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Iterating Over Lists: for-each

for-each is very much like map with one single difference: the results of the procedure are not used for anything. Concretely, for-each iterates over the elements of a list (or multiple lists) and applies a procedure to each, without creating a new list from the results.

guile> (for-each display '(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9))

In this short example the procedure display is applied to all the numbers in the list. display simply prints the value to the console but doesn't evaluate to anything. So one can also say for-each applies the procedure only for its side-effects, not for its value.

It is also possible to apply procedures that do evaluate to something, but that value will simply not be used, so the following example is actually useless:

guile> (for-each symbol->string '(a b c d e))

This will convert all the symbols in the list to strings but not do anything with them.

Everything that is said about processing multiple lists with map applies to for-each as well.

But actually for-each is most useful in combination with custom procedures, even more so than map.

Last update: November 3, 2022