Either

scala.util.Either
See theEither companion object
sealed abstract class Either[+A, +B] extends Product with Serializable

Represents a value of one of two possible types (a disjoint union). An instance of Either is an instance of either scala.util.Left or scala.util.Right.

A common use of Either is as an alternative to scala.Option for dealing with possibly missing values. In this usage, scala.None is replaced with a scala.util.Left which can contain useful information. scala.util.Right takes the place of scala.Some. Convention dictates that Left is used for failure and Right is used for success.

For example, you could use Either[String, Int] to indicate whether a received input is a String or an Int.

import scala.io.StdIn._
val in = readLine("Type Either a string or an Int: ")
val result: Either[String,Int] =
  try Right(in.toInt)
  catch {
    case e: NumberFormatException => Left(in)
  }

result match {
  case Right(x) => s"You passed me the Int: $x, which I will increment. $x + 1 = ${x+1}"
  case Left(x)  => s"You passed me the String: $x"
}

Either is right-biased, which means that Right is assumed to be the default case to operate on. If it is Left, operations like map and flatMap return the Left value unchanged:

def doubled(i: Int) = i * 2
Right(42).map(doubled) // Right(84)
Left(42).map(doubled)  // Left(42)

Since Either defines the methods map and flatMap, it can also be used in for comprehensions:

val right1 = Right(1)   : Right[Double, Int]
val right2 = Right(2)
val right3 = Right(3)
val left23 = Left(23.0) : Left[Double, Int]
val left42 = Left(42.0)

for {
  x <- right1
  y <- right2
  z <- right3
} yield x + y + z // Right(6)

for {
  x <- right1
  y <- right2
  z <- left23
} yield x + y + z // Left(23.0)

for {
  x <- right1
  y <- left23
  z <- right2
} yield x + y + z // Left(23.0)

// Guard expressions are not supported:
for {
  i <- right1
  if i > 0
} yield i
// error: value withFilter is not a member of Right[Double,Int]

// Similarly, refutable patterns are not supported:
for (x: Int <- right1) yield x
// error: value withFilter is not a member of Right[Double,Int]

Since for comprehensions use map and flatMap, the types of function parameters used in the expression must be inferred. These types are constrained by the Either values. In particular, because of right-biasing, Left values may require an explicit type argument for type parameter B, the right value. Otherwise, it might be inferred as Nothing.

for {
  x <- left23
  y <- right1
  z <- left42  // type at this position: Either[Double, Nothing]
} yield x + y + z
//            ^
// error: ambiguous reference to overloaded definition,
// both method + in class Int of type (x: Char)Int
// and  method + in class Int of type (x: Byte)Int
// match argument types (Nothing)

for (x <- right2 ; y <- left23) yield x + y  // Left(23.0)
for (x <- right2 ; y <- left42) yield x + y  // error

for {
  x <- right1
  y <- left42  // type at this position: Either[Double, Nothing]
  z <- left23
} yield x + y + z
// Left(42.0), but unexpectedly a `Either[Double,String]`

Attributes

Companion:
object
Source:
Either.scala
Graph
Supertypes
trait Product
trait Equals
class Object
trait Matchable
class Any
Known subtypes
class Left[A, B]
class Right[A, B]

Members list

Concise view

Value members

Abstract methods

Returns true if this is a Left, false otherwise.

Returns true if this is a Left, false otherwise.

Left("tulip").isLeft // true
Right("venus fly-trap").isLeft // false

Attributes

Source:
Either.scala

Returns true if this is a Right, false otherwise.

Returns true if this is a Right, false otherwise.

Left("tulip").isRight // false
Right("venus fly-trap").isRight // true

Attributes

Source:
Either.scala

Concrete methods

final def contains[B1 >: B](elem: B1): Boolean

Returns true if this is a Right and its value is equal to elem (as determined by ==), returns false otherwise.

Returns true if this is a Right and its value is equal to elem (as determined by ==), returns false otherwise.

// Returns true because value of Right is "something" which equals "something".
Right("something") contains "something"

// Returns false because value of Right is "something" which does not equal "anything".
Right("something") contains "anything"

// Returns false because it's not a Right value.
Left("something") contains "something"

Attributes

elem

the element to test.

Returns:

true if this is a Right value equal to elem.

Source:
Either.scala
def exists(p: B => Boolean): Boolean

Returns false if Left or returns the result of the application of the given predicate to the Right value.

Returns false if Left or returns the result of the application of the given predicate to the Right value.

Right(12).exists(_ > 10)   // true
Right(7).exists(_ > 10)    // false
Left(12).exists(_ => true) // false

Attributes

Source:
Either.scala
def filterOrElse[A1 >: A](p: B => Boolean, zero: => A1): Either[A1, B]

Returns Right with the existing value of Right if this is a Right and the given predicate p holds for the right value, or Left(zero) if this is a Right and the given predicate p does not hold for the right value, or Left with the existing value of Left if this is a Left.

