Last time we looked at the List module, and we now proceed to look at the sequence module. You will in fact see a lot of similarities with the sequence module compared to the list module. The main difference between F# lists and F# sequence is pretty much the same as it is in C#|VB .NET, A list is every element and is all loaded (greedily) into memory, whist sequences are lazy and will only be evaluated as needed. This is much the same as it is with IEnumerable<T> in standard .NET. In fact sequences are represented by the `seq<’T>`

type, which is an alias for IEnumerable<T>. Therefore, any .NET Framework type that implements** System.IEnumerable** can be used as a sequence.

**Creating Sequences**

In F# there are several ways in which you can create Lists, shown below are a few examples.

- Create a simple list containing 1 to 10
- Create a simple list creating odd numbers between 1 and 10, which is achieved using a step operator
- Using a for loop to create a list

You will definitely see similarities between the code below and the code we saw in the last post when creating lists. In fact what makes a list is the existence of the “[“ and “]” braces, whilst sequence uses “{“ and “}” style braces.

let prettyPrint desc seq = printfn desc printfn "%A" seq //simple sequence let seq1 = {1 .. 10 } //simple list, with step value let seq2 = {1 ..2..10 } //simple list, with step value, and this time use the "seq" keyword let seq3 = seq {1 ..2..10 } //using for loops to create sequences let seq4 = seq { for i in 1 .. 10 do yield i * i } //using for loops to create sequences, but use lambda let seq5 = seq { for i in 1 .. 10 -> i * i } //how about creating 2d sequences let Create2dArray (height, width) = seq { for row in 0 .. width - 1 do for col in 0 .. height - 1 do yield (row, col) } let seq6 = Create2dArray (5,5) let seq7 = seq { for i in 1 .. 20 do if i = 10 then yield i } prettyPrint "let seq1 = {1 .. 10 }" seq1 prettyPrint "let seq2 = {1 ..2..10 }" seq2 prettyPrint "let seq3 = seq {1 ..2..10 }" seq3 prettyPrint "let seq4 = seq { for i in 1 .. 10 do yield i * i }" seq4 prettyPrint "let seq5 = seq { for i in 1 .. 10 -> i * i }" seq5 prettyPrint "let Create2dArray (height, width) = seq { for row in 0 .. width - 1 do for col in 0 .. height - 1 do yield (row, col) } let seq6 = Create2dArray (5,5)\r\n" seq6 prettyPrint "let seq7 = seq { for i in 1 .. 20 do if i = 10 then yield i }\r\n" seq7

Which when run will give the following results

**Yield!**

As well as the `Yield`

keyword we have already seen, we can also use the yield! keyword, to yield a single outer sequence. This is similar to `IEnumerable.SelectMany`

. Lets see an example of this is action, which may help you to understand the differences between **Yield** and **Yield!** (pronounced yield bang).

Lets see an example of the difference between **Yield** and **Yield!**

let prettyPrint desc seq = printfn desc printfn "%A" seq //yield sequence let yieldBangSeq = seq { for i in 0..10..100 do yield! seq {i..1..i*5}} //yield sequence let yieldSeq = seq { for i in 0..10..100 do yield seq {i..1..i*5}} prettyPrint "let yieldBangSeq = seq { for i in 0..10..100 do yield! seq {i..1..i*5}}\r\n" yieldBangSeq printfn "\r\n\r\n" prettyPrint "let yieldSeq = seq { for i in 0..10..100 do yield seq {i..1..i*5}}\r\n" yieldSeq

Which when run looks like this:

It can be seen that the example above that uses the **Yield!** actually only produces one final sequence, whilst the the one that uses **Yield** produces sequences within sequences.

If we examine the types of the 2 bound values it may help to solidify this a bit further.

See how the Yield! version is a single `Seq<int>`

, whilst the regular Yield one is a `Seq<Seq<int>>`

. Lets now turn our attention to what it would look like if we used the results of both of these values. Here is some revised code:

//yield sequence let yieldBangSeq = seq { for i in 0..10..100 do yield! seq {i..1..i*5}} |> Seq.take 3 |> Seq.toList //yield sequence let yieldSeq = seq { for i in 0..10..100 do yield seq {i..1..i*5}} |> Seq.take 3

Which when run will give us the following results:

**Consuming A Sequence**

It is fairly easy to consume a sequence once you have one, it can be done as simply as follows:

<pre class="brush: csharp; gutter: false; title: ; toolbar: false; notranslate"> // Recursive isprime function. let isprime n = let rec check i = i > n/2 || (n % i <> 0 && check (i + 1)) check 2 let aSequence = seq { for n in 1..100 do if isprime n then yield n } for x in aSequence do printfn "%d" x

Where we can use a simple for loop (this will be covered in a later blog post), to iterate (lazily) over the sequence. Here is the results of running this:

**The Sequence Module**

As we saw last time with the List module, the Sequence module is also a VERY important module in F#, and just as with the List module, the Sequence module gets some good loving from the Microsoft team. So just as before I will not be able to bring much to the table that they do not already cover. I will cover a few example which as before I borrowed (um stole) from the MSDN web site for the Sequence module which is found at : http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd233209.aspx

There are way too many functions for me to include in this blog. As with the List module MSDN is actually very good for Sequences, which sadly can not be said of all aspects of F# development. For Sequences you are fine though, MSDN is rad and Gnarly.

**Some examples**

I have included a couple of examples here just so you can get a feel for the Sequence module

**Seq.Take / Seq.toList**

Here is an example where we **take** the first 10 elements from a sequence, and then `toList`

the sequence, which creates a non lazy in memory List.

let prettyPrint desc seq = printfn desc printfn "%A" seq let bigSeq = seq { 1..1000} let smallerList = bigSeq |> Seq.take 10 |> Seq.toList prettyPrint "let bigSeq = seq { 1..1000}\r\nlet smallerList = bigSeq |> Seq.take 10 |> Seq.toList" smallerList

Which when run gives the following results:

**Seq.iter / Seq.pairwise / Seq.map**

Here is an example where we do the following:

- The Seq.pairwise function generates a sequence of tuples of consecutive squares, { (1, 4), (4, 9), (9, 16) ... }
- The seq.map allow us to run a lambda across each element in the sequence
- The Seq.iter allows us to iterate over the sequence an element at a time

let printSeq seq1 = Seq.iter (printf "%A ") seq1; printfn "" let seqPairwise = Seq.pairwise (seq { for i in 1 .. 10 -> i*i }) printSeq seqPairwise printfn "" let seqDelta = Seq.map (fun elem -> snd elem - fst elem) seqPairwise printSeq seqDelta

**Seq.compareWith**

`compareWith`

allow us to to compare sequences (that is all the elements in a sequence). Here is an example:

let sequence1 = seq { 1 .. 10 } let sequence2 = seq { 10 .. -1 .. 1 } // Compare two sequences element by element. let compareSequences = Seq.compareWith (fun elem1 elem2 -> if elem1 > elem2 then 1 elif elem1 < elem2 then -1 else 0) let compareResult1 = compareSequences sequence1 sequence2 match compareResult1 with | 1 -> printfn "Sequence1 is greater than sequence2." | -1 -> printfn "Sequence1 is less than sequence2." | 0 -> printfn "Sequence1 is equal to sequence2." | _ -> failwith("Invalid comparison result.")

Which when run will give the following results:

As I say the Sequence module has so many goodies in it, I could not possible cover them all here. Luckily the Sequence module is very well documented using the MSDN link, so use that it is your friend.