[swift-evolution] [Draft]: Introducing a striding(by:) method on 3.0 ranges

Dave Abrahams dabrahams at apple.com
Mon Apr 25 20:13:07 CDT 2016

on Mon Apr 11 2016, Dave Abrahams <swift-evolution at swift.org> wrote:

> on Sun Apr 10 2016, Michel Fortin <michel.fortin-AT-michelf.ca> wrote:
>> So if you take this into account, storing the comparator as part of
>> the stride makes the cost more predictable: not only there is one
>> branch less in `next()`, but you avoid evaluating the condition which
>> has an unknown cost: the `stride < 0` part.
>> And ideally you should make sure the optimizer can replace the
>> indirect call with a direct call to the comparator. You do that by not
>> making the comparator choice dependent on a runtime value, hence why I
>> suggested having distinct "down" variants for the convenience
>> functions: `stride(from:downTo:by:)` and
>> `stride(from:downThrough:by:)` and `Range.strindingDown(by:)`.
> A few points:
> 1. There's a balance to be struck between making sure the optimizer can
>    do a good job under *absolutely all circumstances*, and keeping the
>    API surface area small and simple.  That makes me somewhat reluctant
>    to add “down” variants, if as I suspect the optimizer does well in
>    the vast majority of cases without them.
> 2. Similarly, I view r.striding(by: x) as redundant with stride(from: x,
>    to: y, by: z).  I'd rather not have them both.
> 3. The fact that we're migrating C-style for loops to
>    uses of stride, as noted in https://github.com/apple/swift/pull/2125,
>    has convinced me that, sadly, we may need an answer that doesn't
>    involve ranges.  But maybe something like
>      for x in loop(from: 0.1, while: { $0 < 10 }, next: { $0 + .2 })
>    is sufficient for this purpose.

After some reflection, I don't really want to see a construct like #3 in
the standard library, and Chris has clarified for me that the standard
library doesn't need to solve the migration problems created by the
removal of C-style “for” loops.  So, if I have inadvertently killed
progress on this proposal by bringing it up, please allow me to retract
item 3 above.  

I'd love to see the floating-point stride thing solved for Swift 3, but
the window for changes is getting narrower, so if the community wants to
move forward with the proposal (and implementation), that would be



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