Polymorphic record patterns (speculative future)

John Meacham has requested the ability to put polymorphic record syntax in a pattern.

Without trying to match his request exactly, here's a possible desugarring within the DORF framework. (I am not suggesting this gets implemented until we've more experience with DORF.)

Syntax like this in a pattern:

case r of {
    r{customer_id, firstName, lastName } -> ... customer_id ...


  • there's a lower-case name prefix to the { ... } body, so this is not a data constructor
  • this is an irrefutable name binding, not really a pattern
  • (That is, if r doesn't happen to have all those fields, we'll just fail to compile, we won't try to go on to the next case branch.)
  • This example is using -XNamedFieldPuns, we could also use the { blah = foo } syntax John gives.

The obvious way to desugar:

let { customer_id = customer_id r; ...
  in { ... customer_id ...}

won't work because we get name capture inside the let declarations. (The dangers of punning!) So it'll have to be:

let { customer_id_via = customer_id r; ... }
  in { let { customer_id = customer_id_via; ... }
         in { ... customer_id ...}

[Implementor's note: can we improve this?]

Within the body we can indeed use polymorphic record update syntax to reconstitute the record:

... r{ lastName = map toUpper lastName } ...

Note that since there's no data constructor, this will continue r's existing data constructor.

Last modified 3 years ago Last modified on Feb 19, 2012 9:49:06 PM