Map creates a "mapping". For instance, lets say I have some data that is users and their associated passwords. I could with the Map module create a mapping from user names to their passwords. The mapping module not only does this but it does it fairly efficiently. It also does this in a functional way. In the example below I am going to do a mapping from strings to strings. However it is possible to do mappings with all different types of data.
To create a Map I can do:
module MyUsers = Map.Make(String);;
Ok, we have created the module. Now, lets start putting something into it. Where do we start? Well, lets try an empty module to begin with:
let m = MyUsers.empty;;
Hummm. An empty module is kind of boring, so lets add some data.
let m = MyUsers.add "fred" "sugarplums" m;;
We have now added "fred" and his password of "sugarplums" to our module. There is a fairly important point to make here. Once we have added the string "sugarplums" we have fixed the types of mappings that we can do. This means our mapping in our module MyUsers is from strings to strings. If we want a mapping from strings to integers or a mapping from integers to whatever we will have to create a different mapping.
Lets add in some additional data just for kicks.
let m = MyUsers.add "tom" "ilovelucy" m;; let m = MyUsers.add "mark" "ocamlrules" m;; let m = MyUsers.add "pete" "linux" m;;
Now that we have some data inside of our Map module, wouldn't it be nice to be able to view that data at some point? Lets begin by creating a simple print function.
let print_users key password = print_string(key ^ " " ^ password ^ "\n");;
We have here a function that will take two strings, a key and a pasword, and print them out nicely, including a new line character at the end. All we need to do is to have this function applied to our mapping. Here is what that would look like.
MyUsers.iter print_users m;;
The reason we put our data into a mapping however is probably so we can quickly find the data. Lets actually show how to do a find.
MyUsers.find "fred" m;;
This should quickly and efficienty return Fred's password: "sugarplums".