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Subject: Re: [std-proposals] Meta types
From: Михаил Найденов (mihailnajdenov_at_[hidden])
Date: 2020-02-04 07:16:37


This definitely steps into both "language variant" and Pattern Matching
territory.
I am not sure what optimization we can expect from "language variant", but
PM should give us close to your ideal code

void main(int argc, char const* const* argv){
    inspect(halve(args))
      Numeric x => std::cout << "You passed 2*(" << x << ") arguments\n";
    return 0;
}

On Tue, Feb 4, 2020 at 1:27 PM Jake Arkinstall via Std-Proposals <
std-proposals_at_[hidden]> wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> I want to put this out there and see if there is any interest or not for a
> far future C++ version. It's along the lines of something I use for data
> pipelines with components that return one of many possible types (or yield
> multiple of them).
>
> I want the compiler to be able to effectively optimise several return
> types at compile time, without resorting to the Variant's use of
> double-branching at runtime (branch on a condition, create some T, wrap it
> in a variant, store it in X, unwrap X, branch on T). I also want it to feel
> more natural to use, almost as effortless as python, but with the power of
> C++'s type engine.
>
> The use of callbacks allows the compiler to reason about different
> branches rather effectively - in both clang and gcc, with full optimisation
> enabled, this produces far smaller binaries, faster runtimes and (on the
> vanity side) much nicer assembly.
>
> Here's the idea:
>
> Through templates, a single template function can generate many functions,
> each determined by the signatures of one or more calls that exist in the
> code being compiled. It is possible to use this mechanism to flip that idea
> on its head, allow multiple return types T, and generate functions at the
> call site to handle each T.
>
> Consider a placeholder type, which I'll call var, that acts as "one of
> many types, to be determined at compile time". This keyword can be applied
> as a return type to a function:
>
> var halve(unsigned i){
> if(i % 2 == 0){
> return i / 2; // unsigned path
> }else{
> return i * 0.5; // double path
> }
> }
>
> And it can be used as a holder for that return type:
>
> void main(int argc, char const* const* argv){
> var x = halve(args);
> std::cout << "You passed 2*(" << x << ") arguments\n";
> return 0;
> }
>
> This can be achieved by injecting callbacks which have x defined as the
> type being passed during invocation. In this case, the var function could
> be rewritten, implicitly, as:
>
> template<typename callback_t>
> void halve(callback_t&& callback, unsigned i){
> if(i % 2 == 0){
> std::invoke(callback, i / 2);
> return;
> }else{
> std::invoke(callback, i * 0.5);
> return;
> }
> }
>
> And the function with the var placeholder could be rewritten as:
>
> struct main_x_handler{
> void operator()(unsigned x){
> std::cout << "You passed 2*(" << x << ") arguments\n";
> return 0;
> }
> void operator()(double x){
> std::cout << "You passed 2*(" << x << ") arguments\n";
> return 0;
> }
> };
> void main(int argc, char const* const* argv){
> return halve(main_x_handler{}, argc);
> }
>
> such that all code that follows the first read of x is diverted into a
> callback that caters for each possible type that x can adopt.
>
> Furthermore, we can add a "multivar" keyword that allows yielding, rather
> than returning after the first invocation of the callback. Placed in a
> loop, this invokes the remainder of the calling function's body for each
> such yield.
>
> multivar get_halves(unsigned start, unsigned end){
> for(unsigned i = start; i < end; ++i){
> yield halve(i);
> }
> }
> void foo(unsigned start, unsigned end){
> for(var x : get_halves(start, end)){
> // use x
> }
> }
>
> This is particularly useful for me, at least, because I use cleaning
> methods that may hold back events until further information is received, at
> which point it flushes many events in sequence.
>
> This proposal will likely also include a mechanism for switching on types.
> I'm also thinking of using template/concept syntax in place of var.
>
> The idea is just a rough sketch at the moment, and I don't want to take it
> too far without some feedback.
>
> Thanks,
> Jake
> --
> Std-Proposals mailing list
> Std-Proposals_at_[hidden]
> https://lists.isocpp.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/std-proposals
>



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