Solved: string split

It’s often that as a developer, we encounter a requirement to work with big data strings, where the need for string manipulation becomes inevitable. One such common operation is splitting a string, which forms the baseline for data extraction and manipulation. Haskell, being a potent and syntactically rich programming language, offers us numerous ways to perform string splitting. The aim of this article is to outline solutions for string splitting in Haskell and provide a comprehensive walkthrough of the code involved.

In the realm of Haskell, the standard library does not provide a direct function for splitting strings. However, Haskell’s massive ecosystem of packages and libraries furnishes us with several options to achieve our desired results. Notable among these is the Data.List.Split library, known for its vast range of list manipulation functions, containing the `splitOn` function that we can utilize to split strings.


Data.List.Split: Splitting Strings Swiftly

One of the most powerful libraries Haskell offers is Data.List.Split. It provides a plethora of list manipulation functions that we often use, the `splitOn` function being the most used among them for splitting strings. In order to use this library, you must first install it using the command:

cabal update 
cabal install split

After installing the library successfully, you can now implement string splitting in Haskell as follows:

import Data.List.Split
main = do 
   let result = splitOn " " "haskell string split"
   print result

In the code above, the `splitOn` function takes two arguments. The first argument is the delimiter that signifies where the string should be split. The second argument is the string to be divided. The function will split the string every time it encounters the given delimiter, here being a blank space, ” “.

Haskell’s ‘words’ function: An In-built Advantage

Often, basic string splitting in Haskell doesn’t necessitate going into libraries, as it has a built-in function ‘words’ which does precisely this, i.e., split a string at every space. Here’s how it looks:

main = do 
   let result = words "haskell string split"
   print result

The ‘words’ function will divide the string at every instance of space encountered. It’s a swift and convenient solution, except it only splits on spaces, unlike Data.List.Split’s `splitOn` function which allows you to define the delimiter.

To summarize in an

  • order, in Haskell, string splitting can be achieved either via the `splitOn` function from the Data.List.Split library or using the in-built ‘words’ function. Both methods render a reliable solution, yet the choice between them depends on whether you need to specify the delimiter or a simple space-based split will suffice.

The art of string splitting can be perceived as preparing a fashion ensemble. Much like how different garments and accessories, (analogous to various Haskell libraries and functions) come together to create a complete outfit. Similarly, these different approaches and techniques connect seamlessly to devise a comprehensive Haskell program.

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