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(find: lambda, …Any) → array

This searches through the given values, and produces an array of those which match the given search test (which is expressed using a temp variable, the where keyword, and a boolean condition). If none match, an empty array is produced.

Example usage:

  • (find: _person where _person is not "Alice", ...$people) produces a subset of $people not containing the string "Alice".
  • (find: _item where _item's 1st is "A", "Thorn", "Apple", "Cryptid", "Anchor") produces (a: "Apple", "Anchor").
  • (find: _num where (_num >= 12) and (it % 2 is 0), 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16) produces (a: 12, 14, 16).
  • (find: _val where _val + 2, 9, 10, 11) produces an error, because _item + 2 isn't a boolean.
  • 1st of (find: _room where _room's objs contains "Egg", ...$rooms) finds the first datamap in $rooms whose “objs” contains the string "Egg".


Selecting specific data from arrays or sequences based on a user-provided boolean condition is one of the more common and powerful operations in programming. This macro allows you to immediately work with a subset of the array's data, without caring what kind of subset it is. The subset can be based on each string's characters, each datamap's values, each number's evenness or oddness, whether a variable matches it… anything you can write.

This macro uses a lambda (which is just the “temp variable where a condition” expression) to check every one of the values given after it. For (find: _item where _item > 40, 30, 60, 90), it will first check if 30 > 40 (which is false), if 60 > 40 (which is true), and if 90 > 40 (which is true), and include in the returned array those values which resulted in true.


Of course, if any condition should cause an error, such as checking if a number contains a number, then the error will appear.

However, an error will NOT appear if you provide no values after the lambda - searching an empty sequence will simply result in an empty array being returned. This allows you to write `(find: $lambda, …$array)` without checking whether $array contains any values (which you may not be certain of, if it contains the result of a previous (find:)).

The temp variable, which you can name anything you want, is controlled entirely by the lambda - it doesn't exist outside of it, it won't alter identically-named temp variables outside of it, and you can't manually (set:) it within the lambda.

You can refer to other variables, including other temp variables, in the where condition. For instance, you can write (set: _name to "Eva")(find: _item where _item is _name, "Evan", "Eve", "Eva"). However, for obvious reasons, if the outer temp variable is named the same as the lambda's temp variable, it can't be referred to in the condition.

There isn't a way to examine the position of a value in the condition - you can't write, say, (find: _item where _pos % 2 is 0, "A", "B", "C", "D") to select just “B” and “D”.

You shouldn't use this macro to try and alter the given values! Consider the (altered:) or (folded:) macro instead.

See also:

harlowe/find.txt · Last modified: 2019/04/16 01:40 by l