AIQ | What are all the uses of an underscore in Scala? (Scala 下划线用法整理)

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The ones I can think of are

Existential types

def foo(l: List[Option[_]]) = ...

Higher kinded type parameters

case class A[K[_],T](a: K[T])

Ignored variables

val _ = 5

Ignored parameters

List(1, 2, 3) foreach { _ => println("Hi") }

Ignored names of self types

trait MySeq { _: Seq[_] => }

Wildcard patterns

Some(5) match { case Some(_) => println("Yes") }

Wildcard imports

import java.util._

Hiding imports

import java.util.{ArrayList => _, _}

Joining letters to punctuation

def bang_!(x: Int) = 5

Assignment operators

def foo_=(x: Int) { ... }

Placeholder syntax

List(1, 2, 3) map (_ + 2)

Partially applied functions

List(1, 2, 3) foreach println _

Converting call-by-name parameters to functions

def toFunction(callByName: => Int): () => Int = callByName _

There may be others I have forgotten!

Example showing why foo(_) and foo _ are different:

This example comes from 0__:

trait PlaceholderExample {
  def process[A](f: A => Unit)

  val set: Set[_ => Unit]

  set.foreach(process _) // Error 
  set.foreach(process(_)) // No Error

In the first case, process _ represents a method; Scala takes the polymorphic method and attempts to make it monomorphic by filling in the type parameter, but realizes that there is no type that can be filled in for A that will give the type (_ => Unit) => ? (Existential _ is not a type).

In the second case, process(_) is a lambda; when writing a lambda with no explicit argument type, Scala infers the type from the argument that foreach expects, and _ => Unit is a type (whereas just plain _ isn’t), so it can be substituted and inferred.

This may well be the trickiest gotcha in Scala I have ever encountered.

An excellent explanation of the uses of the underscore is Scala _ [underscore] magic.


 def matchTest(x: Int): String = x match {
     case 1 => "one"
     case 2 => "two"
     case _ => "anything other than one and two"

 expr match {
     case List(1,_,_) => " a list with three element and the first element is 1"
     case List(_*)  => " a list with zero or more elements "
     case Map[_,_] => " matches a map with any key type and any value type "
     case _ =>

 // Doing the same without underscore: 
 List(1,2,3,4,5).foreach( a => print(a))

In Scala, _ acts similar to * in Java while importing packages.

// Imports all the classes in the package matching
import scala.util.matching._

// Imports all the members of the object Fun (static import in Java).
import com.test.Fun._

// Imports all the members of the object Fun but renames Foo to Bar
import com.test.Fun.{ Foo => Bar , _ }

// Imports all the members except Foo. To exclude a member rename it to _
import com.test.Fun.{ Foo => _ , _ }

In Scala, a getter and setter will be implicitly defined for all non-private vars in a object. The getter name is same as the variable name and _= is added for the setter name.

class Test {
    private var a = 0
    def age = a
    def age_=(n:Int) = {
            a = n


val t = new Test
t.age = 5

If you try to assign a function to a new variable, the function will be invoked and the result will be assigned to the variable. This confusion occurs due to the optional braces for method invocation. We should use _ after the function name to assign it to another variable.

class Test {
    def fun = {
        // Some code
    val funLike = fun _

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