If-some use-case


I am having a hard time understanding the use case of if-some. I was thinking perhaps it was a macro converting to (if (some? Collection test) true false) but from playing with it in a repl I am just not getting it. I am new to clojure but am using it. Thankfully I have some experience with lisp/scheme. I am just not getting when or why to use an if-some.


if-some is a parallel to the some? predicate which returns true if its argument is not nil. These were introduced in Clojure 1.6: https://github.com/clojure/clojure/blob/master/changes.md#23-new-some-operations

In general, in Clojure, nil and false are considered “falsey” and everything else is considered “truthy”. That means that in the following, do-something will be called whenever get-data returns anything other than nil or false:

(if-let [item (get-data ,,,)]
  (do-something item)

Sometimes it’s important to distinguish between a nil result (often meaning “not found”) and a true/false result (i.e., “I found a Boolean value!”). That’s what some? and if-some let you do:

(if-some [item (get-data ,,,)]
  (do-something item)

In this case, if get-data returns false, do-something will be called (passing false as the item value), whereas if get-data returns nil, it will evaluate the else-expression.


Thank you for the explanation. That makes more sense than what I was finding in other online documentation.