[swift-evolution] [proposal] Either in the Swift Standard Library
kevin at sb.org
Tue Jan 26 00:39:25 CST 2016
Then we are fundamentally at odds, because I am categorically opposed to any solution that does not have specific meaning attached to the two variants. Either is an awful type that only serves to make APIs harder to understand, and literally every non-trivial usage of Either I’ve actually seen in practice, it has been used exactly the way Result<T> would naturally be defined (where “trivial” means usage in any kind of actual API, as opposed to sample code or scratch functions using Either to prototype something that, if turned into actual API, would replace the usage of Either with a more well-defined enum). And the existence of Either only serves to encourage people to use it, which produces an overall negative effect on the quality of APIs.
> On Jan 25, 2016, at 10:27 PM, Developer <devteam.codafi at gmail.com> wrote:
> Are you opposed to the name or the semantics?
> I will not accept a revision that reduces the level of abstraction of the current proposal. I will, however, accept name changes. Result, though, I believe is out of the question. It strongly implies a common but pointed set of semantics that discourage thinking of this type as data and more as an alternative to throws. I do not wish to emphasize the error case, or the theoretical case, I wish to encourage the general case. We must remember that despite Rust's success, they do not have to live alongside an exceptions mechanism like Either does.
> ~Robert Widmann
> 2016/01/26 0:55、Kevin Ballard via swift-evolution <swift-evolution at swift.org <mailto:swift-evolution at swift.org>> のメッセージ:
>> There absolutely is a cost. `Result<T>` has a rather intuitive meaning. `Either<T>` has no intuitive meaning whatsoever. It says absolutely nothing about what it means beyond the fact that there are two potential values. As a result, it is a largely useless type whose sole redeeming feature is it allows developers to avoid having to define their own enum, but in most cases that aren't covered by Result<T> you actually want to define your own enum so you can attach meaning to the value.
>> If it's not obvious, I'm very strongly against having a generic Either type, but I do want a Result<T> or Result<T,E>.
>> -Kevin Ballard
>> On Fri, Jan 22, 2016, at 10:22 PM, Developer via swift-evolution wrote:
>>> My overwhelming concern, after having a conversation with Chris, is that implementing a Result<T> means we are strongly implying a particular semantics and use case when we could generalize and abstract for no cost but an extra generic parameter. In F#, Core.Choice can be used to build a Validation or Result monad, but the converse is impossible.
>>> ~Robert Widmann
>>> 2016/01/23 1:05、Rob Mayoff via swift-evolution <swift-evolution at swift.org <mailto:swift-evolution at swift.org>> のメッセージ:
>>>> Just added a section of motivating examples to the Either proposal. Ping me if you have any more that I missed ('cause I'm sure I did miss a lot).
>>>> https://github.com/typelift/swift-evolution/blob/either-or/proposals/0024-either.md#motivating-examples <https://github.com/typelift/swift-evolution/blob/either-or/proposals/0024-either.md#motivating-examples>
>>>> Your motivating examples (including all the projects you linked except "Any many more") overwhelmingly use the Either (or similar type) to represent success/failure. I'm not sure there's a single example where the names Left and Right actually make sense in the problem domain. I'm not 100% sure about func alternate in Madness/Alternation.swift. It definitely uses Left/Right to mean Failure/Result, but I couldn't tell if it also uses them as something else. Which makes those names all the more maddening.
>>>> I checked my company's largest Scala project, which is over 300,000 lines. We use Scala's Try/Success/Failure in dozens of places. We use Either/Left/Right once, in a thrown-together report-generating script, which would probably have been written in awk or perl if it didn't need to read binary log files. (The ability of IntelliJ to reliably find all uses of a class or method is not to be underestimated. Hint hint, team Xcode.)
>>>> I think a Result/Success/Failure type is warranted, but I'm very skeptical about generic Either/Left/Right.
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