rfc:short_closures

Differences

This shows you the differences between two versions of the page.

Link to this comparison view

Next revision
Previous revision
rfc:short_closures [2015/05/01 01:44]
bwoebi created
rfc:short_closures [2017/09/22 13:28] (current)
Line 1: Line 1:
 ====== PHP RFC: Short Closures ====== ====== PHP RFC: Short Closures ======
-  * Version: 0.1+  * Version: 0.2
   * Date: 2015-05-01   * Date: 2015-05-01
   * Author: Bob Weinand, bobwei9@hotmail.com   * Author: Bob Weinand, bobwei9@hotmail.com
-  * Status: ​Draft+  * Status: ​Declined / Withdrawn in favor of http://​wiki.php.net/​rfc/​arrow_functions
   * First Published at: http://​wiki.php.net/​rfc/​short_closures   * First Published at: http://​wiki.php.net/​rfc/​short_closures
  
 ===== Introduction ===== ===== Introduction =====
-When writing partial ​functions, ​quick Closures ​to be applied to an arrayor just a minimal lambda ​to do nothingwe always have to do this tedious work and write //​function ​() use ($thousand, $vars{ return $thousand * $vars; }// — This whole boilerplate. It just doesn'​t read nor write nicely inlined in line. Therefore this RFC to make code more legible and writeable.+Anonymous ​functions, ​also known as closures, allow the creation of functions which have no specified name. They are most useful as the value of callback parameters, but they have many other uses. 
 + 
 +The current implementation of anonymous functions in PHP is quite verbose compared ​to other languages. That makes using anonymous functions be more difficult than it could be, as there is both more to type, and more importantly the current implementation makes it hard to read (and so maintaincode that uses anonymous functions. 
 + 
 +A better syntax encourages functional code and partial applications ​(see the examples), which are powerful tools people writing PHP code should be able to use as easily as they can be used elsewhere.
  
 ===== Proposal ===== ===== Proposal =====
-This RFC proposes the introduction of the ~> operator.+This RFC proposes the introduction of the ~> operator ​to allow shorthand creation of anonymous functions to reduce the amount of '​boilerplate'​ needed to use them.
  
-The ~> operator defines a shorthand Closure which automatically use()'all the used compiled variables ​(meansvariable variablescompact() etcwon'​t ​be imported from defining call frameonly normally defined ​$variables).+Current code:   
 +<code php> 
 +function ($x) { 
 +    return $x * 2; 
 +
 +</​code>​ 
 + 
 +would be equivalent to the new syntax: 
 +<code php> 
 +$x ~> $x * 2 
 +</​code>​ 
 + 
 +Anonymous functions defined in this way will automatically ​''​use ()'' ​all of the (compiledvariables ​in the Closure body. See the '​Variable binding'​ section for more details. 
 + 
 +==== Syntax ==== 
 +The syntax used to define a short hand anonymous function would be: 
 + 
 +  * Parameters. When the function has a single parameter the surrounding parentheses (aka round brackets) may be omitted. For functions with multiple parameters the parentheses are required. 
 +  * The new short closure operator ~> 
 +  * The body of the anonymous function. When the body of the function is a single expression the surrounding curly brackets and return keyword may be omitted. When the body of the function is not a single expressionthe braces ​(and eventual return statementare required. 
 + 
 +I.e. all of the following would be equivalent:​ 
 +<code php> 
 +$x ~> $x * 2 
 +$x ~> { return $x * 2;} 
 +($x) ~> $x * 2 
 +($x) ~> { return $x * 2; } 
 +</​code>​ 
 + 
 +Omitting the parentheses when the function has multiple parameters will result in a parse error: 
 +<code php> 
 +$x, $y ~> {$x + $y}  // Unexpected ','​ 
 +($x, $y~> $x + $y // correct 
 +</​code>​ 
 + 
 +Using the return keyword when braces have been omitted, will similarly give a parse error: 
 +<code php> 
 +($x, $y) ~> return $x + $y; // Unexpected T_RETURN 
 +($x, $y) ~> { return $x + $y; } // correct 
 +</​code>​ 
 + 
 +In case of no parameters, an empty parenthesis pair is needed. 
 +<code php> 
 +~> 2 * 3; // Unexpected T_TILDED_ARROW 
 +() ~> 2 * 3; // correct, will return 6 when called 
 +</​code>​
  
-Concrete syntax is (~> is right associative with highest ​possible ​associativity):+Concrete syntax is (~> is right associative with lowest ​possible ​precedence):
 <​code>​ <​code>​
   ( parameter_list ) ~> expression   ( parameter_list ) ~> expression
Line 25: Line 74:
 | $variable ~> { statements } | $variable ~> { statements }
 </​code>​ </​code>​
 +
 When a bare expression is used as second parameter, its result will be the return value of the Closure. When a bare expression is used as second parameter, its result will be the return value of the Closure.
  
