4]]]
         (zip/root loc))))

The node-update function is similar but acts on nodes. Instead of loc-pred and loc-fn, it accepts node-pred and node-fn what operate on nodes.

(let [loc
(is (= [2 [3 4] [[5]]]
       (zip/root loc))))

Slicing a zipper by layers

Sometimes, you need to slice a zipper on layers. This is what is better seen on a chart:

     +---ROOT---+    ;; layer 1
     |          |
   +-A-+      +-B-+  ;; layer 2
   | | |      | | |
   X Y Z      J H K  ;; layer 3
  • Layer 1 is [Root];
  • Layer 1 is [A B];
  • Layer 3 is [X Y Z J H K]

The loc-layers function takes a location and builds a lazy seq of layers. The first layer is the given location, then its children, the children of children and so on.

(let [layers
      (zippo/loc-layers z)]

  (is (= '(([1 [2 3] [[4]]])
           (1 [2 3] [[4]])
           (2 3 [4])
         (for [layer layers]
           (for [loc layer]
             (zip/node loc))))))

Breadth-first seq of locations

The package uses depth-first method of traversing a tree. Let's number the items:

       |                |
 +----A[2]---+     +---B[6]--+
 |     |     |     |    |    |
 X[3] Y[4] Z[5]   J[7] H[8] K[9]

This sometimes may end up with an infinity loop when you generate children on the fly.

The loc-seq-breadth functions offers the opposite way of traversing a zipper:

       |                |
 +----A[2]---+     +---B[3]--+
 |     |     |     |    |    |
 X[4] Y[5] Z[6]   J[7] H[8] K[9]

This is useful to solve some special tasks related to zippers.


When working with zippers, you often need such functionality as "go up/left/right until meet something". For example, from a given location, go up until a parent has a special attribute. Zippo offers four functions for that, namely lookup-up, lookup-left, lookup-right, and lookup-down. All of them take a location and a predicate:

(let [loc
      (zip/vector-zip [:a [:b [:c [:d]]] :e])

      (zippo/loc-find loc
                       (fn [node]
                         (= node :d))))

      (zippo/lookup-up loc-d
                        (fn [node]
                          (and (vector? node)
                               (= :b (first node))))))]

  (is (= :d (zip/node loc-d)))

  (is (= [:b [:c [:d]]] (zip/node loc-b))))

In the example above, first we find the :d location. From there, we go up until we meet [:b [:c [:d]]]. If there is no such a location, the result will be nil.

A universal collection zipper

The coll-zip function builds a zipper that navigates through all the known collections types, e.g. vectors, maps, map entries, lazy collections and so on. Unlike the standard zip/vector-zip and zip/seq-zip, it works with any combination of vectors and map which is quite useful in production. A brief example:

(def sample
  [{:foo 1}
   #{'foo 'bar 'hello}
   (list 1 2 3 {:aa [1 2 {:haha true}]})])

(->> sample
     (map zip/node))

(<initial data>
 {:foo 1}
 [:foo 1]
 #{bar hello foo}
 (1 2 3 {:aa [1 2 {:haha true}]})
 {:aa [1 2 {:haha true}]}
 [:aa [1 2 {:haha true}]]
 [1 2 {:haha true}]
 {:haha true}
 [:haha true]

The coll-zip zipper carries a detailed implementation of the make-node function. It takes into account the type of the node and properly builds a new one from the children. It also preserves the metadata.

Also See

The code from this library was used for Clojure Zippers manual -- the complete guide to zippers in Clojure from the very scratch.

ClojureScript support

Since 1.3, the library supports ClojureScript as well. At least 1.9.542 version of ClojureScript compiler is required as the library relies on the MapEntry type and the map-entry? function.

© 2022 Ivan Grishaev

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