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Sneaky methods

As one would expect methods can be declared and defined inside a class definition. Not so expected and even less documented are free floating methods declared with my method. Now why would you want:

my method foo(SomeClass:D:){self}

The obvious answer is the Meta Object Protocols add_method-method, as can be found in Rakudo:

32:    Bool.^add_method('pred',  my method pred() { Bool::False });
33:    Bool.^add_method('succ',  my method succ() { Bool::True });
35:    Bool.^add_method('enums', my method enums() { self.^enum_values });

There is another, more sneaky use for such a method. You may want to have a look at what is going on in a chain of method calls. We could rip the expression apart and insert a one shot variable, do our debugging output, and continue in the chain. Good names are important and wasting them on one shot variables is unnecessary cognitive load.

<a b c>.&(my method ::(List:D){dd self; self}).say;
# OUTPUT«("a", "b", "c")␤(a b c)␤»

We can’t have no name without an explicit invocant, because Perl 6 wont let us, so we use the empty scope :: to make the parser happy. With a proper invocant, we would not need that. Also, the anonymous method is not a member of List. We need to use postfix .& to call it. If we need that method more then once we could pull it out and give it a name.

my multi method debug(List:D:){dd self; self};
<a b c>.&debug.say;
# OUTPUT«("a", "b", "c")␤(a b c)␤»

Or we assign it as a default argument if we want to allow callbacks.

sub f(@l, :&debug = my method (List:D:){self}) { @l.&debug.say };
f <a b c>, debug => my method ::(List:D){dd self; self};
# OUTPUT«("a", "b", "c")␤(a b c)␤»

In Perl 6 pretty much everything is a class, including methods. If it’s a class it can be an object and we can sneak those in wherever we like.

Categories: Uncategorized

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