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Created August 29, 2018 15:16
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contract design feedback for go2 generics

One question occurs me with regards to this example:

contract mappable(k K, _ V) { k == k }

Why not

contract mappable[_ K, _ V] { var _ map[K]V }

This would, I think, make the intent much clearer.

I am also conflicted on the fact that a single contract must be specified for multiple types. I would sort of like the ability to express a thing roughly like:

func X(type T1 contract1, T2 contract2)(...)

For instance, consider:

func MapKeysSortedByValue(type T1 keyworthy, type T2 orderable)(map[T1]T2)([]T1) { ... }

I can express this with a single contract on both T1 and T2, but each contract makes sense to talk about separately.

Counterargument: It's necessary to be able to specify a contract on multiple types, and at that point, if you can specify contracts per-type OR per-multiple-types, you need more ()s or something and it's just awful.

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brandondyck commented Aug 29, 2018

You can compose multiple contracts for a parameterized type similarly to how you compose interfaces, by creating a new one that embeds the others:

contract keyworthy(x T) { ... }

contract orderable(x T) { ... }

contract keyworthyOrderable(_ K, _ O) {

func MapKeysSortedByValue(type T1, T2 keyworthyOrderable)(map[T1]T2)([]T1) { ... }

I agree with you that also allowing per-parameter contracts would be both useful and very messy. An alternative would be to allow anonymous contracts:

func MapKeysSortedByValue(type T1, T2 contract {
})(map [T1]T2) []T1 { ... }

This is analogous to anonymously composing interfaces:

type A interface {}
type B interface {}
func abber(ab interface{A;B}) { ... }

EDIT: I asked Ian Lance Taylor for his thoughts on this at Gophercon, and if I remember correctly, he said that inline contracts were originally written into the design but then removed because they were so ugly.

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