After briefly getting into racket's vectors, I am becoming a bit more hopeful of finishing the Ray Tracer Challenge in racket. They are default mutable and come with analogs for most of the standard list functions (map, filter, etc.). While I like pure functional programming and understand the value, mutability can provide great performance improvements in some cases (like ray tracing). I'll be using vectors in the canvas struct, which contains an RGB tuple for each pixel in the image we are trying to generate. I believe that the source of the issues I ran into in Haskell was precisely writing pixels to the canvas. Instead of having to copy the canvas to do writes, simply get a reference to the pixel data and update a color at a specific location. No need to worry about passing around and using as State monad (which I still have not figured out how to do), just update the value in place. This is exciting!
On a related note, I can never figure out a naming for "mathematical
vectors" when using them alongside vector containers. I need to use
make-vector to create the pixel data container.
This meant that I needed to rename my 3D vector (and point since they
are both "tuples"). I've gone with
this case, but I'd rather call the container an ArrayList
Or, since "list" is the default container type
in racket, Array would work just fine and make sense.