-===== Examples ===== +Also, parameter_list does //not// include default values nor type hints. See also the 'Type Hints and Return Types' section at the bottom.  
-==== Partial application ​====+ 
 +//​Discussion Point: the { statements } syntax// 
 +This RFC stance is that chained short Closures followed by a full Closure would look quite weird: ''​$foo ~> $bar ~> function ($baz) use ($foo, $bar) { /* ... */ }''​. Instead of a nicer ''​$foo ~> $bar ~> $baz ~> { /* ... */ }''​. Which is why they are supported. That syntax is **not** an invitation to randomly abuse it and use it in totally inappropriate places. 
 + 
 +//​Discussion Point: single parameter//​ 
 +While it might appear not consistent, with any other number of parameters, a lot of languages having extra short Closures allow this. Also, Closures with just one parameter are relatively common, so this RFC author thinks it is worth supporting that. 
 + 
 +==== Variable binding ​==== 
 +The position of this RFC is that the shorthand syntax is to allow anonymous functions to be used as easily as possible. Therefore, rather than requiring individual variables be bound to the closure through the ''​use ($x)''​ syntax, instead all variables used in the body of the anonymous function will automatically be bound to the anonymous function closure from the defining scope. 
 + 
 +The variable binding is always **by value**. There are no implicit references. If these are needed, the current syntax with ''​use ()''​ can be used. 
 + 
 +For example:
 <code php> <code php>
-function ​partialAdd() { +$a = 1; 
-    return $left ~> $right ~> $left + $right;+function ​foo(array $input, $b) { 
 +    $c = rand(0, 4); 
 + 
 +    return ​array_map($~> ($x * 2) + $+ $c, $input);
 } }
 +</​code>​
  
-/* Just to compare ​to the old equivalent */ +Variables $b and $c would be bound automatically ​to the anonymous ​function, and so be usable inside it. Variable $a is not in the scope of the function, and so is not bound, and so cannot be used inside the closure. e.g. this code will give an error: 
-function ​partialAdd() { +<code php> 
-    ​return ​function($left) { +$a = 1; 
-        return ​function($right) use ($left+function ​foo(array $input, ​$b) { 
-            return ​$left + $right; +    // Notice: Undefined variable: a in %s on line %d 
-        } +    ​return ​array_map($x ~> ($x * 2$+ $a, $input);
-    }+
 } }
 </​code>​ </​code>​
 +
 +If a user wants to avoid binding all variables automatically they can use the current syntax to define the anonymous function.
 +
 +===== Examples =====
 +These examples cover some simple operations and show how the short-hand syntax is easier to read compared to the existing long-hand syntax.
 +
 +==== Array sort with user function ====
 +Sort ''​$array''​ which contains objects which have a property named ''​val''​.
 +
 +Current syntax:
 <code php> <code php>
-/* Thanks to Levi Morrison for that example */ +usort($array, ​ 
-function ​reduce(callable ​$fn) { + function($a, $b) { 
-    return $initial ~> $input ~{ + return $a->val <=> $b->val;  
-        $accumulator ​= $initial+
-        ​foreach ​($input as $value) { +); 
-            $accumulator ​= $fn($accumulator, $value);+</​code>​ 
 + 
 +New syntax: 
 +<code php> 
 +usort($array, ($a, $b) ~> $a->val <=$b->val)
 +</​code>​ 
 + 
 +==== Extracting data from an array and summing it ==== 
 +Current syntax: 
 +<code php> 
 +function sumEventScores($events, ​$scores) { 
 +    $types array_map( 
 +        function($event) { 
 +            return $event['​type'​];​ 
 +        }, 
 +        $events 
 +    ); 
 + 
 +    return array_reduce( 
 +        ​$types, 
 +        function($sum, $typeuse ($scores) { 
 +            return $sum + $scores[$type];
         }         }
-        return $accumulator;​ +    );
-    };+
 } }
 +</​code>​
  
