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* bug#68506: [PATCH v3] doc: Extend documentation for (ice-9 match)
@ 2024-01-16 12:56 Tomas Volf
  0 siblings, 0 replies; only message in thread
From: Tomas Volf @ 2024-01-16 12:56 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: 68506; +Cc: Tomas Volf

Extend the documentation for (ice-9 match) module with explanations of
some of the patterns and also provide more examples for them.  That
should make it more useful for people trying to use the module for the
first time just based on the documentation.

* doc/ref/match.texi (Pattern Matching): Explain some patterns and
provide more examples.
* drop myself from THANKS file, someone else can thank me if they want to
* remove most of unnecessary lets
* spelling and wording fixes
* add new paragraph describing (and ...)

Attempt to resolve feedback regarding the let usage:

> Whether you choose to to inline it or not, please do it consistently.

I removed all of them except two.  The very first one, since in this case I
believe it leads to the comments being more readable:

(let ((l '(hello (world))))
  (match l           ;; <- the input object
    (('hello (who))  ;; <- the pattern
     who)))          ;; <- the expression evaluated upon matching

It also creates a nice contrast with the second example, which now also
demonstrates that you do not have to use the let, and the object can be inline.

Second case is the "more complex example", where I believe the let again leads
to significantly more readable code (keeping alice and bob together) to outweigh
the perceived inconsistency.

If requested, I can of course nuke these two usages as well.

Previous discussion happened on the mailing list.

 doc/ref/match.texi | 90 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++---
 1 file changed, 86 insertions(+), 4 deletions(-)

diff --git a/doc/ref/match.texi b/doc/ref/match.texi
index f5ea43118..774fc856e 100644
--- a/doc/ref/match.texi
+++ b/doc/ref/match.texi
@@ -50,10 +50,9 @@ list---i.e., the symbol @code{world}.  An error would be raised if
 The same object can be matched against a simpler pattern:
-(let ((l '(hello (world))))
-  (match l
-    ((x y)
-     (values x y))))
+(match '(hello (world))
+  ((x y)
+   (values x y)))
 @result{} hello
 @result{} (world)
 @end example
@@ -181,6 +180,89 @@ The names @code{quote}, @code{quasiquote}, @code{unquote},
 @code{or}, @code{not}, @code{set!}, @code{get!}, @code{...}, and
 @code{___} cannot be used as pattern variables.
+@code{string}, @code{number}, and others refer to literal strings,
+numbers, and others.  Therefore, the pattern @code{string} binds the
+value to the identifier @code{string} and the pattern @code{"string"}
+matches if the value is @code{"string"}.  An example demonstrating this
+(by using very bad naming):
+(match "foo"
+  (number number))
+@result{} "foo"
+@end example
+The field operator (@code{(= field pat)}) has no relation to the fields
+of records.  The @code{field} should be an expression evaluating to a
+procedure taking a single argument, and @code{pat} is matched against
+the return value.  Simple example:
+(match '(1 2)
+  ((= cadr x)
+   x))
+@result{} 2
+@end example
+The record operator(@code{($ record-name pat_1 ... pat_n)}) can be used
+for matching records.  Patterns are matched against the slots in order,
+not all have to be present, and there is no way to skip a slot.  An
+example demonstrating the usage:
+(define-record-type <foo>
+  (make-foo bar baz zab)
+  foo?
+  (bar foo-bar)
+  (baz foo-baz)
+  (zab foo-zab))
+(match (make-foo 1 '2 "three")
+  ;; Make sure obj is a <foo> instance, with bar slot being a number
+  ;; and zab slot being a string.  We do not care about baz slot,
+  ;; therefore we use _ to match anything.
+  (($ <foo> (? number?) _ (? string?))
+   "ok"))
+@result{} "ok"
+@end example
+If you need to ensure that a value is of a specific record type and at
+the same time bind it to a variable, the record operator will not be
+enough by itself, since you can only capture the fields.  You would need
+to combine it with other patterns, for example @code{(? foo? obj)}.
+When you need to apply multiple patterns, or a check and a pattern, you
+can use (@code{(? predicate pat_1 ... pat_n)}) for that.  The patterns
+are evaluated as if in the @code{(and ...)}.  If, for example, you want
+to check whether something is a symbol and at the same time bind the
+value to a variable, it could look like this:
+(match '(delete . some-id)
+  (('delete . (? symbol? id))
+   ;; We now could, for example, use the id to delete from some alist.
+   id))
+@result{} some-id
+@end example
+The @code{(and ...)} is of course useful as well, especially if no
+predicate is required.  While you could use @code{(const #t)} as the
+predicate, using @code{(and ...)} is better.  For example, capturing an
+object iff it is a list of at least two items can be done like this:
+(match '(foo baz bar)
+  ((and (a b ...) lst)
+   lst))
+@result{} (foo baz bar)
+@end example
+@c FIXME: Remove this remark once everything is clearly described and
+@c consulting the comment is no longer necessary.
+If you are unclear about how something works, you can try consulting the
+large comment at the top of the @code{module/ice-9/match.upstream.scm}
+file in your guile distribution.
 Here is a more complex example:

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