[swift-evolution] Idea: change "@noreturn func f()" to "func f() noreturn"

Joe Groff jgroff at apple.com
Thu Feb 25 16:12:10 CST 2016

> On Feb 25, 2016, at 1:44 PM, Jacob Bandes-Storch via swift-evolution <swift-evolution at swift.org> wrote:
> Premise: there are multiple ways of describing control-/data-flow when a function is called:
>     func x() -> T   // x returns a value, of type T, to the caller
>     func x() throws  // x may throw an error to the caller
>     func x() throws -> T  // x may throw an error, and also return a value
>     func x(...) rethrows ... // if a closure argument can throw an error, x may also throw
>     @noreturn func x()  // x never returns to the caller
> "noreturn" is currently spelled as an attribute, but like "throws" / "rethrows" / "-> T", it's really describing how control flow works.
> IMO this calls for consistency: whatever happens "after" the function is called should appear "after" the parameter list.
>     func x() noreturn {
>         ...
>     }
> Thoughts?

We really don't even need a special syntactic form or attribute for 'no return' at all. We could provide a standard unconstructible type:

public /*closed*/ enum NoReturn {}

and it would be impossible for a function that returns NoReturn to return normally.


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