Subscripts

A subscript is a resuable piece of code that yields the value of an object, or part thereof. It operates very similarly to a function, but rather than returning a value to its caller, it temporarily yields control for the caller to access the yielded value.
subscript min(_ x: Int, _ y: Int): Int {
if y > x { y } else { x }
}
​
public fun main() {
let one = 1
let two = 2
print(min[one, two]) // 1
}
The program above declares a subscript named min that accepts two integers and yields the value of the smallest. A subscript is called using its name followed by its arguments, enclosed in square brackets (unlike functions, which require parentheses). Here, it is called in main to print the minimum of 1 and 2.
Note that, because min does not return a value, its parameters need not to be passed with the sink convention. Indeed, they do not escape from the subscript.
To better understand, let us instrument the subscript to observe its behavior. Similarly to functions, note that if the body of a subscript involves multiple statements, yielded values must be indicated by a yield statement. Further, a subscript must have exactly one yield statement on every possible execution path.
subscript min(_ x: Int, _ y: Int): Int {
print("enter")
yield if y > x { y } else { x }
print("leave")
}
​
public fun main() {
let one = 1
let two = 2
​
let z = min[one, two] // enter
print(z) // 1
// leave
}
In the program above, min has been changed so that it prints a message before and after yielding a value. In main, the first message appears min is called when the projection starts; the second message appears when the projection ends.

Member subscripts

Subscripts declaired in type declarations and extensions are called member subscripts. Just like methods, they receive an implicit receiver parameter.
type Matrix3 {
public var components: Double[3][3]
public memberwise init
​
public subscript row(_ index: Int): Double[3] {
components[index]
}
}
A member subscript can be anonymous. In that case, it is called by affixing square brackets directly after the receiver.
type Matrix3 {
public var components: Double[3][3]
public memberwise init
​
public subscript(row: Int, col: Int): Double {
components[row][col]
}
}
​
public fun main() {
var m = Matrix3(components: [
[1 ,4, 7],
[2 ,5, 8],
[3 ,6, 9],
])
print(m[row: 1, col: 1]) // 5.0
}

Subscript bundles

Just like methods, subscripts and member subscripts can bundle multiple implementations to represent different variant of the same functionality depending on the context in which the subscript is being used.

inout subscripts

An inout subscript projects values mutably:
subscript min_inout(_ x: inout Int, y: inout Int): Int {
inout { if y > x { &x } else { &y } }
}
​
public fun main() {
var (x, y) = (1, 2)
&min_inout[&x, &z] += 2
print(x) // 3
}
A mutable subscript can always be used immutably as well. However, in the example above, because the parameters are inout, arguments to min_inout will have to be passed inout even when the subscript is used immutably.
To solve that problem, we can mark the parameters yielded instead, which act as a placeholder for either let, inout, or sink dependeing on the way the subscript is being used.
subscript min(_ x: yielded Int, _ y: yielded Int): Int {
inout { if y > x { &x } else { &y } }
}
​
public fun main() {
let (x, y) = (1, 2)
print(min[x, y]) // 1
}
Here, the immutable variant of the subscript is synthesized from the mutable one. In some cases, however, you may need to implement different behavior. In such situations, you can bundle multiple implementations together:
subscript min(_ x: yielded Int, _ y: yielded Int): Int {
let { if y > x { x } else { y } }
inout { if y > x { &x } else { &y } }
}

set subscripts

A set subscript does not project any value. Instead, it is used when the value produced by a subscript need not be used, but only assigned to a new value.
A set subscript accepts an implicit sink parameter named new_value denoting the value to assign:
subscript min(_ x: yielded Int, _ y: yielded Int): Int {
inout { if y > x { &x } else { &y } }
set { if y > x { x = new_value } else { y = new_value } }
}
​
public fun main() {
var (x, y) = (1, 2)
min[&x, &y] = 3
print(min[x, y]) // 3
}
In the program above, the value of the subscript is not required to perform the assigment. So rather than applying the inout variant, the compiler will choose to apply the set variant.

sink subscripts

A sink subscript returns a value instead of projecting one, consuming its yielded parameters. It is used when a call to a subscript is the last use of its yielded arguments, or when the result of the subscript is being consumed.
subscript min(_ x: yielded Int, _ y: yielded Int): Int {
inout { if y > x { &x } else { &y } }
sink { if y > x { x } else { y } }
}
​
public fun main() {
let (x, y) = (1, 2)
var z = min[x, y] // last use of both x and y
&z += 2
print(z) // 3
}
Note: If the body of a sink subscript variant involves multiple statements, returned values must be indicated by a return statement rather than a yield statement.
The sink variant of a subscript can always be synthesized from the let variant.

Computed properties

A member subscript that accepts no argument can be declared as a computed property, which are accessed without square brackets.
type Angle {
public var radians: Double
public memberwise init
public property degrees: Double {
let {
radians * 180.0 / Double.pi
}
inout {
var d = radians * 180.0 / Double.pi
yield &d
radians = d * Double.pi / 180.0
}
set {
radians = new_value * Double.pi / 180.0
}
}
}
Last modified 22d ago