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Subject: Re: [boost] [variant] match()
From: Larry Evans (cppljevans_at_[hidden])
Date: 2015-01-09 15:44:51

On 01/09/2015 11:52 AM, Eelis wrote:
> On 2015-01-09 10:06, Antony Polukhin wrote:
>> I like the idea of `overload` more than the `match` idea.
> I see many people prefer going through apply_visitor() with overload().
> Coming from a functional programming perspective, this is kinda backwards.
> What we need is sum types. C++ unions are sort of sum types, but they're
> crap, so variant<> is our C++ workaround.
> However, somewhere along the line it was decided that variant<> was to
> be accessed /by type/ (either through get<T>() or apply_visitor()),
> which means that variant<T, T> does not work well at all.
> This means variant<> fails to be the building block that sum types
> can/should be, because you cannot use a variant<A, B> in a generic
> context the way you use, say, Either, in Haskell, because while Either A
> B works just fine when A and B might end up being the same type (because
> you can still distinguish the Left and Right constructors just fine),
> variant<A, B> with its type-based access breaks down when A and B end up
> being the same type.
> Really, variant<> should have been index-based all along, so that you
> can just do get<0> and get<1> on a variant<T, T> (or a variant<A, B>
> where A might be B) without losing information. Analogously, match(v,
> [](T){}, [](T){}) on such a variant would Just Work (again, without
> losing information), while apply_visitor() with overload() breaks down.
> There might be legit uses for a type-indexed variant, but really, proper
> sums should have been the #1 priority, and it's a damn shame that
> variant<> didn't get it right.
FYI, there exists an implementation of what you're talking about here:

The tags can be specified as enumerators of an enumerations so that one
can say get<Enumerator1>(variant) where,for example:

  enum enumerations
  { enumerator1
  , enumerator2
  , enumeratorN

Unfortunately, for visitation, the compile times were much
slower and reported on this mailing list several years ago.

I'm now trying to use generalized constexpr to see if that will
make any difference.


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