Iterables and Iterators. The base building blocks of lazy evaluation algorithms. Let’s see what are they made of and how they can be useful.
Lazy evaluation, every functional programmer’s wet dream. Soon enough, we will look at generators. But first, let’s get a grasp of what iterators and iterables are because to me, they’re a prerequisite for generators.
Lazy evaluation means to delay the evaluation of an expression until it’s needed. Lazy evaluation is sometimes referred to as call-by-need.
The opposite of lazy evaluation is an eager evaluation. It’s an evaluation strategy used in most programming languages.
Lazy evaluation makes it possible to:
Iteration is a mechanism for traversing data. Iterators are pointers for traversing elements of data structure, called Iterable. A pointer for producing a sequence of values.
An iterator is an object that can be iterated over. It abstracts a container of data to make it behave like an iterable object.
The iterator does not compute the value of each item when instantiated. The next value is generated only when requested. This is useful, especially for large data sets or sequences of an infinite number of elements.
Iterables are data structures that want their elements accessible to the public.
Many APIs accept iterables, for example:
There’re also statements and expressions that expect iterables, for example:
**for ... of**(loop)
const **[a, b, ..]** = iterable;(destructuring assignment)
An iterator is a new concept of ES6. An Iterator is an object that lets us iterate through an Array, an Object, a String, or even custom Objects.
The Iterator allows us to effectively loop over a collection of objects like an array, string, objects, or other data structures.
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