Returns Right with the existing value of Right if this is a Right and the given predicate p holds for the right value, or Left(zero) if this is a Right and the given predicate p does not hold for the right value, or Left with the existing value of Left if this is a Left.

Right(12).filterOrElse(_ > 10, -1)   // Right(12)
Right(7).filterOrElse(_ > 10, -1)    // Left(-1)
Left(7).filterOrElse(_ => false, -1) // Left(7)

Attributes

Source:
Either.scala
def flatMap[A1 >: A, B1](f: B => Either[A1, B1]): Either[A1, B1]

Binds the given function across Right.

Binds the given function across Right.

Attributes

f

The function to bind across Right.

Source:
Either.scala
def flatten[A1 >: A, B1](implicit ev: B <:< Either[A1, B1]): Either[A1, B1]

Returns the right value if this is right or this value if this is left

Returns the right value if this is right or this value if this is left

Attributes

Example:

val  l: Either[String, Either[String, Int]] = Left("pancake")
val rl: Either[String, Either[String, Int]] = Right(Left("flounder"))
val rr: Either[String, Either[String, Int]] = Right(Right(7))
l.flatten //Either[String, Int]: Left("pancake")
rl.flatten //Either[String, Int]: Left("flounder")
rr.flatten //Either[String, Int]: Right(7)

Equivalent to flatMap(id => id)

Source:
Either.scala
def fold[C](fa: A => C, fb: B => C): C

Applies fa if this is a Left or fb if this is a Right.

Applies fa if this is a Left or fb if this is a Right.

Attributes

fa

the function to apply if this is a Left

fb

the function to apply if this is a Right

Returns:

the results of applying the function

Example:

val result = util.Try("42".toInt).toEither
result.fold(
  e => s"Operation failed with $e",
  v => s"Operation produced value: $v"
)
Source:
Either.scala
def forall(f: B => Boolean): Boolean

Returns true if Left or returns the result of the application of the given predicate to the Right value.

Returns true if Left or returns the result of the application of the given predicate to the Right value.

Right(12).forall(_ > 10)    // true
Right(7).forall(_ > 10)     // false
Left(12).forall(_ => false) // true

Attributes

Source:
Either.scala
def foreach[U](f: B => U): Unit

Executes the given side-effecting function if this is a Right.

Executes the given side-effecting function if this is a Right.

Right(12).foreach(println) // prints "12"
Left(12).foreach(println)  // doesn't print

Attributes

f

The side-effecting function to execute.

Source:
Either.scala
def getOrElse[B1 >: B](or: => B1): B1

Returns the value from this Right or the given argument if this is a Left.

Returns the value from this Right or the given argument if this is a Left.

Right(12).getOrElse(17) // 12
Left(12).getOrElse(17)  // 17

Attributes

Source:
Either.scala
def joinLeft[A1 >: A, B1 >: B, C](implicit ev: A1 <:< Either[C, B1]): Either[C, B1]

Joins an Either through Left.

Joins an Either through Left.

This method requires that the left side of this Either is itself an Either type. That is, this must be some type like:

Either[Either[C, B], B]

(which respects the type parameter bounds, shown below.)

If this instance is a Left[Either[C, B]] then the contained Either[C, B] will be returned, otherwise this value will be returned unmodified.

Left[Either[Int, String], String](Right("flower")).joinLeft // Result: Right("flower")
Left[Either[Int, String], String](Left(12)).joinLeft // Result: Left(12)
Right[Either[Int, String], String]("daisy").joinLeft // Result: Right("daisy")

This method, and joinRight, are analogous to Option#flatten.

Attributes

Source:
Either.scala
def joinRight[A1 >: A, B1 >: B, C](implicit ev: B1 <:< Either[A1, C]): Either[A1, C]

Joins an Either through Right.

Joins an Either through Right.

This method requires that the right side of this Either is itself an Either type. That is, this must be some type like:

Either[A, Either[A, C]]

(which respects the type parameter bounds, shown below.)

If this instance is a Right[Either[A, C]] then the contained Either[A, C] will be returned, otherwise this value will be returned unmodified.

Attributes

Example:

Right[String, Either[String, Int]](Right(12)).joinRight // Result: Right(12)
Right[String, Either[String, Int]](Left("flower")).joinRight // Result: Left("flower")
Left[String, Either[String, Int]]("flower").joinRight // Result: Left("flower")

This method, and joinLeft, are analogous to Option#flatten

Source:
Either.scala
def left: LeftProjection[A, B]

Projects this Either as a Left.

Projects this Either as a Left.

This allows for-comprehensions over the left side of Either instances, reversing Either's usual right-bias.

For example

for (s <- Left("flower").left) yield s.length // Left(6)

Continuing the analogy with scala.Option, a LeftProjection declares that Left should be analogous to Some in some code.

