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digitalmars.D - Passing variables, preserving UDAs: A Gripe

reply Nick Sabalausky <SeeWebsiteToContactMe semitwist.com> writes:
Suppose I have some code that operates on a variable's value and its 
UDAs. And I want to refactor that code into a reusable function. Sounds 
simple enough, right?

So, consider a basic example:

----------------------------
class Foo
{
      ("Hello")
     string s;
}

void doStuff(alias var)()
{
     var = "abc";

     import std.traits;
     assert(hasUDA!(var, "Hello") == true);
}

void main()
{
      ("Hello")
     string s;
     doStuff!(s);

     auto foo = new Foo();
     // Error: need 'this' for 'doStuff' of type 'pure nothrow  nogc 
 safe void()'
     doStuff!(foo.s);
}
----------------------------

Note the error. Naturally, that cannot compile, because you can't 
instantiate a template based on the value of a variable at runtime (ie, 
based on the value of `foo`).

This can be made to *compile* if you pass by runtime ref instead of alias:

----------------------------
void doStuff(T)(ref T var)
{
     var = "abc";

     import std.traits;
     assert(hasUDA!(var, "Hello") == true); // Fail!
}

void main()
{
     auto foo = new Foo();
     doStuff(foo.s); // Ok
}
----------------------------

But as expected, the UDAs are not preserved because UDAs are attached to 
declarations, not values.

This CAN be made to work, albeit very awkwardly:

----------------------------
class Foo
{
      ("Hello")
     string s;
}

void doStuff(alias var)()
{
     var = "abc";

     import std.traits;
     assert(hasUDA!(var, "Hello") == true);
}

void doStuffMember(string memberName, ObjType)(ObjType obj)
{
     __traits(getMember, obj, memberName) = "abc";

     import std.traits;
     assert(hasUDA!(__traits(getMember, obj, memberName), "Hello") == true);
}

void main()
{
      ("Hello")
     string s;
     doStuff!(s);

     auto foo = new Foo();
     doStuffMember!("s")(foo);
}
----------------------------

But now it's:

1. A complete freaking mess

2. An unintuitively inconsistent interface

3. A blatant DRY violation

4. AFAICS, cannot be DRY-ed up particularly well without either running 
into the original problem, resorting to string mixins (which comes with 
its own problems), or saying "to hell with using D's UDA interfaces 
within my function" and just passing the result of getUDAs into the 
function to be used instead, and recreating stuff like hasUDA to operate 
on the results of getUDAs instead of the symbols directly.

5. Did I mention it's A COMPLETE FREAKING MESS for what seems like a 
very simple problem?
Feb 07
next sibling parent reply Timon Gehr <timon.gehr gmx.ch> writes:
On 07.02.2017 22:59, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
 Suppose I have some code that operates on a variable's value and its
 UDAs. And I want to refactor that code into a reusable function. Sounds
 simple enough, right?

 So, consider a basic example:

 ----------------------------
 class Foo
 {
      ("Hello")
     string s;
 }

 void doStuff(alias var)()
 {
     var = "abc";

     import std.traits;
     assert(hasUDA!(var, "Hello") == true);
 }

 void main()
 {
      ("Hello")
     string s;
     doStuff!(s);

     auto foo = new Foo();
     // Error: need 'this' for 'doStuff' of type 'pure nothrow  nogc
  safe void()'
     doStuff!(foo.s);
 }
 ----------------------------

 Note the error. Naturally, that cannot compile, because you can't
 instantiate a template based on the value of a variable at runtime (ie,
 based on the value of `foo`).
It actually can compile. (It just doesn't.) There is no essential difference between the two cases.
Feb 07
parent reply John Colvin <john.loughran.colvin gmail.com> writes:
On Wednesday, 8 February 2017 at 07:57:15 UTC, Timon Gehr wrote:
 On 07.02.2017 22:59, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
 Suppose I have some code that operates on a variable's value 
 and its
 UDAs. And I want to refactor that code into a reusable 
 function. Sounds
 simple enough, right?

