Proposal:  Nestable Recognizer Sequences
This page is dedicated to discussing this specific proposal
AntonErtl  Nestable Recognizer SequencesProposal2020-08-22 16:09:52
Nestable Recognizer Sequences
M. Anton Ertl
There are similarities between a word list, a recognizer, a search order, and a recognizer sequence: All of them take a string as input, and either recognize it, or not. if they recognize it, word lists and the search order produce a name token (or an xt and an immediate flag), while recognizers and recognizer sequences produce some data and a rectype.
The similarity between wordlists and a search order has inspired the idea of nestable search orders: Several wordlists could be combined into a sequence that itself would work like a wordlist in other search orders. However, the search order words had already been standardized, so this idea never made it out of the concept stage.
The similarity between the search order and recognizer sequences has led to the present recognizer proposal containing the words GET-RECOGNIZER and SET-RECOGNIZER, which are mostly modeled on GET-ORDER and SET-ORDER.
As an alternative, this proposal proposes the idea of nestable (but not necessarily changeable) recognizer sequences.
Add the following words:
rec-sequence ( xt1 .. xtn n "name" -- )
Defines a recognizer "name".
"name" execution: ( c-addr u -- ... rectype )
Tries to recognize c-addr u using the recognizers xtn...xt1 (in this order). The first successful recognizer in the sequence returns from "name" with its result. If no recognizer succeeds, return RECTYPE-NULL.
[On the order of xts: This order is modeled on the order in the search
order, but one could use the reverse order without suffering
disadvantages; I am leaving this open to
get-rec-sequence ( xt -- xt1 .. xtn n )
If xt refers to a recognizer sequence, return the contained recognizers. If xt refers to a deferred word, perform DEFER@ followed by GET-REC-SEQUENCE (i.e., GET-REC-SEQUENCE works through deferred words). IF xt refers to neither, return 0.
FORTH-RECOGNIZER now contains the xt of a recognizer or a rec-sequence. RECOGNIZE is unnecessary, because it's functionality is performed by running a rec-sequence. GET-RECOGNIZER, SET-RECOGNIZER, NEW-RECOGNIZER-SEQUENCE are replaced by the words above.
Define a recognizer sequence for the classical text interpreter:
' rec-num ' rec-nt 2 rec-sequence rec-forth-cm ( c-addr u -- ... rectype )
Extend it with FP numbers:
' rec-float ' rec-forth-cm 2 rec-sequence rec-forth ( c-addr u -- ... rectype )
Make this the text interpreter
' rec-forth to forth-recognizer
Have a dot-parser to be searched first:
' rec-forth ' rec-dot 2 rec-sequence rec-.forth ( c-addr u -- ... rectype )
Put a user-defined recognizer REC-USER behind the currently active recognizers, temporarily:
' rec-user forth-recognizer 2 rec-sequence rec-forthuser forth-recognizer ( old ) ' rec-forthuser to forth-recognizer \ some code that uses REC-USER: ... \ now restore the old recognizer sequence ( old ) to forth-recognizer
You can insert a recognizer in the middle of a sequence by picking the existing sequence apart and using it for constructing a new recognizer:
' rec-forth-cm get-rec-sequence swap ' rec-foo rot 1+ rec-sequence rec-FOOrth-cm
This inserts REC-FOO to be searched as second recognizer (after REC-NT). This approach has the disadvantage that you need to know pretty well what the recognizer currently contains (it shares this disadvantage with the GET-RECOGNIZER interface). It also has the disadvantage that you have no easy way to update all the recognizer sequences that contain REC-FORTH-CM. To avoid these disadvantages, you can put deferred words into recognizer sequences from the start:
: rec-nothing ( c-addr u -- rectype-null ) 2drop rectype-null ; defer rec-foo-deferred ' rec-nothing is rec-foo-deferred ' rec-num ' rec-foo-deferred ' rec-nt 3 rec-sequence rec-forth-cm
Then you can plug in REC-FOO:
' rec-foo is rec-foo-deferred
And of course you can deactivate it later. Of course, this approach works only if you have the foresight to insert REC-FOO-DEFERRED from the start, or if you can change the source code of REC-FORTH-CM later.
An alternative would be to be able to change the rec-sequences in words defined with REC-SEQUENCE; for that we would need something like SET-REC-SEQUENCE. It's not clear to me that this is really needed, though.
TBD (if this informal proposal is actually is popular enough to merit further development).
A word REC-SEQUENCE: (but without GET-REC-SEQUENCE) has been in Gforth since 2016. It has not been used; instead, the mainstream GET-RECOGNIZER SET-RECOGNIZER interface was used.
Ruvim has recently suggested something in this vein, rekindling my interest in this kind of interface.