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October 16, 2012
How to define an interator to provide array like behaviour in a class?
I want to do something like this (Collection is a custom type):

Collection x = new Collection();
x.add(something);
x.add(somethingElse);

foreach(type value; x)
{
    writeln(value);
}

Collection is a class with a private array member variable which 
actually holds the collection data entered via the add method. 
What do i need to add to the Collection class to make it iterable 
(whilst it's actually iterating through the member array) so the 
foreach loop works as expected?
October 16, 2012
Re: How to define an interator to provide array like behaviour in a class?
On Wednesday, October 17, 2012 00:03:46 Gary Willoughby wrote:
> I want to do something like this (Collection is a custom type):
> 
> Collection x = new Collection();
> x.add(something);
> x.add(somethingElse);
> 
> foreach(type value; x)
> {
> writeln(value);
> }
> 
> Collection is a class with a private array member variable which
> actually holds the collection data entered via the add method.
> What do i need to add to the Collection class to make it iterable
> (whilst it's actually iterating through the member array) so the
> foreach loop works as expected?

1. Define opApply (see section labeled "Foreach over Structs and Classes with 
opApply after here: http://dlang.org/statement.html#foreach_with_ranges)

2. Or make it a range (see http://dlang.org/statement.html#foreach_with_ranges 
and http://ddili.org/ders/d.en/ranges.html ), which would probably be a bad 
idea, since containers really shouldn't be ranges.

3. Or do what std.container does and overload opSlice which returns a range 
over the container (see http://dlang.org/operatoroverloading.html#Slice and 
http://dlang.org/phobos/std_container.html in addition to the links in #2). 
Overall, this is the best approach.

But regardless of which approach you take, you really should read up on ranges 
if you want to be doing much with D's standard library, and 
http://ddili.org/ders/d.en/ranges.html is the best tutorial on them at this 
point. There's also this recent article by Walter Bright which explains one of 
the main rationales behind ranges:

http://www.drdobbs.com/architecture-and-design/component-programming-in-
d/240008321

- Jonathan M Davis
October 17, 2012
Re: How to define an interator to provide array like behaviour in a class?
On 2012-10-17 00:23, Jonathan M Davis wrote:

> 2. Or make it a range (see http://dlang.org/statement.html#foreach_with_ranges
> and http://ddili.org/ders/d.en/ranges.html ), which would probably be a bad
> idea, since containers really shouldn't be ranges.

Why is that a bad idea?

-- 
/Jacob Carlborg
October 17, 2012
Re: How to define an interator to provide array like behaviour in a class?
On Wednesday, October 17, 2012 08:14:45 Jacob Carlborg wrote:
> On 2012-10-17 00:23, Jonathan M Davis wrote:
> > 2. Or make it a range (see
> > http://dlang.org/statement.html#foreach_with_ranges and
> > http://ddili.org/ders/d.en/ranges.html ), which would probably be a bad
> > idea, since containers really shouldn't be ranges.
> 
> Why is that a bad idea?

For starters, iterating over the container would empty it.

- Jonathan M Davis
October 17, 2012
Re: How to define an interator to provide array like behaviour in a class?
On 2012-10-17 08:17, Jonathan M Davis wrote:

> For starters, iterating over the container would empty it.

Right, but that is really weird, in my opinion.

-- 
/Jacob Carlborg
October 17, 2012
Re: How to define an interator to provide array like behaviour in a class?
On Wednesday, October 17, 2012 08:58:33 Jacob Carlborg wrote:
> On 2012-10-17 08:17, Jonathan M Davis wrote:
> > For starters, iterating over the container would empty it.
> 
> Right, but that is really weird, in my opinion.

Well, what would you expect? Ranges are consumed when you iterate over them. 
So, if an container is a range, it will be consumed when you iterate over it. 
That's the way that it _has_ to work given how ranges work, and that's why you 
overload opSlice to return a range which is iterated over rather than making 
the container itself a range.

