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Looping and closures

In closure.cecil:

    abstract representation closure;
The closure representation is the parent of all closure expressions. Many control structures are defined on this object. But it's a regular object, so other user-defined objects can be descendants (e.g., see eval.cecil in the compiler directory tree).

method loop(c@:&():void):none;
The loop method invokes its closure argument endlessly. It never returns normally. To exit the loop, the closure must do a non-local return or invoke some closure that does (e.g., using the exit control structure). All other looping constructs are built upon this method.

method while(cond:&():bool, c:&():void):void;
while implements a standard while-do loop. E.g.:
   while({ i < last }, {
            i := i.succ;

method while_true(cond:&():bool, c:&():void):void;  - same as while_true
method while_false(cond:&():bool, c:&():void):void;
method while(cond:&():bool):void;
method while_true(cond:&():bool):void;
method while_false(cond:&():bool):void;
method until(c:&():void, cond:&():bool):void;
method until_true(c:&():void, cond:&():bool):void;
method until_false(c:&():void, cond:&():bool):void;
Other while-do and do-until loops are implemented using the {while,until}[_{true,false}] methods. The one-argument while_{true,false} methods simply evaluate their argument test until it returns true or false, respectively, presumably for its side effects. The until_ versions evaluate their body closure and then the test until the test returns true or false, as appropriate.

method exit(c@:&(exit:&():none):void):void;
method exit_value(c:&(exit:&(`T):none):`T):T;
method exit_continue(c:&(exit:&():none, continue:&():none):void):void;
method exit_value_continue(c:&(exit:&(`T):none, continue:&():none):T):T;
The exit[_value][_continue] constructs support evaluating a block of code (the body closure), breaking out of it if the break closure is evaluated inside body. The _value versions return a value. The _continue versions allows body to be restarted from the beginning when the continue closure is evaluated.

For example, to execute some code, but perhaps quit early:

        if(..., { eval(break) }); - skip the rest of the body of exit
        - fall off bottom
This idiom supports breaking out of any sort of looping or non-looping piece of code: just wrap the thing in an exit or exit_value control structure and invoke the break block where the control structure should be exited.

method loop_exit(c:&(exit:&():none):void):void;
method loop_exit_value(c:&(exit:&(`T):none):void):T;
method loop_exit_continue(c:&(exit:&():none, continue:&():none):void):void;
method loop_exit_value_continue(c:&(exit:&(`T):none, continue:&():none):void):T;
method loop_continue(c:&(continue:&():none):void):void;
For loops, some additional methods are defined for convenience.

The loop[_exit[_value]][_continue] methods evaluate the body closure again and again until the break closure is evaluated inside body. For the _continue version, execution of body can be restarted from the beginning by evaluating the continue closure. The _value version returns a value.

To write a simple loop with a break statement:

        if(..., { eval(break) }); - exit loop conditionally
        - loop
To loop and compute a value:
    let result:int := loop_exit_value(&(break:&(int):none){
        if(..., { eval(break, theResult) }); - exit loop, returning theResult
If both break and continue are desired for an arbitrary iterating construct, such as do, two exit methods should be used, as in the following example. The outer method encloses the iterator and provides breaking out of the loop, while the inner method encloses the loop body and provides continuing to the next iteration:
  exit(&(break:&():none){{                - for i := 0 to 10-1 do
              if(..., break);        - break out of loop
              if(..., continue);     - continue the iteration by jumping
                                     - to the end of the loop body

template object case_pair[T];
  extend type case_pair[`T] subtypes case_pair[`S >= T];
  field cond(@:case_pair[`T]):&():bool;
  field stmt(@:case_pair[`T]):&():T;
method case(c:&():bool, s:&():`T):case_pair[T];
method else(s:&():`T):case_pair[T];
method switch(t@:ordered_collection[case_pair[`T]]):T;
method unrolled_switch(t@:i_vector[case_pair[`T]]):T;
Case statements are supported through the switch, case, and else methods. The elements of switch's argument collection (usually a vector literal expression) are evaluated in turn, until one of the test blocks evaluates to true or the else case is found. Then the corresponding do block is evaluated and its result returned as the result of the switch method. (Thus switch is very much like Lisp's cond.) The switch method dies with a run-time error if none of the cases match and there is no else case. To illustrate:
    let result:string :=
      switch([case({ x < 0 }, { "negative" }),
              case({ x = 0 }, { "zero" }),
              else(           { "positive" })]);
Unfortunately, unlike most Cecil control structures, the switch construct is not as efficient as the C version: a vector object is created and filled in with objects containing real closures, and a bunch of messages get sent. So you might wish to use chained if expressions instead of switch expressions in the most time-critical parts of your program. (Recently, some optimizations have been implemented that often transform switch statements of this form into an if-then-else chain, but only if you invoke unrolled_switch instead of switch, and object creations still remain unless debug_support is disabled.)

There's an inconsistency between the closure representation and closure types, however. The closure representation is not parameterized, but closure types (using the &(...):... syntax) effectively are parameterized by the closure's argument and result types. The closure representation should be parameterized, too. The language defines the standard contravariant subtyping relationship among closure types, i.e.:

  extend &(T1, ..., TN):T subtypes &(`S1 >= T1, ..., `SN >= TN):(`S <= T)

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