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digitalmars.D - forward ranges must offer a save() function

reply Andrei Alexandrescu <SeeWebsiteForEmail erdani.org> writes:
If we want to allow people to create ranges that are classes (as opposed 
to structs) the requirement for a save() function is a must. This is 
because copying class ranges with

Range copy = original;

only creates a new alias for original; the two share the same state.

So this solves our forward vs. input ranges dilemma quite nicely: the 
save() function at the same time allows distinction between the two 
(input ranges don't define a save() function) and also allows ranges to 
be implemented as classes as well as structs.

To summarize:

Input ranges: empty front popFront

Forward ranges: + save

Bidir ranges: + back popBack

Random-access ranges: + opIndex opIndexAssign

The disadvantage is that all non-input ranges must define save(), which 
is a trivial functions in most cases:

Range save() { return this; }



Andrei
May 30 2009
next sibling parent reply bearophile <bearophileHUGS lycos.com> writes:
Andrei Alexandrescu:
 If we want to allow people to create ranges that are classes (as opposed 
 to structs) the requirement for a save() function is a must. This is 
 because copying class ranges with
 Range copy = original;
 only creates a new alias for original; the two share the same state.

Do you mean a function to be called with the "dup" attribute? Maybe such method can be called dup()? Bye, bearophile
May 30 2009
parent Frits van Bommel <fvbommel REMwOVExCAPSs.nl> writes:
bearophile wrote:
 Andrei Alexandrescu:
 If we want to allow people to create ranges that are classes (as opposed 
 to structs) the requirement for a save() function is a must. This is 
 because copying class ranges with
 Range copy = original;
 only creates a new alias for original; the two share the same state.

Do you mean a function to be called with the "dup" attribute? Maybe such method can be called dup()?

Except as I understand it save() is only supposed to save the iteration state, not duplicate the elements being iterated over. So it has different semantics that dup. For arrays, the definition would be something like this: T[] save(T)(T[] arr) { return arr; } (presumably implemented in std.range or something)
May 30 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Rainer Deyke <rainerd eldwood.com> writes:
Andrei Alexandrescu wrote:
 If we want to allow people to create ranges that are classes (as opposed
 to structs) the requirement for a save() function is a must. This is
 because copying class ranges with
 
 Range copy = original;
 
 only creates a new alias for original; the two share the same state.

Allowing ranges to have either value or reference semantics is a disaster, because it turns two very common and very obvious operations (assignment and argument passing) into implementation-defined behavior. I prefer value semantics over reference semantics, but using either one consistently would be infinitely preferable over leaving the choice to the implementor. -- Rainer Deyke - rainerd eldwood.com
May 30 2009
parent reply bearophile <bearophileHUGS lycos.com> writes:
Rainer Deyke:
 Allowing ranges to have either value or reference semantics is a
 disaster,

At the moment you can put the methods that define a range into a struct, or inside an class (just like you can put opApply inside a struct or class). What do you suggest? To allow such methods inside classes only? Uhm. Bye, bearophile
May 30 2009
parent Rainer Deyke <rainerd eldwood.com> writes:
bearophile wrote:
 Rainer Deyke:
 Allowing ranges to have either value or reference semantics is a 
 disaster,

At the moment you can put the methods that define a range into a struct, or inside an class (just like you can put opApply inside a struct or class). What do you suggest? To allow such methods inside classes only? Uhm.

Ranges are defined as a concept. A concept is not just a list of methods, but a specification for the semantics of the type. I suggest that the "range" concept unambiguously defines the semantics of the assignment operations. My preference is to use value semantics. Move semantics would also work. Both would require a 'struct' type (which can be a thin wrapper around a 'class' type). (My real preference is to remove the value/reference type schism entirely, but that's not what I'm suggesting here.) -- Rainer Deyke - rainerd eldwood.com
May 30 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent Jason House <jason.james.house gmail.com> writes:
Andrei Alexandrescu wrote:

 If we want to allow people to create ranges that are classes (as opposed
 to structs) the requirement for a save() function is a must. This is
 because copying class ranges with
 
 Range copy = original;
 
 only creates a new alias for original; the two share the same state.
 
 So this solves our forward vs. input ranges dilemma quite nicely: the
 save() function at the same time allows distinction between the two
 (input ranges don't define a save() function) and also allows ranges to
 be implemented as classes as well as structs.
 
 To summarize:
 
 Input ranges: empty front popFront
 
 Forward ranges: + save
 
 Bidir ranges: + back popBack
 
 Random-access ranges: + opIndex opIndexAssign
 
 The disadvantage is that all non-input ranges must define save(), which
 is a trivial functions in most cases:
 
 Range save() { return this; }
 
 
 
 Andrei

What about passing of ranges into functions? Does this mean that all algorithms must call save at the start of the algorithm? Or will callers of functions have to do defensive saves to avoid changes to their range? Maybe all ranges be passed as ref arguments now? I don't think the answer is as simple as just having a save function.
May 30 2009
prev sibling parent reply "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> writes:
On Sat, 30 May 2009 13:18:06 -0400, Andrei Alexandrescu  
<SeeWebsiteForEmail erdani.org> wrote:

 If we want to allow people to create ranges that are classes (as opposed  
 to structs) the requirement for a save() function is a must. This is  
 because copying class ranges with

 Range copy = original;

 only creates a new alias for original; the two share the same state.

 So this solves our forward vs. input ranges dilemma quite nicely: the  
 save() function at the same time allows distinction between the two  
 (input ranges don't define a save() function) and also allows ranges to  
 be implemented as classes as well as structs.

 To summarize:

 Input ranges: empty front popFront

 Forward ranges: + save

 Bidir ranges: + back popBack

 Random-access ranges: + opIndex opIndexAssign

 The disadvantage is that all non-input ranges must define save(), which  
 is a trivial functions in most cases:

 Range save() { return this; }

I have two questions that came to mind: 1. What is the use case for classes as ranges? I can't think of one. With structs, you can control the aliasing behavior when it is copied, so the issue is less critical. 2. Even if there is a use case, why put the band-aid on the ranges that aren't affected? That is, why affect all ranges except input ranges when input ranges are the issue? Even if this does work, you are going to have mistakes where you copy the range instead of calling .save, which will compile successfully. Since you have to special case it, why not just put a flag in the non-copyable input ranges? Like an enum noCopy = true; or something. Then you can special case those and have them fail to compile when they don't support the algo. For classes, you wouldn't need to do this, because they are by default reference types, and this can be statically checked. The point is, make the frequent usage easy, and the one-time range design require the careful usage. -Steve
Jun 01 2009
parent Tim Matthews <tim.matthews7 gmail.com> writes:
Steven Schveighoffer wrote:

 The point is, make the frequent usage easy, and the one-time range 
 design require the careful usage.
 
 -Steve

+1 this. easy to do the right thing, hard to the wrong thing.
Jun 02 2009