# Function chaining in Python

On codewars.com I encountered the following task:

Create a function

`add`

that adds numbers together when called in succession. So`add(1)`

should return`1`

,`add(1)(2)`

should return`1+2`

, ...

While I'm familiar with the basics of Python, I've never encountered a function that is able to be called in such succession, i.e. a function `f(x)`

that can be called as `f(x)(y)(z)...`

. Thus far, I'm not even sure how to interpret this notation.

As a mathematician, I'd suspect that `f(x)(y)`

is a function that assigns to every `x`

a function `g_{x}`

and then returns `g_{x}(y)`

and likewise for `f(x)(y)(z)`

.

Should this interpretation be correct, Python would allow me to dynamically create functions which seems very interesting to me. I've searched the web for the past hour, but wasn't able to find a lead in the right direction. Since I don't know how this programming concept is called, however, this may not be too surprising.

How do you call this concept and where can I read more about it?

I don't know whether this is *function* chaining as much as it's *callable* chaining, but, since functions *are* callables I guess there's no harm done. Either way, there's two ways I can think of doing this:

### Sub-classing `int`

and defining `__call__`

:

The first way would be with a custom `int`

subclass that defines `__call__`

which returns a new instance of itself with the updated value:

```
class CustomInt(int):
def __call__(self, v):
return CustomInt(self + v)
```

Function `add`

can now be defined to return a `CustomInt`

instance, which, as a callable that returns an updated value of itself, can be called in succession:

```
>>> def add(v):
... return CustomInt(v)
>>> add(1)
1
>>> add(1)(2)
3
>>> add(1)(2)(3)(44) # and so on..
50
```

In addition, as an `int`

subclass, the returned value retains the `__repr__`

and `__str__`

behavior of `int`

s. *For more complex operations though, you should define other dunders appropriately*.

As @Caridorc noted in a comment, `add`

could also be simply written as:

```
add = CustomInt
```

Renaming the class to `add`

instead of `CustomInt`

also works similarly.

### Define a closure, requires extra call to yield value:

The only other way I can think of involves a nested function that requires an extra empty argument call in order to return the result. I'm **not** using `nonlocal`

and opt for attaching attributes to the function objects to make it portable between Pythons:

```
def add(v):
def _inner_adder(val=None):
"""
if val is None we return _inner_adder.v
else we increment and return ourselves
"""
if val is None:
return _inner_adder.v
_inner_adder.v += val
return _inner_adder
_inner_adder.v = v # save value
return _inner_adder
```

This continuously returns itself (`_inner_adder`

) which, if a `val`

is supplied, increments it (`_inner_adder += val`

) and if not, returns the value as it is. Like I mentioned, it requires an extra `()`

call in order to return the incremented value:

```
>>> add(1)(2)()
3
>>> add(1)(2)(3)() # and so on..
6
```

From: stackoverflow.com/q/39038358

**★ Back to homepage or read more recommendations:**