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Re: assoc array memory mucking, and semantics of patterned keys

On Nov 16,  6:16pm, Peter Stephenson wrote:
} Subject: PATCH: 3.1.5: assoc array memory mucking around tedium
} The following very dull patch is my current best guess to keep memory
} management of AA's in order.  At this stage it's probably best for
} other people (= Bart, presumably) to play with it, even if there's the
} odd buglet remaining.

Looks good.  I'm particularly pleased that you arranged for whole-array
assignments to work, even if it does need ${(kv)assoc} on the rhs.

Speaking of that:

On Nov 16,  4:43am, Bart Schaefer wrote:
} Subject: Re: Associative arrays and memory
} 	% bar=($foo)
} 	% echo $bar[$foo[(i)w*]]
} 	hello

That should read

	% bar=($foo)
	% echo $bar[$foo[(i)w*]]


	% bar=(${(k)foo})
	% echo $bar[$foo[(i)w*]]

} That would fail if $foo[(i)w*] substituted "hello" instead of "1".
} (Actually, there appears to be a bug in this code; the correct index is
} not always substituted.  Patch hopefully to follow.)

The scoop on that bug:  There's no problem when returning the index of a
value, except as Sven noted that it returns a number rather than a key.
The bug is with

	% echo ${(k)foo[(i)h*]}

which you'd expect to return the key index of "hello", which should be the
same as the value index of "world".  Unfortunately, [(i)h*] is interpreted
by getvalue() before paramsubst() has adjusted for the (k) flag, so even
when asking for keys what is returned is the index of the value.

So, in this example:

} 	% echo ${(k)foo[@]}
} 	hello
} 	% echo ${(k)foo[(i)h*]}
} 	1

The current implementation returns 2 (past the end of the array), not 1,
and in this example:

} 	% echo ${(kv)foo[*]}
} 	hello world
} 	% echo ${(kv)foo[(i)w*]}
} 	2

it returns 1 rather than 2 because it hasn't counted the keys yet when
the index is computed.

There are a number of different ways to fix this, but I'd like to get
agreement on what the semantics should be to help choose the best one.
None of the following suggestions resolves the meaning of (k) used with
ordinary array slices, nor a syntax for using a key pattern to "slice" AAs.

The semantics of ordinary arrays are such that $array[(x)pat] for x
in [rRiI] always matches pat against the values.  So one reasonable
semantics is to decree that the same holds for AAs.  That gives the
following interpretations:

                        Associative Array        Ordinary Array
                        -----------------        --------------
  $param[key]           Value in param at key    Value in param at key
                        or empty if none         or empty if none

  ${(k)param[key]}      If key has a value,      If key has a value,
                        then key, else empty     then key, else empty

  $param[(r)pat]        Value in param that      Value in param that
  $param[(R)pat]        matches pattern pat      matches pattern pat

  $param[(i)pat]        Index in $param[@] of    Index in $param[@] of
  $param[(I)pat]        value that matches pat   value that matches pat
                        (_not_ key in $param)

  ${(k)param[(r)pat]}   Key of a value that      None (or, alternately,
  ${(k)param[(R)pat]}   that matches pat (not    same as $param[(i)pat]
                        a key that matches)      and $param[(I)pat])

  ${(k)param[(i)pat]}   As ${(k}param[(r)pat]}   As ${(k)param[(r)pat]}
  ${(k)param[(I)pat]}   and ${(k}param[(R)pat]}  and ${(k)param[(R)pat]}

  ${(kv)param[(r)pat]}  Key and value pair of    None (or, alternately,
  ${(kv)param[(R)pat]}  value that matches pat   same as $param[(r)pat]
                                                 and $param[(R)pat])

  ${(kv)param[(i)pat]}  Key and value pair of    None (or, alternately,
  ${(kv)param[(I)pat]}  value that matches pat   same as $param[(i)pat]
                                                 and $param[(I)pat])

This is nicely symmetrical, and adds a useful meaning for the (k) flag
when given a non-pattern key with either array type.  The potential
confusion is that (r) and (i) become equivalent when (k) is present, even
if (v) is also present, but that's pretty minimal.

Another possibility is similar to the above, except $param[(i)pat] on
an AA would return a key, not just an index, and thus be equivalent to
${(k)param[(r)pat]}.  I think this is less flexible, but some might find
it more intuitive.

The third possibility is that (k) would specify that keys were to be
searched rather than values.  The last four rows of the table then read:

  ${(k)param[(r)pat]}   If there is a key that   None (or, alternately,
  ${(k)param[(R)pat]}   matches pat, then the    same as $param[(r)pat]
                        value at that key, else  and $param[(R)pat])

  ${(k)param[(i)pat]}   If there is a key that   Same as $param[(i)pat]
  ${(k)param[(I)pat]}   matches pat, then that   and $param[(I)pat]
                        key, else empty

  ${(kv)param[(r)pat]}  Key and value pair of    Same as $param[(r)pat]
  ${(kv)param[(R)pat]}  key that matches pat     and $param[(R)pat]

  ${(kv)param[(i)pat]}  Key and value pair of    Same as $param[(i)pat]
  ${(kv)param[(I)pat]}  key that matches pat     and $param[(I)pat]

Again, this could be combined with having $param[(i)pat] return a key
rather than an index.  Note that there's no way to return a key/value pair
for values that match the pattern.

The final possibility is to change the meanings of (r) and (i) when an
AA is involved, so that (r) means search the values and (i) means search
the keys.  That changes these rows (4th, 6th, and 8th) in the original

  $param[(i)pat]        A key that matches pat   Index of a value that
  $param[(I)pat]        or empty if none         matches pat, or empty

  ${(k)param[(i)pat]}   As $param[(i)pat]        As $param[(i)pat]
  ${(k)param[(I)pat]}   and $param[(I)pat]       and $param[(I)pat]

  ${(kv)param[(i)pat]}  Key and value pair of    Any of several; ignore
  ${(kv)param[(I)pat]}  key that matches pat     either (k) or (v) to
                                                 generate alternatives

And adds this row:

  ${(v)param[(i)pat]}   Value at a key that      As $param[(r)pat]
  ${(v)param[(I)pat]}   matches pat              and $param[(R)pat]

That last one makes this quite interesting, as it supplies an efficient
way to accomplish something that can't be expressed at all in the first
semantics I proposed, and that in the third semantics would be written as
$param[${(k)param[(i)pat]}].  However, I worry that the difference in the
meaning of (i) on associative arrays would be confusing.  Also, that last
is the only case where (v) is required to get a value (because (i) ends up
implying (k) otherwise).

On a pragmatic note, the first and last possible semantics are the easiest
to implement.  The middle three semantics require passing more data either
into or back from of getvalue() than is currently being passed.  I also
like the consistency of the first, but the expressiveness of the last.

Anybody else have an opinion?

Bart Schaefer                                 Brass Lantern Enterprises
http://www.well.com/user/barts              http://www.brasslantern.com

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