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[Caml-list] Recursive apply function
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Date: -- (:)
From: Brian Hurt <bhurt@s...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Recursive apply function
On Wed, 19 Nov 2003, Peter Scott wrote:

> I'm having an interesting disagreement with ocaml about types. I'm trying 
> to make a function to imitate the lisp apply function. That is, I want to 
> make a function which will apply another function to a list.
> I came up with this code:
> let rec apply f args =
>    match args with
>        arg :: rest -> apply (f arg) rest
>      | [] -> f;;

This is untypeable.  What's the type of f?  It's a function that takes a 
'a and returns a function which takes a type 'a and returns a function 
which takes a type 'a and returns a function which takes a type 'a and 

What you want is List.fold_left, which has type:
('a -> 'b -> 'a) -> 'a -> 'b list -> 'a

and can be implemented as:

let rec fold_left f init_val = function
	| [] -> init_val
	| h :: t -> fold_left f (f init_val h) t

But don't reimplement it, use the library version.

> let add x y = x + y;;
> let x = apply add [2; 3];;
> print_int x;;

let x = List.fold_left (+) 0 [2; 3];;

You don't need to define a special add function.

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