[Python-ideas] Idea: Lazy ... statement
bruce at leapyear.org
Wed Oct 15 09:29:10 CEST 2008
The title of this thread is lazy... statement but it seems to me that
expressions are the natural unit. If I want to do lazy evaluation today, I
would use something like
f(a, b, lambda: g(a,b))
where of course the g(a,b) is only evaluated when f wants to evaluate it. Of
course f is responsible for explicitly evaluating that lambda. I think a
lambda-like syntax like this:
f(a, b, lazy: g(a,b))
would be easy to understand. Note that this puts the responsibility on the
caller's side to say that the expression is lazy. That is, we don't do
def f(a, b, lazy: d):
lazy: def(a, b, d):
although this is allowed:
def f(a, b, d=lazy: g())
There are several reasons I put the responsibility on the caller's side:
(1) The caller is in the best position to know if evaluating a lazy
expression is expensive enough that it's worth making lazy, and if making an
expression lazy changes the order of evaluation in a bad way.
(2) When we see a function call, we don't know for sure which function will
be called so we'd have to compile both the inline and the lazy evaluation
for each parameter.
I'm not sure what this makes for the import case.
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