`static for` and `static if` to manipulate variadic generics

I already see many variadic generics designs for Rust that want to inherit the pack expansion syntax ... in C++. However, the expansion syntax is less powerful because it has small fine-grained control over the template packs, such as accessing the specific index element in the pack or reversing the pack, which must be with the help of partial specialization and function overloading to achieve the target, which brings complex.

We can totally abandon the design ..., instead, we can use static for and static if to manipulate the variadic generics.

For example, reverse the type pack:

type Reverse<..T> = ( 
   static for i in 0 .. T::len(){
      T[T::len() - 1 - i]
) // form the tuple

Reverse<i8,i16,i32> would form the type (i32,i16, i8). We even can skip certain elements in the pack:

type Skip<..T> = (
    static for i  in 0..T::len(){
       static if i == 1{
          continue !;
      }else if T[i]:Copy{
          continue A

So, Skip<B,C, i32> would form the type (B, A) where C is removed because continue has nothing(implied by !) and i32 is replaced with type A because it satisfies Copy.

This syntax can also be used in function calls or any other legal context, what is formed depends on where context the syntax is used.

fn fun<..T:Default>(v:..T){
    show(static for i in v{ v }); // show(v0,v1,v2,...,vn);

The syntax let us manipulate variadic generics in Turing complete way.


Have you read the proposal and discussion here?

Yes, I saw this proposal before I wrote this post. The static for in that proposal is less powerful and the proposal intends to use the syntax ... (pack expansion) that sourced from C++.

I would like to see something like this in Rust eventually, and in fact my proposal mentions it as a future possibility. But it is unlikely to happen soon. Rust, unlike C++, tries to keep post-monomorphization errors to a minimum, and also has coherence rules. So there are challenges, similar to the ones holding up generic_const_exprs.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.