 So, consider a basic example:

 ----------------------------
 class Foo
 {
      ("Hello")
     string s;
 }

 void doStuff(alias var)()
 {
     var = "abc";

     import std.traits;
     assert(hasUDA!(var, "Hello") == true);
 }

 void main()
 {
      ("Hello")
     string s;
     doStuff!(s);

     auto foo = new Foo();
     // Error: need 'this' for 'doStuff' of type 'pure nothrow 
  nogc
  safe void()'
     doStuff!(foo.s);
 }
 ----------------------------

 Note the error. Naturally, that cannot compile, because you 
 can't
 instantiate a template based on the value of a variable at 
 runtime (ie,
 based on the value of `foo`).
It actually can compile. (It just doesn't.) There is no essential difference between the two cases.
How much work is it likely to be to make this happen in dmd? I imagine your frontend can do this already, but that's not a practical solution even for the medium term.
Feb 08
parent Timon Gehr <timon.gehr gmx.ch> writes:
On 08.02.2017 14:09, John Colvin wrote:
 On Wednesday, 8 February 2017 at 07:57:15 UTC, Timon Gehr wrote:
 On 07.02.2017 22:59, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
 Suppose I have some code that operates on a variable's value and its
 UDAs. And I want to refactor that code into a reusable function. Sounds
 simple enough, right?

 So, consider a basic example:

 ----------------------------
 class Foo
 {
      ("Hello")
     string s;
 }

 void doStuff(alias var)()
 {
     var = "abc";

     import std.traits;
     assert(hasUDA!(var, "Hello") == true);
 }

 void main()
 {
      ("Hello")
     string s;
     doStuff!(s);

     auto foo = new Foo();
     // Error: need 'this' for 'doStuff' of type 'pure nothrow  nogc
  safe void()'
     doStuff!(foo.s);
 }
 ----------------------------

 Note the error. Naturally, that cannot compile, because you can't
 instantiate a template based on the value of a variable at runtime (ie,
 based on the value of `foo`).
It actually can compile. (It just doesn't.) There is no essential difference between the two cases.
How much work is it likely to be to make this happen in dmd?
The problem is this: struct S{ int x; } void main(){ S s; alias y=s.x; // silently ignores the 'this' expression, uses S.x y=4; // error, no this } I have brought this up before. The answer was: "Alias declarations are for symbols, not expressions." The 'symbol' term should be generalized to include the case of base symbol together with an access path. I don't think this is very hard to do, but I don't know how much of DMDs codebase depends on the semantics being what they are.
 I imagine your frontend can do this already,
Your imagination is correct.
 but that's not a practical solution
 even for the medium term.
The frontends should converge to a common language anyway.
Feb 12
prev sibling parent reply Kagamin <spam here.lot> writes:
try this:
void main()
{
     auto foo = new Foo();
     doStuff!(Foo.s);
}
Feb 08
parent reply Nick Sabalausky <SeeWebsiteToContactMe semitwist.com> writes:
On 02/08/2017 07:38 AM, Kagamin wrote:
 try this:
 void main()
 {
      auto foo = new Foo();
      doStuff!(Foo.s);
 }
Same result: Error: need 'this' for 'doStuff' of type 'pure nothrow nogc safe void()' But even if that did compile, it still wouldn't work because doStuff wouldn't be able to access "foo.s" since "foo" isn't getting passed in in any way.
Feb 08
parent Nick Sabalausky <SeeWebsiteToContactMe semitwist.com> writes:
On 02/08/2017 01:00 PM, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
 But even if that did compile, it still wouldn't work because doStuff
 wouldn't be able to access "foo.s" since "foo" isn't getting passed in
 in any way.
I mean, in order to *set* a value for "foo.s", not *just* access UDAs.
Feb 08