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Sub::Curried - automatically curried subroutines


 curry add_n_to ($n, $val) {
    return $n+$val;

 my $add_10_to = add_n_to( 10 );

 say $add_10_to->(4);  # 14

 # but you can also
 say add_n_to(10,4);  # also 14

 # or more traditionally
 say add_n_to(10)->(4);


Currying and Partial Application come from the heady world of functional programming, but are actually useful techniques. Partial Application is used to progressively specialise a subroutine, by pre-binding some of the arguments.

Partial application is the generic term, that also encompasses the concept of plugging in "holes" in arguments at arbitrary positions. Currying is more specifically the application of arguments progressively from left to right until you have enough of them.


Define a curried subroutine using the curry keyword. You should list the arguments to the subroutine in parentheses. This isn't a sophisticated signature parser, just a common separated list of scalars (or @array or %hash arguments, which will be returned as a reference).

    curry greet ($greeting, $greetee) {
        return "$greeting $greetee";

    my $hello = greet("Hello");
    say $hello->("World"); # Hello World


Currying applies the arguments from left to right, returning a more specialised function as it goes until all the arguments are ready, at which point the sub returns its value.

    curry three ($one,$two,$three) {
        return $one + $two * $three

    three(1,2,3)  # normal call - returns 7

    three(1)      # a new subroutine, with $one bound to the number 1
        ->(2,3)   # call the new sub with these arguments

    three(1)->(2)->(3) # You could call the curried sub like this, 
                       # instead of commas (1,2,3)

What about calling with no arguments? By extension that would return a function exactly like the original one... but with no arguments prebound (i.e. it's an alias!)

    my $fn = three;   # same as my $fn = \&three;

Anonymous curries

Just like you can have anonymous subs, you can have anonymous curried subs:

    my $greet = curry ($greeting, $greetee) { ... }


Curried subroutines are composable. This means that we can create a new subroutine that takes the result of the second subroutine as the input of the first.

Let's say we wanted to expand our greeting to add some punctuation at the end:

    curry append  ($r, $l) { $l . $r }
    curry prepend ($l, $r) { $l . $r }

    my $ciao = append('!') << prepend('Ciao ');
    say $ciao->('Bella'); # Ciao Bella!

How does this work? Follow the pipeline in the direction of the <<... First we prepend 'Ciao ' to get 'Ciao Bella', then we pass that to the curry that appends '!'. We can also write them in the opposite order, to match evaluation order, by reversing the operator:

    my $ciao = prepend('Ciao ') >> append('!');
    say $ciao->('Bella'); # Ciao Bella!

Finally, we can create a shell-like pipeline:

    say 'Bella' | prepend('Ciao ') | append('!'); # Ciao Bella!

The overloaded syntax is provided by Sub::Composable which is distributed with this module as a base class.


No major bugs currently open. Please report any bugs via RT or email, or ping me on IRC (osfameron on irc.perl.org and freenode)


Devel::Declare provides the magic (yes, there's a teeny bit of code generation involved, but it's not a global filter, rather a localised parsing hack).

There are several modules on CPAN that already do currying or partial evaluation:

  • Perl6::Currying - Filter based module prototyping the Perl 6 system

  • Sub::Curry - seems rather complex, with concepts like blackholes and antispices. Odd.

  • AutoCurry - creates a currying variant of all existing subs automatically. Very odd.

  • Sub::DeferredPartial - partial evaluation with named arguments (as hash keys). Has some great debugging hooks (the function is a blessed object which displays what the current bound keys are).

  • Attribute::Curried - exactly what we want minus the sugar. (The attribute has to declare how many arguments it's expecting)


 (c)2008-2013 osfameron@cpan.org


  • Florian (rafl) Ragwitz

  • Paul (prj) Jarc

This module is distributed under the same terms and conditions as Perl itself.

Please submit bugs to RT or shout at me on IRC (osfameron on #london.pm on irc.perl.org)

A git repo is available at http://github.com/osfameron/Sub--Curried/tree/master