[swift-evolution] [pitch] Eliminate the "T1 -> T2" syntax, require "(T1) -> T2"

John McCall rjmccall at apple.com
Fri Apr 15 10:29:52 CDT 2016

> On Apr 14, 2016, at 10:50 PM, Chris Lattner <clattner at apple.com> wrote:
> On Apr 14, 2016, at 10:40 PM, John McCall <rjmccall at apple.com> wrote:
>>>> To me, the unparenthesized style suggests that the input and output are peers, which feels more natural for the sort of value-to-value transform/predicate where this most commonly occurs.  Parenthesizing the input feels fussier, which contributes to a sense that the argument is just one component to producing the result.
>>>> The parentheses are grammatically unnecessary in most cases (by frequency of use in higher-use programming, not by feature count).  
>>> I agree with your point that many simple higher order programming examples (e.g. map, filter, etc) take a single argument.  That said, I don’t agree that this means that we should syntactically privilege this special case.
>> "Special case" is a loaded phrase.  Why is it a special case as a parameter if it isn't a special case as a result?
> Because, as I tried to explain in my original post, parameters *are* a special case.  The result type of a function is just a type.  The parameter list allows things that types do not: default arguments and variadics.

Default arguments are not allowed in the type grammar.  Nor are different internal vs. external labels.

> As a concrete example, surely you aren’t arguing that we should support:
> 	let x : Int… -> Int
> are you?

No, but that's because the ... is a reference to the rest of the tuple and doesn't read correctly outside of one.

>>>> I guess the flip side is that call and declaration syntax both require parentheses (unless the only argument is a trailing closure), but again, we had strong justifications for that: declarations would always be ambiguous without parens, and calls would have serious problems (and the style-wars factor would be much larger, especially now with mandatory keyword arguments by default).
>>> Right, but regardless of *why* we always require parens on Decls and ApplyExprs, we really do (and that isn’t going to change).  Being consistent between func decls and function types is quite important IMO.
>> So we should require function argument labels in function types?
> Uhm, yes, we already do.  In:
> 	let x : (a : Int) -> Float
> 	let y : (Int) -> Float
> 	let z : Int -> Float
> x and y have different (but compatible) types. y and z have identical types (sugared differently).

When I said "function type", I was referring to this production in the type grammar, not the type signature component of function declarations.  I'm not sure how I could've been clearer on that without actually using the names of grammatical productions.

My point was that allowing a function type to be written as "(Int) -> Float" is already inconsistent with function declarations, because that is not legal function declaration syntax; you would have to write "(_ : Int) -> Float".

The current language composes naturally here, and your proposal feels like an odd extra rule.


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