Lambda Expressions: The fun Keyword (F#)
fun keyword is used to define a lambda expression, that is, an anonymous function.
fun parameter-list -> expression
The parameter-list typically consists of names and, optionally, types of parameters. More generally, the parameter-list can be composed of any F# patterns. For a full list of possible patterns, see Pattern Matching. Lists of valid parameters include the following examples.
// Lambda expressions with parameter lists. fun a b c -> ... fun (a: int) b c -> ... fun (a : int) (b : string) (c:float) -> ... // A lambda expression with a tuple pattern. fun (a, b) -> … // A lambda expression with a cons pattern. // (note that this will generate an incomplete pattern match warning) fun (head :: tail) -> … // A lambda expression with a list pattern. // (note that this will generate an incomplete pattern match warning) fun [_; rest] -> …
The expression is the body of the function, the last expression of which generates a return value. Examples of valid lambda expressions include the following:
fun x -> x + 1 fun a b c -> printfn "%A %A %A" a b c fun (a: int) (b: int) (c: int) -> a + b * c fun x y -> let swap (a, b) = (b, a) in swap (x, y)
Using Lambda Expressions
Lambda expressions are especially useful when you want to perform operations on a list or other collection and want to avoid the extra work of defining a function. Many F# library functions take function values as arguments, and it can be especially convenient to use a lambda expression in those cases. The following code applies a lambda expression to elements of a list. In this case, the anonymous function adds 1 to every element of a list.
let list = List.map (fun i -> i + 1) [ 1; 2; 3 ] printfn "%A" list