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Subject: [std-proposals] Idea of Lambda Classes
From: Andrew Tomazos (andrewtomazos_at_[hidden])
Date: 2021-01-11 22:55:02


I have an idea for a language feature we'll call Lambda Classes.

As placeholder syntax let's say like:

    lambda-class:
        lambda-introducer : base-specifier-list_opt {
member-specification_opt }

So for example:

    auto my_lambda_class = [cap1,cap2]: {
        void f() { /*...*/; }
        void g() { /*...*/; }
    };

A lambda class is to a normal class object as a lambda function is to a
normal function.

A lambda class is an expression that is introduced with the usual capture
sequence, but is followed by a colon, a (possibly empty) base class list,
and then a class definition body.

It constructs a new anonymous class type in the same fashion as a normal
lambda, capturing any variables as specified in the lambda-introducer,
derives the new class type from any bases in the base-specifier-list, and
adds any members given in the member-specification, and the value of the
expression is the (singular) object of that new class type.

The motivation is that there are many use cases where an API asks for an
object of a class type that implements some interface - either implementing
a (virtual) polymorphic interface (run-time polymorphism) in traditional
OOP, or that models a certain concept (compile-time polymorphism) in
template meta-programming - and in many of both of those use case families,
the response is to create a single-use class is created just to adapt to
that API. Like lambda functions, lambda classes help remove a lot of the
boilerplate and indirection in such use cases.

Let me know if there is any enthusiasm for this and I'll write up a proper
draft.



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