Either

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The Either data type represents two exclusive possible values: an Either<E, A> can be either a Left value or a Right value, where E represents the type of the Left value and A represents the type of the Right value.

Creating Eithers

You can create an Either using the Either.left and Either.right constructors.

  • The Either.right function takes a value of type A and constructs a Either<never, A>:

    ts
    import { Either } from "effect"
     
    const rightValue = Either.right(42)
    ts
    import { Either } from "effect"
     
    const rightValue = Either.right(42)
  • The Either.left function takes a value of type E and constructs a Either<E, never>:

    ts
    import { Either } from "effect"
     
    const leftValue = Either.left("not a number")
    ts
    import { Either } from "effect"
     
    const leftValue = Either.left("not a number")

Guards

You can determine whether an Either is a Left or a Right by using the Either.isLeft and Either.isRight guards:

ts
import { Either } from "effect"
 
const foo = Either.right(42)
 
if (Either.isLeft(foo)) {
console.log(`The left value is: ${foo.left}`)
} else {
console.log(`The Right value is: ${foo.right}`)
}
// Output: "The Right value is: 42"
ts
import { Either } from "effect"
 
const foo = Either.right(42)
 
if (Either.isLeft(foo)) {
console.log(`The left value is: ${foo.left}`)
} else {
console.log(`The Right value is: ${foo.right}`)
}
// Output: "The Right value is: 42"

Pattern Matching

The Either.match function allows you to handle different cases of an Either by providing separate callbacks for each case:

ts
import { Either } from "effect"
 
const foo = Either.right(42)
 
const message = Either.match(foo, {
onLeft: (left) => `The left value is: ${left}`,
onRight: (right) => `The Right value is: ${right}`
})
 
console.log(message) // Output: "The Right value is: 42"
ts
import { Either } from "effect"
 
const foo = Either.right(42)
 
const message = Either.match(foo, {
onLeft: (left) => `The left value is: ${left}`,
onRight: (right) => `The Right value is: ${right}`
})
 
console.log(message) // Output: "The Right value is: 42"

Using match instead of isLeft or isRight can be more expressive and provide a clear way to handle both cases of an Either.

Working with Either

Once you have an Either, there are several operations you can perform on it.

Mapping over the Right Value

You can use the Either.map function to transform the Right value of an Either. The map function takes a transformation function that maps the Right value.

If the Either value is a Left value, the transformation function is ignored, and the Left value is returned unchanged.

Example

ts
import { Either } from "effect"
 
Either.map(Either.right(1), (n) => n + 1) // right(2)
 
Either.map(Either.left("not a number"), (n) => n + 1) // left("not a number")
ts
import { Either } from "effect"
 
Either.map(Either.right(1), (n) => n + 1) // right(2)
 
Either.map(Either.left("not a number"), (n) => n + 1) // left("not a number")

Mapping over the Left Value

You can use the Either.mapLeft function to transform the Left value of an Either. The mapLeft function takes a transformation function that maps the Left.

If the Either value is a Right value, the transformation function is ignored, and the Right value is returned unchanged.

Example

ts
import { Either } from "effect"
 
Either.mapLeft(Either.right(1), (s) => s + "!") // right(1)
 
Either.mapLeft(Either.left("not a number"), (s) => s + "!") // left("not a number!")
ts
import { Either } from "effect"
 
Either.mapLeft(Either.right(1), (s) => s + "!") // right(1)
 
Either.mapLeft(Either.left("not a number"), (s) => s + "!") // left("not a number!")

Mapping over Both Values

You can use the Either.mapBoth function to transform both the Left and Right values of an Either. The mapBoth function takes two transformation functions: one for the Left value and one for the Right value.

Example

ts
import { Either } from "effect"
 
Either.mapBoth(Either.right(1), {
onLeft: (s) => s + "!",
onRight: (n) => n + 1
}) // right(2)
 
Either.mapBoth(Either.left("not a number"), {
onLeft: (s) => s + "!",
onRight: (n) => n + 1
}) // left("not a number")
ts
import { Either } from "effect"
 
Either.mapBoth(Either.right(1), {
onLeft: (s) => s + "!",
onRight: (n) => n + 1
}) // right(2)
 
Either.mapBoth(Either.left("not a number"), {
onLeft: (s) => s + "!",
onRight: (n) => n + 1
}) // left("not a number")

Interop with Effect

The Either type is a subtype of the Effect type, which means that it can be seamlessly used with functions from the Effect module. These functions are primarily designed to work with Effect values, but they can also handle Either values and process them correctly.

In the context of Effect, the two members of the Either type are treated as follows:

  • Left<E> is equivalent to Effect<never, E>
  • Right<A> is equivalent to Effect<A>

To illustrate this interoperability, let's consider the following example:

ts
import { Effect, Either } from "effect"
 
const head = <A>(array: ReadonlyArray<A>): Either.Either<string, A> =>
array.length > 0 ? Either.right(array[0]) : Either.left("empty array")
 
const foo = Effect.runSync(Effect.flatMap(Effect.succeed([1, 2, 3]), head))
console.log(foo) // Output: 1
 
const bar = Effect.runSync(Effect.flatMap(Effect.succeed([]), head)) // throws "empty array"
ts
import { Effect, Either } from "effect"
 
const head = <A>(array: ReadonlyArray<A>): Either.Either<string, A> =>
array.length > 0 ? Either.right(array[0]) : Either.left("empty array")
 
const foo = Effect.runSync(Effect.flatMap(Effect.succeed([1, 2, 3]), head))
console.log(foo) // Output: 1
 
const bar = Effect.runSync(Effect.flatMap(Effect.succeed([]), head)) // throws "empty array"