Tuesday, September 3, 2013

4.2.2: dir_walk()

The recursive dirwalk can be rewritten as an Forward iterator.

type dirwalk struct {
    cur   string
    queue []string
    err   error

func Dirwalk(filename string) i.Forward {
    // remove trailing /
    strings.TrimSuffix(filename, "/")
    // construct and initialize
    var dw dirwalk
    dw.queue = []string{filename}
    return &dw

The dirwalk structure contains a queue of filenames to be processed. The cur variable holds the filename that will be returned when Value() is called. Dirwalk simply constructs this structure and returns it, encapsulated as a Forward iterator.

func (dw *dirwalk) Value() interface{} {
    return dw.cur

func (dw *dirwalk) Error() error {
    return dw.err

func (dw *dirwalk) AtEnd() bool {
    return len(dw.queue) == 0

The length of the queue represents the state of the iteration; once it hits zero we are done.

func (dw *dirwalk) Next() error {
    // pop head from queue
    dw.cur, dw.queue = dw.queue[0], append(dw.queue[1:])

    // open file
    var file *os.File
    if file, dw.err = os.Open(dw.cur); dw.err != nil {
        return dw.err
    defer file.Close()
    // stat file
    var stat os.FileInfo
    if stat, dw.err = file.Stat(); dw.err != nil {
        return dw.err
    if stat.IsDir() {
        // read files in directory
        var files []string
        if files, dw.err = file.Readdirnames(0); dw.err != nil {
            return dw.err

        // add files in directory to queue
        for _, subfile := range files {
            dw.queue = append(dw.queue, dw.cur+string(os.PathSeparator)+subfile)
    return dw.err

Next is the engine of the iterator. It pops the queue for the current filename and then processes it. If it is a simple file we are done and return. If it is a directory we read through it and put the filenames in it on the queue.

for itr := Dirwalk(os.Args[1]); !itr.AtEnd(); itr.Next() {

Using the iterator is very simple, simply construct it and loop through it. This provides an opportunity to write the first higher order function that depends on the Iterator interface. The loop can be written as an Each function as follows:

type EachFunc func(i Iterator) bool

func Each(i Forward, e EachFunc) {
    for ; !i.AtEnd(); i.Next() {
        if !e(i) {

It accepts a Forward iterator and a function of type EachFunc, loops through the data stream and calls the function on each Iterator. If the function returns false, the loop breaks. Now we can use the Dirwalk() iterator as follows:

Each(Dirwalk(os.Args[1]), func(itr i.Iterator) bool {
    return true

Yes, this is very trivial and of dubious value, but it is a start. You can get the source at GitHub and you can get the source for the Each function in the i package.