Eric Peterson

December 20, 2017

Spread the word

Share your thoughts

Welcome to day 7. We're over half way through! I hope you've enjoyed learning about a few of these awesome modules on ForgeBox. Want to say thanks for some of these modules? Make sure to star the repos on GitHub!

Now, on to today's module: cfcollection.


Functional Programming

Functional programming can make your code more expressive. Take these two examples:

var newUsers = [];
for ( var user in oldUsers ) {
    arrayAppend( newUsers, user.username );
return newUsers;

This is pretty succienct code, but you have to read it all to know what it is doing. It is transforming an array of users in to an array of usernames.

Now, take a look at the map equivalent:

return collect( users ).map( function( user ) {
    return user.username;
} ).get();

The biggest benefit here is that map has semantics where a for loop does not. When you see map, you know you are getting an array back the same length as the source array with every item transformed in some way. With a for loop, you just have to read the loop to figure out what it is doing.

With cfcollection, this can be taken further into an even higher level function:

return collect( users ).pluck( "username" ).get();

pluck has further semantics of being a map that returns a property off of the objects passed in. These semantics keep your code clean and make chaining methods a more expressive way to program. cfcollection includes many of these expressive, chainable methods to help make reading your code flow.

Futher semantic methods can clean your code up even more:

return collect( users )
    .filter( function( user ) {
        return user.isActive;
    } )
    .reduce( function( total, user ) {
        return total + user.salary;
    }, 0 );
return collect( users )
    .where( "isActive", true )
    .sum( "salary" );

A quick note about performance. A concern many people have when getting in to a more functional pipeline style of programming as seen here is that we are now looping multiple times over the same collection instead of one time with a for loop. That is true, but in most cases it doesn't matter. The time added to loop over your collection multiple times most likely pales in comparison to, for exampe, your database queries. The right approach is to focus on correct, clean code first. Then measure and fix where the measurements tell you to. Don't just fix where you think the problem is. Remember: make it work, make it right, make it fast.

Member Functions Everywhere!

This section could also have been labelled CFEngine compatibility. cfcollection is tested on Adobe ColdFusion (ACF) 10, 11, and 2016 as well as Lucee 4 and 5. This means that even if you are on ACF 10 and don't have member functions or need to support multiple engines (like a module!) you can have them through cfcollection.


Mixins are a super neat feature of cfcollection powered by WireBox! Any component managed through WireBox can have a any number of files mixed in when creating an instance of the component. This lets you extend components with arbitrary functionality. Take this example:

// config/ColdBox.cfc
moduleSettings = {
    cfcollection = {
        mixinLocations = "/app/includes/macros/CFCollectionMacros"

function triple() {
    return function( item ) {
        return item * 3;
    } );

// handlers/main.cfc

property name="collect" inject="collect@CFCollection";

function index( event, rc, prc ) {
    var nums = collect( [ 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ] );
    event.renderData( nums.triple().get() );
    // [ 3, 6, 9, 12, 15 ]

The biggest benefit here is that you don't need every collection method added to the cfcollection core. You can add your own pipeline functions directly in to your collections. Whether this is your favorite utility that's not in the core, or a utility specific to a project, this lets you stay in the expressive, functional pipeline world no matter what your use case.

Wrap Up

cfcollection is basically an automatic install in all my CFML projects now a days. The consistent member functions, the expressive pipelines, and the ability to mix my own methods in make it invaluable for keeping my code readable and clean.

Add Your Comment

Recent Entries

CBWIRE 2.2 Released

CBWIRE 2.2 Released

We're excited to announce the release of CBWIRE 2.2. This release includes several added enhancements, such as new lifecycle hooks and simplified Turbo Drive integration. We changed the previous lifecycle hook of mount() to onMount() to be consistent, and several bugs were squashed.

Maria Jose Herrera
Maria Jose Herrera
January 09, 2023
FORGEBOX v7.1.0 Released

FORGEBOX v7.1.0 Released

We are so happy to announce a minor release for our package management system. In this release, we take care of some bug fixes reported and a lot of work for our elastic search engine. Now better search results with an improved response time. We have updated our core modules to the latest versions for better security and performance.

Javier Quintero
Javier Quintero
December 30, 2022
Favorite 2022 Ortus Content

Favorite 2022 Ortus Content

2022 was quite the year. For us, it was all about delivering exceptional content and service to our amazing community of developers. That's why we updated our tools, released new products, and announce upcoming projects and initiatives we are working on for 2023.

We know 2023 will be awesome but 2022 was amazing too. Read on and don't miss anything, review the top content we released in 2022 and improve your projects in 2023. Happy New Year!

Maria Jose Herrera
Maria Jose Herrera
December 29, 2022