Y Combinator in Java 8

The Y Combinator written in Java 8 with nothing but lambdas.

The Y Combinator allows us to use recursion without actually using the recursion that Java already has. And Java 8 actually doesn’t support recursion in lambdas. So this is one way of solving the problem. The simpler one would be to use a recursive Java method and then use a method reference to it (as in MyMathsFunctions::factorial). This is to show that Curry was right and we can do it with nothing but lambda expressions. Since Java is strongly typed I also need an interface, which references itself in the type declaration. This is necessary because at some point we need to apply a function to itself.

There are enough wiki and blog pages and articles on this. Even videos. So I won’t explain it in details. It’s nothing new, just written in Java 8.

Code on Pastebin

The full Code is here: https://pastebin.com/M2RmRqdU

	private static <T> T apply(UnaryOperator<UnaryOperator<T>> fn, T arg) {
		return ((Function<UnaryOperator<UnaryOperator<T>>, UnaryOperator<T>>)
				a -> ((Fn2Op<T>) b -> b.apply(b))
				.apply(
					c -> a.apply(
						x -> c.apply(c).apply(x)
					)
				)).apply(fn).apply(arg);
	}

Encapsulation

In my blog I write about misconceptions. Encapsulation is something you learn when you study Java and OOP. But it seems that most books fail to truly explain the problems you want to solve with it and those you get by using it. Often it’s just a short chapter or even just a small part about the important concepts of OOP. This is leading to misconceptions and poor understanding of OOP.

(Note: I wrote this before the release of Java 10. Expect that some things are somewhat outdated.)

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Understanding Java

The if statement is often translated as “if”, but “if and only if” is what it really means.

To be able to use a language you need to actually understand it. This may seem obvious, but books on Java usually don’t have much on understanding the language. When you learn French you will want to be able to translate from and to French. 

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