18 Feb 2013 17:10

## generalized, tail-recursive left fold that can finish tne computation prematurely

while playing with folds and trying to implement `!!` by folding, I came to the conclusion that:

- `foldr` is unsuitable because it counts the elements from the end, while `!!` needs counting from the start (and it's not tail recursive).
- `foldl` is also unsuitable, because it always traverses the whole list.

I came up with the following tail-recursive generalization of `foldl` that allows exiting the computation prematurely:

foldlE :: (a -> c) -> (a -> b -> Either c a) -> Either c a -> [b] -> c
foldlE f g = fld
where
fld (Left c)  _         = c
fld (Right a) []        = f a
fld (Right a) (x:xs)    = fld (g a x) xs

`foldl` can be defined from it  as

foldl'' :: (a -> b -> a) -> a -> [b] -> a
foldl'' f z = foldlE id ((Right .) . f) (Right z)

and `!!` as:

-- Checks for a negative index omitted for brevity.
index :: Int -> [a] -> a
index i = foldlE (error \$ "No such index") f (Right i)
where
f 0 x = Left x
f n _ = Right (n - 1)

Is something like that already available somewhere?

Best regards,
Petr Pudlak
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