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digitalmars.D - better error messages on isInputRange, etc.

reply "Adam D. Ruppe" <destructionator gmail.com> writes:
When isInputRange fails, it doesn't tell us why. Did you not add 
empty? Or misspell popFront? It just tells you it isn't a range.

I'm thinking a better way might be to write the check like this:

// compile a regular function so we get full error from the 
compiler...
bool checkInputRange(T)() {
     if(!__ctfe) { // don't want to *actually* run it
         T t = void;
         if(t.empty) {}
         t.popFront();
         auto f = t.front;
     }
     return true;
}

// and isInputRange is basically the same as today, but the
// helper function isn't anonymous
template isInputRange(T) {
     enum isInputRange = is(typeof(checkInputRange!T));
}



Consider this:

struct Test {
     int[] s;
     bool eampty() { return s.length == 0; }
     int front() { return s[0]; }
     void popFront() { s = s[1 .. $]; }
}
static assert(isInputRange!Test);

cte.d(33): Error: static assert  (isInputRange!(Test)) is false


We know it failed, but we don't know why. Change the assert to 
this:

static assert(checkInputRange!Test);

And we get a more helpful error:
cte.d(4): Error: no property 'empty' for type 'Test', did you 
mean 'eampty'?


Still not perfect, it points to the helper function line, but at 
least the "no property 'empty' for type 'Test'" is a lot more 
specific.

Fix the typo and it all works.



Any better ideas? I just sometimes get frustrated, especially 
with more complex ranges, when the duck type doesn't work and it 
is hard to find why. This is one idea.

On a similar vein, template constraints can lead to some ugly 
messages. Why didn't it match any of them? But I think this has 
to be a compiler change and might spam all kinds of nonsense, 
whereas tweaking isInputRange etc. is a fairly conservative 
change that I think will help a lot too.
Feb 26 2014
parent "H. S. Teoh" <hsteoh quickfur.ath.cx> writes:
On Thu, Feb 27, 2014 at 04:12:02AM +0000, Adam D. Ruppe wrote:
[...]
 Any better ideas? I just sometimes get frustrated, especially with
 more complex ranges, when the duck type doesn't work and it is hard
 to find why. This is one idea.
 
 On a similar vein, template constraints can lead to some ugly
 messages. Why didn't it match any of them? But I think this has to
 be a compiler change and might spam all kinds of nonsense, whereas
 tweaking isInputRange etc. is a fairly conservative change that I
 think will help a lot too.

We've talked about this before. I proposed the idea that sig constraints should be used to pick up *all* "logical" types that you want to support, and static ifs used to narrow down which subset of the accepted logical types is actually implemented for. Example: auto sort(R)(R range) if (isInputRange!R) // N.B. we accept *any* range: // "sort a range" is the logical // category we cover for. { // N.B. our implementation can only handle random access // ranges, so use static if. static if (!isRandomAccessRange!R) static assert(0, "Don't know how to sort a non-random access range"); else { // implementation here } } But it's not perfect, though. T -- Real men don't take backups. They put their source on a public FTP-server and let the world mirror it. -- Linus Torvalds
Feb 26 2014