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Recursive tuple and varargs

We’re continuing to observe new features of the latest release 0.34.1 of EO, and today we talk about new recursive implementation of tuple object and why we got rid of varargs in our language.

Recursive tuple

As it was mentioned in the previous blog post, EO is based on φ-calculus, which is a formal model that we are attempting to use as a base for object-oriented programming languages. There are only two fundamental entities in the calculus - objects and data. Object is a collection of uniquely named attributes and data is just a sequence of bytes.

There’s also a special attribute Δ(delta) which is attached to the data. In our vision of EO only one object should have such an attribute - bytes. But for a long time at least 6 objects had it: bytes, int, float, string, bool and (surprise) tuple. The Δ attribute of tuple stores array of java Phi objects, which was totally wrong.

But the decision was made - only bytes should have a Δ attribute, so we need to remove it from other 5 objects including tuple. And it was a good chance to rewrite tuple in pure EO which allowed us to decrease amount of atoms.

So, welcome new implementation of tuple written in pure EO:

# Tuple.
[head tail] > tuple
  # Empty tuple
  [] > empty
    [i] > at
      error "Can't get an object from the empty tuple" > @
    [x] > with
      tuple > @
    0 > length

  # Obtain the length of the tuple.
  [] > length
    ^.head.length.plus 1 > @

  # Take one element from the tuple, at the given position.
  [i] > at
    ^.length > len!
    if. > index!
      i.lt 0
      len.plus i
    if. > @
        index.lt 0
        index.gte len
      error "Given index is out of tuple bounds"
        index.lt (len.plus -1)
        ^.head.at index

  # Create a new tuple with this element added to the end of it.
  [x] > with
    tuple > @

As you may see tuple has two free attributes now: head and tail; where the head is always supposed to be a tuple as well and tail is the object we want to store.

For example, if we want to create a tuple of one object it would look like this:

tuple > my-tuple

The tuple.empty is a special tuple that stores nothing and used as a top level tuple in whole recursion.

If we want to create a tuple of three objects it would look like this:

tuple > my-tuple

I hope you get the idea. We also left the *(star) syntax sugar which allows you to write a tuple in one line:

* 1 2 3 > my-tuple

This example is equivalent to the previous one and will be transformed by compiler to it.


Before the release 0.34.0 there were varargs in EO which allow you to have an object with uncertain amount of free attributes. For example int.plus object looked something like this:

[] > int
  [x...] > plus
    # code here 

5.plus 5 10 > twenty
20.plus 1 2 3 4 > thirty 

It was quite convenient mechanism, but it didn’t match to φ-calculus where every attribute has to be attached to the concrete object. With varargs application 5.plus 5 10 looks something like this:

Φ.org.eolang.int(Δ ⤍ 5).plus(
  α0 ↦ Φ.org.eolang.int(Δ ⤍ 5),
  α1 ↦ Φ.org.eolang.int(Δ ⤍ 10)

But there aren’t two free attributes in formation of int.plus, only one x:

Φ ↦ ⟦org ↦ ⟦eolang ↦ ⟦int ↦ ⟦plus ↦ ⟦x ↦ ∅, ...⟧, ...⟧, ...⟧, ...⟧, ...⟧

So as not to complicate things we decided to get rid of varargs in EO at all. And now it’s a perfect match between EO and φ-calculus. Of course readability suffered a little because of it, but it worth that.

Next time we’ll put an end to data primitives, be in touch.