Modifiers tutorial

Every pathex path created with path/2 or ~P[] can have modifier specified next to it. Modifier defines behaviour of the path in a way of structures it can match inside For example, path created with :map modifier can only match maps inside them


Currently only three modifiers are avaliable:

  • :json which matches lists and maps
  • :naive which matches lists, tuples, keywords and maps
  • :map which matches only maps

Default modifier for every path is :naive

Modifiers are specified as second argument in path/2 like

path :x / :y, :naive
path 0 / :x, :json

Or for sigil paths like


Naive modifier

This modifier matches lists, tuples, keyword and maps It generates matches for every structure like

# For `path :x`
case input do
  %{x: value} ->
  [{a, _} | _] = k when is_atom(a) ->
     case Keyword.fetch(k, :x) do

Note: Variables are treated as their values

Json modifier

This modifier specifies paths which macth lists (for integer keys only) and maps

Note: This modifier treats variables as map keys, this means that

iex> x = 1
iex> p = path x, :json
iex> :error = Pathex.view([1, 2, 3], p)
iex> {:ok, :x} = Pathex.view(%{1 => :x}, p)

But passed integers are exanded into list matching this makes it very efficent to view data from the structure

For example path 1 / :x, :json generates closure with

case input do
  [_, %{x: value} | _] ->
    {:ok, value}

  %{1 => %{x: value}} ->
    {:ok, value}

  _ ->

Which extracts maximum efficency from BEAM's pattern-matching

Note that :json path will have its argument without type syntax This means that ~P[x/y/1] will treat x like string, y like string and 1 like integer and string

Map modifier

This modifier matches only maps and therefore is the fastest modifier avaliable

For example path 1 / :x / "y", :json will generate closure with

case input do
  %{1 => %{x: %{"y" => value}}} ->
    {:ok, value}

  _ ->

When? How? & Why?

You should use modifiers when you need to specify type of inner structures to match or reduce amount of generated code by Pathex or improve performance of the path