-/* Compared ​to */+New syntax: 
 +<code php> 
 +function sumEventScores($events,​ $scores) { 
 +    $types = array_map($event ~> $event['​type'​],​ $events); 
 +    return array_reduce($types,​ ($sum, $type) ~> $sum + $scores[$type]);​ 
 +
 +</​code>​ 
 + 
 +The calling code for this function would be: 
 + 
 +<code php> 
 +$events = array( 
 +    array( 
 +        '​type'​ =>'​CreateEvent',​ 
 +        '​date'​ => '​2015-05-01T16:​19:​33+00:​00'​ 
 +    ), 
 +    array( 
 +        '​type'​ =>'​PushEvent',​ 
 +        '​date'​ => '​2015-05-01T16:​19:​54+00:​00'​ 
 +    ), 
 +    //... 
 +); 
 + 
 +$scores = [ 
 +    '​PushEvent' ​         => 5, 
 +    '​CreateEvent' ​       => 4, 
 +    '​IssuesEvent' ​       => 3, 
 +    '​CommitCommentEvent'​ => 2 
 +]; 
 + 
 +sumEventScores($events,​ $scores); 
 +</​code>​ 
 + 
 +==== Lazy evaluation ==== 
 +It may be necessary to have code only evaluated under specific conditions, like debugging code: 
 +<code php> 
 +function runDebug(callable $func) { 
 +    ​/* only run under debug situations, but don't let it interrupt program flow, just log it */ 
 +    if (DEBUG) { 
 +        try { 
 +            $func(); 
 +        } catch (Exception $e) { /*... */ } 
 +    } 
 +
 + 
 +$myFile = "/​etc/​passwd";​ 
 + 
 +/* Old code */ 
 +runDebug(function() use ($myFile) { /* yeah, we have to use use ($myFile) here, which isn't really helpful in this context ​*/  
 +    if (!file_exists($myFile)) { 
 +        throw new Exception("​File $myFile does not exist..."​);​ 
 +    } 
 +}); 
 + 
 +/* New code */ 
 +runDebug(() ~> { 
 +    if (!file_exists($myFile)) { 
 +        throw new Exception("​File $myFile does not exist..."​);​ 
 +    } 
 +}); 
 + 
 +/* still continue here, unlike an assert which would unwind the stack frame here ... */ 
 +</​code>​ 
 + 
 +==== Partial application ==== 
 +The shorthand syntax makes it easier to write functional code like a reducer by using the ability of shorthand anonymous functions to be chained together easily. 
 + 
 +Current syntax: 
 +<code php>
 function reduce(callable $fn) { function reduce(callable $fn) {
     return function($initial) use ($fn) {     return function($initial) use ($fn) {
-        return function ($input) use ($fn, $initial) {+        return function($input) use ($fn, $initial) {
             $accumulator = $initial;             $accumulator = $initial;
             foreach ($input as $value) {             foreach ($input as $value) {
Line 69: Line 233:
 </​code>​ </​code>​
  
-==== Quick applications to arrays ====+New syntax:
 <code php> <code php>
-/* Get a range from 2 to 10 with increment 2 */ +function reduce(callable $fn) { 
-$array = array_map($~> $x * 2, range(1, 5))+    ​return ​$initial ~> $input ~> 
- +        ​$accumulator = $initial
-/* Compared to */ +        foreach ($input ​as $value) { 
-foreach (range(1, 5) as $x) { +            $accumulator ​= $fn($accumulator,​ $value); 
-    $array[] ​= $x * 2;+        } 
 +        return $accumulator;​ 
 +    };
 } }
-/* or */ 
-$array = array_map(function($x) { return $x * 2; }, range(1, 5)); 
 </​code>​ </​code>​
  
-<code php> +===== Symbol choice =====
-/* Let $array be an array filled with objects having property val. Sort them in reverse by that property. */ +
-usort($array,​ ($a, $b) ~> -($a->​val <=> $b->​val));​+
  
-/* Compared ​to */ +The symbol ''​~>''​ was chosen as it is a mnemonic device ​to help programmers understand that the variable is being brought to a function. ​It is also unambiguous as it has not been used elsewhere ​in PHP.
-usort($array, ​function($a, $b) { return -($a->​val <=> $b->​val);​ }); +
-/* ... which will be probably multilined ​in a lot of places... */ +
-usort($array,​ function($a,​ $b) { +
-    return -($a->​val <=> $b->​val);​ +
-}); +
-</​code>​+
  
