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Pattern dispatch

The ever helpful raiph wished for RakuAST in an answer to a question about pattern matching like it is done in Haskell. It was proposed to use MMD to solve this problem. Doing so and getting a fall-through default was unsolved. Since dispatch simply is pattern matching we just need to do some extra work. In a nutshell, the dispatcher gets a list of functions and a list with arguments. The first function that takes all arguments wins.

class Hold { has $.key; }
class Press { has $.key; }
class Err { has $.msg; }

sub else(&code) { &code }

sub match($needle, *@tests) {
    for @tests.head(*-1) -> &f {
        if &f.cando(\($needle)) {
            return f($needle);

match Hold.new(:key<a>),
    -> Hold (:$key) { put „holding $key“; },
    -> Press (:$key) { put „pressing $key“; },
    -> Err (:$msg) { warn „ERR: $msg“ },
    else { fail ‚unsopported‘ };

The method .cando needs a Capture to tell us if a Routine can be called with a given list of arguments. To create such a Capture we use the literal \($arguments, $go, $here). We don’t test the default at the end. Instead we call that function when no other function matches. Declaring the sub else is just for cosmetics.

Since we are in functional land we can use all the convenient features Raku provides us with.

my &key-matcher = &match.assuming(*,[
        -> Hold (:$key) { put „holding $key“; },
        -> Press (:$key) { put „pressing $key“; },
        -> Err (:$msg) { warn „ERR: $msg“ },
        else { fail ‚unsopported‘ };

sub key-source {
    gather loop {
        sleep 1;
        take (Hold.new(:key<a>), Press.new(:key<b>), Err.new(:msg<WELP!>), 'unsupported').pick;

.&key-matcher for key-source;

We have to help .assuming a little to understand slurpies by putting the list of functions in an explicit Array.

There is always a functional way to solve a problem. Sometimes we can even get a neat syntax out of it.

Categories: Raku
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  1. March 1, 2021 at 19:09

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