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digitalmars.D - Implicit integer casting

reply Manu <turkeyman gmail.com> writes:
So D is really finicky with integer casts. Basically everything that might
produce a loss of data warning in C is an outright compile error.
This results in a lot of explicit casting.

Now I don't take issue with this, actually I think it's awesome, but I
think there's one very important usability feature missing from the
compiler with such strict casting rules...
Does the compiler currently track the range of a value, if it is known? And
if it is known, can the compiler stop complaining about down casts and
perform the cast silently when it knows the range of values is safe.

int x = 123456;
x &= 0xFF; // x is now in range 0..255; now fits in a ubyte
ubyte y = x; // assign silently, cast can safely be implicit

I have about 200 lines of code that would be so much more readable if this
were supported.
I'm finding that in this code I'm writing, casts are taking up more space
on many lines than the actual term being assigned. They are really getting
in the way and obscuring the readability.
Not only masks, comparisons are also often used of limit the range of
values. Add D's contracts, there is good chance the compiler will have
fairly rich information about the range of integers, and it should consider
that while performing casts.
Mar 18 2012
parent reply "Tove" <tove fransson.se> writes:
On Sunday, 18 March 2012 at 19:08:54 UTC, Manu wrote:
 So D is really finicky with integer casts. Basically everything 
 that might
 produce a loss of data warning in C is an outright compile 
 error.
 This results in a lot of explicit casting.

 Now I don't take issue with this, actually I think it's 
 awesome, but I
 think there's one very important usability feature missing from 
 the
 compiler with such strict casting rules...
 Does the compiler currently track the range of a value, if it 
 is known? And
 if it is known, can the compiler stop complaining about down 
 casts and
 perform the cast silently when it knows the range of values is 
 safe.

 int x = 123456;
 x &= 0xFF; // x is now in range 0..255; now fits in a ubyte
 ubyte y = x; // assign silently, cast can safely be implicit

 I have about 200 lines of code that would be so much more 
 readable if this
 were supported.
 I'm finding that in this code I'm writing, casts are taking up 
 more space
 on many lines than the actual term being assigned. They are 
 really getting
 in the way and obscuring the readability.
 Not only masks, comparisons are also often used of limit the 
 range of
 values. Add D's contracts, there is good chance the compiler 
 will have
 fairly rich information about the range of integers, and it 
 should consider
 that while performing casts.

Walter even wrote an article about it: http://drdobbs.com/blogs/tools/229300211
Mar 18 2012
parent reply Manu <turkeyman gmail.com> writes:
On 18 March 2012 21:15, Tove <tove fransson.se> wrote:

 On Sunday, 18 March 2012 at 19:08:54 UTC, Manu wrote:

 So D is really finicky with integer casts. Basically everything that might
 produce a loss of data warning in C is an outright compile error.
 This results in a lot of explicit casting.

 Now I don't take issue with this, actually I think it's awesome, but I
 think there's one very important usability feature missing from the
 compiler with such strict casting rules...
 Does the compiler currently track the range of a value, if it is known?
 And
 if it is known, can the compiler stop complaining about down casts and
 perform the cast silently when it knows the range of values is safe.

 int x = 123456;
 x &= 0xFF; // x is now in range 0..255; now fits in a ubyte
 ubyte y = x; // assign silently, cast can safely be implicit

 I have about 200 lines of code that would be so much more readable if this
 were supported.
 I'm finding that in this code I'm writing, casts are taking up more space
 on many lines than the actual term being assigned. They are really getting
 in the way and obscuring the readability.
 Not only masks, comparisons are also often used of limit the range of
 values. Add D's contracts, there is good chance the compiler will have
 fairly rich information about the range of integers, and it should
 consider
 that while performing casts.

Walter even wrote an article about it: http://drdobbs.com/blogs/**tools/229300211<http://drdobbs.com/blogs/tools/229300211>

Interesting. This article claims: Can we do better? Yes, with "Value Range Propagation", a historically obscure compiler optimization that became a handy feature in the D programming language. But it doesn't seem to work. Am I just doing something wrong?
Mar 18 2012
parent =?utf-8?Q?Simen_Kj=C3=A6r=C3=A5s?= <simen.kjaras gmail.com> writes:
On Sun, 18 Mar 2012 20:30:15 +0100, Manu <turkeyman gmail.com> wrote:

 On 18 March 2012 21:15, Tove <tove fransson.se> wrote:

 On Sunday, 18 March 2012 at 19:08:54 UTC, Manu wrote:

 So D is really finicky with integer casts. Basically everything that  
 might
 produce a loss of data warning in C is an outright compile error.
 This results in a lot of explicit casting.

 Now I don't take issue with this, actually I think it's awesome, but I
 think there's one very important usability feature missing from the
 compiler with such strict casting rules...
 Does the compiler currently track the range of a value, if it is known?
 And
 if it is known, can the compiler stop complaining about down casts and
 perform the cast silently when it knows the range of values is safe.

 int x = 123456;
 x &= 0xFF; // x is now in range 0..255; now fits in a ubyte
 ubyte y = x; // assign silently, cast can safely be implicit

 I have about 200 lines of code that would be so much more readable if  
 this
 were supported.
 I'm finding that in this code I'm writing, casts are taking up more  
 space
 on many lines than the actual term being assigned. They are really  
 getting
 in the way and obscuring the readability.
 Not only masks, comparisons are also often used of limit the range of
 values. Add D's contracts, there is good chance the compiler will have
 fairly rich information about the range of integers, and it should
 consider
 that while performing casts.

Walter even wrote an article about it: http://drdobbs.com/blogs/**tools/229300211<http://drdobbs.com/blogs/tools/229300211>

Interesting. This article claims: Can we do better? Yes, with "Value Range Propagation", a historically obscure compiler optimization that became a handy feature in the D programming language. But it doesn't seem to work. Am I just doing something wrong?

It only works within one expression. This works: int n = foo(); byte b = n & 0xFF; This does not: int n = foo() & 0xFF; byte b = n;
Mar 18 2012