According do docs:
exec can also be passed an Expression function.
... which is alias for:
Session => Validation[T]
Also pay attention to this excerpt from the first link:
For those who wonder how the plumbing works and how you can return a Session instead of Validation[Session] in the above examples, that’s thanks to an implicit conversion.
Now, with that info you can see that in the first case you are passing to
exec something of type
Session => Session (for which there is no implicit conversion to
Expression[Session] exists in scope) and you get compile error.
In the second case you're using placeholder/partial application for:
... which is equivalent of:
x => justDoIt("hello world")(x)
... which can benefit from implicit conversion of the return value (from
Validation[Session]) and, as a result whole expression gets inferred to be conforming
Expression[Session] which is just what
UPDATE: here is the relevant implicit that does the conversion.
UPDATE 2: to make your original example work you can simply change the return type of
justDoIt like this (to benefit from implicit conversion):
def justDoIt(param: String): Session => Validation[Session] = s => s.set("some", param)
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