- Jonathan M Davis
October 17, 2012
Re: How to define an interator to provide array like behaviour in a class?
On 2012-10-17 17:45, Jonathan M Davis wrote:

> Well, what would you expect? Ranges are consumed when you iterate over them.
> So, if an container is a range, it will be consumed when you iterate over it.
> That's the way that it _has_ to work given how ranges work, and that's why you
> overload opSlice to return a range which is iterated over rather than making
> the container itself a range.

How does this work with built-in arrays?

-- 
/Jacob Carlborg
October 17, 2012
Re: How to define an interator to provide array like behaviour in a class?
On Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 06:58:52PM +0200, Jacob Carlborg wrote:
> On 2012-10-17 17:45, Jonathan M Davis wrote:
> 
> >Well, what would you expect? Ranges are consumed when you iterate
> >over them.  So, if an container is a range, it will be consumed when
> >you iterate over it.  That's the way that it _has_ to work given how
> >ranges work, and that's why you overload opSlice to return a range
> >which is iterated over rather than making the container itself a
> >range.
> 
> How does this work with built-in arrays?
[...]

If I understand it correctly, arrays work because when you pass an array
to a range function, you're actually passing a slice of it to the
function. That slice gets consumed, but the original array is unchanged.


T

-- 
A linguistics professor was lecturing to his class one day. "In
English," he said, "A double negative forms a positive. In some
languages, though, such as Russian, a double negative is still a
negative. However, there is no language wherein a double positive can
form a negative." A voice from the back of the room piped up, "Yeah,
yeah."
October 17, 2012
Re: How to define an interator to provide array like behaviour in a class?
On 10/17/2012 09:58 AM, Jacob Carlborg wrote:
> On 2012-10-17 17:45, Jonathan M Davis wrote:
>
>> Well, what would you expect? Ranges are consumed when you iterate over
>> them.
>> So, if an container is a range, it will be consumed when you iterate
>> over it.
>> That's the way that it _has_ to work given how ranges work, and that's
>> why you
>> overload opSlice to return a range which is iterated over rather than
>> making
>> the container itself a range.
>
> How does this work with built-in arrays?

Array is a separate concept than slice; a slice provides access to the 
elements of an array. Arrays are containers that are owned by the 
runtime, slices are ranges over their elements. Only the slices are 
consumed.

Ali
October 17, 2012
Re: How to define an interator to provide array like behaviour in a class?
On Wednesday, October 17, 2012 10:08:15 H. S. Teoh wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 06:58:52PM +0200, Jacob Carlborg wrote:
> > On 2012-10-17 17:45, Jonathan M Davis wrote:
> > >Well, what would you expect? Ranges are consumed when you iterate
> > >over them. So, if an container is a range, it will be consumed when
> > >you iterate over it. That's the way that it _has_ to work given how
> > >ranges work, and that's why you overload opSlice to return a range
> > >which is iterated over rather than making the container itself a
> > >range.
> > 
> > How does this work with built-in arrays?
> 
> [...]
> 
> If I understand it correctly, arrays work because when you pass an array
> to a range function, you're actually passing a slice of it to the
> function. That slice gets consumed, but the original array is unchanged.

Pretty much yeah. Thinking of arrays in D as containers in a mistake really. 
They're not, as weird as that may be. It's the runtime (or the block of memory 
in the runtime, depending on how you look at it) which is the container, and 
the array is just a slice into it.

But even that's not really an accurate way of looking at it, because you can 
append to them (altering the size of the underlying container and possibly 
resulting in them pointing to a different block of memory). Kind of like how 
arrays are halfway between value types and reference types, they're sort of 
halfway between ranges and containers. It's quite unfortunate that arrays are 
by far the most commonly used type of range, because they're a horrible 
example of one when you get down to the details of how they work.

Regardless, it's slicing that you're dealing with when doing range-based 
operations on arrays, so it's the slice that gets operated on and consumed 
rather than the original array. And just like how ranges which are structs 
normally get automatically saved when passed to functions, arrays 
automatically get saved because they get sliced. And foreach doesn't even use 
the range API on arrays anyway, so regardless of how they work as ranges, it 
wouldn't necessarily apply to foreach.

- Jonathan M Davis
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