// using Option
def interactWithDB(x: Query): Option[Result] =
  try Some(getResultFromDatabase(x))
  catch {
    case _: SQLException => None
  }

// this will only be executed if interactWithDB returns a Some
val report = for (result <- interactWithDB(someQuery)) yield generateReport(result)
report match {
  case Some(r) => send(r)
  case None    => log("report not generated, not sure why...")
}

// using Either
def interactWithDB(x: Query): Either[Exception, Result] =
  try Right(getResultFromDatabase(x))
  catch {
    case e: SQLException => Left(e)
  }

 // run a report only if interactWithDB returns a Right
 val report = for (result <- interactWithDB(someQuery)) yield generateReport(result)
 report match {
   case Right(r) => send(r)
   case Left(e)  => log(s"report not generated, reason was $e")
 }
 // only report errors
 for (e <- interactWithDB(someQuery).left) log(s"query failed, reason was $e")

Attributes

Source:
Either.scala
def map[B1](f: B => B1): Either[A, B1]

The given function is applied if this is a Right.

The given function is applied if this is a Right.

Right(12).map(x => "flower") // Result: Right("flower")
Left(12).map(x => "flower")  // Result: Left(12)

Attributes

Source:
Either.scala
def merge: A
Implicitly added by MergeableEither

Attributes

Source:
Either.scala
def orElse[A1 >: A, B1 >: B](or: => Either[A1, B1]): Either[A1, B1]

Returns this Right or the given argument if this is a Left.

Returns this Right or the given argument if this is a Left.

Right(1) orElse Left(2) // Right(1)
Left(1) orElse Left(2)  // Left(2)
Left(1) orElse Left(2) orElse Right(3) // Right(3)

Attributes

Source:
Either.scala
def swap: Either[B, A]

If this is a Left, then return the left value in Right or vice versa.

If this is a Left, then return the left value in Right or vice versa.

Attributes

Example:

val left: Either[String, Int]  = Left("left")
val right: Either[Int, String] = left.swap // Result: Right("left")

val right = Right(2)
val left  = Left(3)
for {
  r1 <- right
  r2 <- left.swap
} yield r1 * r2 // Right(6)
Source:
Either.scala

Returns a Some containing the Right value if it exists or a None if this is a Left.

Returns a Some containing the Right value if it exists or a None if this is a Left.

Right(12).toOption // Some(12)
Left(12).toOption  // None

Attributes

Source:
Either.scala
def toSeq: Seq[B]

Returns a Seq containing the Right value if it exists or an empty Seq if this is a Left.

Returns a Seq containing the Right value if it exists or an empty Seq if this is a Left.

Right(12).toSeq // Seq(12)
Left(12).toSeq  // Seq()

Attributes

Source:
Either.scala
def toTry(implicit ev: A <:< Throwable): Try[B]

Attributes

Source:
Either.scala

Deprecated methods

Projects this Either as a Right.

Projects this Either as a Right.

Because Either is right-biased, this method is not normally needed.

Attributes

Deprecated
true
Source:
Either.scala

Inherited methods

def canEqual(that: Any): Boolean

A method that should be called from every well-designed equals method that is open to be overridden in a subclass.

A method that should be called from every well-designed equals method that is open to be overridden in a subclass. See Programming in Scala, Chapter 28 for discussion and design.

Attributes

that

the value being probed for possible equality

Returns:

true if this instance can possibly equal that, otherwise false

Inherited from:
Equals
Source:
Equals.scala

The size of this product.

The size of this product.

Attributes

Returns:

for a product A(x1, ..., xk), returns k

Inherited from:
Product
Source:
Product.scala

The nth element of this product, 0-based.

The nth element of this product, 0-based. In other words, for a product A(x1, ..., xk), returns x(n+1) where 0 <= n < k.

Attributes

n

the index of the element to return

Returns:

the element n elements after the first element

Throws:

IndexOutOfBoundsException if the n is out of range(n < 0 || n >= productArity).

Inherited from:
Product
Source:
Product.scala

The name of the nth element of this product, 0-based.

The name of the nth element of this product, 0-based. In the default implementation, an empty string.

Attributes

n

the index of the element name to return

Returns:

the name of the specified element

Throws:

IndexOutOfBoundsException if the n is out of range(n < 0 || n >= productArity).

Inherited from:
Product
Source:
Product.scala

An iterator over the names of all the elements of this product.

An iterator over the names of all the elements of this product.

Attributes

Inherited from:
Product
Source:
Product.scala

An iterator over all the elements of this product.

An iterator over all the elements of this product.

Attributes

Returns:

in the default implementation, an Iterator[Any]

Inherited from:
Product
Source:
Product.scala

A string used in the toString methods of derived classes.

A string used in the toString methods of derived classes. Implementations may override this method to prepend a string prefix to the result of toString methods.

Attributes

Returns:

in the default implementation, the empty string

Inherited from:
Product
Source:
Product.scala