Say I have a class with multiple parameters:

case class Foo(a: String, b: String, c: String, d: String, ... )

Now say I want to parse an instance of Foo from a Map[String, String]:

// returns either the parsed Foo as Right, or error message as Left
// example: Map("a" -> "1", "b" -> "2" ... ) returns Foo("1", "2", ... )
def parse(fromMap: Map[String, String]): Either[String, Foo]

The names of the keys are irrelevant; this is not a reflection type of question.

My implementation looks something like this:

fromMap.get("a") match {
    case None => Left("couldn't find a")
    case Some(a) => fromMap.get("b") match {
                                case Some(last) => Right(Foo(a, ... , last))

But when there are many parameters, the indentation is just too extreme, and that makes it hard to understand the logic of the method (it may be a bit more complex than just a map lookup).

Can you think of a more readable code for such a use-case?

1 Answer 1


You could create your custom method for extracting Map values as an Either instance and use them in a for comprehension:

implicit final class MapOps[A, B](self: Map[A, B]) {
  def getAsEither(key: A): Either[String, B] = {
    self.get(key) match {
      case Some(value) => Right(value)
      case _ => Left(s"Key not found: $key")

case class Foo(a: String, b: String, c: String, d: String)

def parse(input: Map[String, String]): Either[String, Foo] = {
  for {
    a <- input.getAsEither("a").right
    b <- input.getAsEither("b").right
    c <- input.getAsEither("c").right
    d <- input.getAsEither("d").right
  } yield Foo(a, b, c, d)

This could be shortened a little (all those .right invocations could be removed) but would require using right-biased implementations of the Either (e.g. Scala'z \/ or Cats' Xor)

  • I pretty much dislike implicit and I don't see the need for the implicit Map here; passing it as an argument to getAsEither still persists the readable indentation. Other than that, the for-comprehension is a neat solution, thanks!
    – Eyal Roth
    May 25, 2016 at 9:37

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