-===== General thoughts ===== +Currently Hack has implemented shorthand anonymous functions using the ''​%%==>​%%''​ symbol to define them. The position of this RFC is that the ''​%%==>​%%''​ symbol is too similar to the ''​%%=>​%%''​ (double arrow) signand would cause confusion. Either through people thinking ​it has something to do with key-value pairs, or through a simple typo could produce valid but incorrect code. e.g.
-==== Do we really need this===+
-Ultimately, it does not add any additional possibilities which weren'​t already possible.+
  
-But it prevents us from having to write too much boilerplate,​ always write //use ($shit, $load, $of, $variables)//. In addition it saves the function and return keywords, which are not always helpful in circumstances where we just want a quick one liner to manipulate a structure or value.+This returns an array containing an anonymous function: 
 +<code php> 
 +return [$x ==> ​$x * 2]; 
 +</code>
  
-Aside from that, it encourages (or makes it at least much tedious task) functional code and partial applications (see the examples), which may be powerful tool the language shouldn'​t prevent.+This returns an array if $x is already ​defined variable. 
 +<code php> 
 +return [$x => $x * 2]; 
 +</​code>​
  
-==== Why ~> ? ==== +Additionally,​ I was asked to not reuse the ''​%%==>%%''​ syntax (http://​chat.stackoverflow.com/​transcript/​message/​25421648#​25421648) as Hack is already using it. Hence ''​~>''​ looks like a great alternative.
-Hack has %%==>%%, so, why then ~>?+
  
-~> has the advantage ​of being shorter and it doesn't look like %%=>%%. +Also, Hack has some possibilities ​of typing here, which do not work with PHP, due to technical reasons. Regarding forward compatibility,​ we might have to choose another syntax than Hack here to resolve these issues. It'd end up being the same operator, with very similar syntax, potentially confusingFurthermore using the same syntax than Hack here might lead users to expect types working here and getting really confused.
- +
-That's why this RFC proposes ​to use ~>.+
  
 ===== Backward Incompatible Changes ===== ===== Backward Incompatible Changes =====
Line 116: Line 273:
  
 ===== Future Scope ===== ===== Future Scope =====
-This RFC _does not_ propose ​shorthand ​methods like+==== Other uses for ~> operator ==== 
 +This RFC is solely for using the shorthand ​anonymous functions as closures. It does not cover any other usage of the shorthand function definition such as:  
 <code php> <code php>
 class Foo { class Foo {
     private $bar:     private $bar:
  
-    getBar ~> $this->​bar;​+    getBar() ~> $this->​bar;​
     setBar($bar) ~> $this->​bar = $bar;     setBar($bar) ~> $this->​bar = $bar;
 } }
 </​code>​ </​code>​
  
-===== Proposed Voting Choices ​=====+Which is outside the scope of this RFC. 
 + 
 +==== Type Hints and Return Types ==== 
 +This RFC does //not// include type hints nor return types. 
 + 
 +Type Hints are not added due to technical problems in parser and the RFC author is not sure about whether they should be really added. If anyone achieves to solve these technical issues, he should feel free to do that in a future RFC for further discussion. 
 +And as introducing half a typesystem would be inconsistent,​ the RFC proposes to not include return types either. 
 + 
 +As an alternative,​ the current syntax for defining Closures still can be used here.  
 + 
 +===== Vote =====
 This RFC is a language change and as such needs a 2/3 majority. This RFC is a language change and as such needs a 2/3 majority.
  
-===== Patches ​and Tests ===== +Voting opened September 22th, 2015 and will remain open until October 2nd, 2015.
-Pull request is at https://​github.com/​php/​php-src/​pull/​1254+
  
-===== +<doodle title="Short Closures"​ auth="​bwoebi"​ voteType="​single"​ closed="​true">​ 
 +   * Yes 
 +   * No 
 +</​doodle>​ 
 + 
 +===== Patch ===== 
 +Pull request is at https://​github.com/​php/​php-src/​pull/​1254
rfc/short_closures.1430444679.txt.gz · Last modified: 2017/09/22 13:28 (external edit)