[Python-ideas] Cofunctions: It's alive! Its alive!

Carl M. Johnson cmjohnson.mailinglist at gmail.com
Sat Aug 7 12:05:01 CEST 2010


On Fri, Aug 6, 2010 at 9:12 PM, Greg Ewing wrote:

> I've been doing some more hacking, and I now have a
> working implementation of cofunctions, which I'll
> upload somewhere soon.
>
> I have also translated my yield-from examples to
> use cofunctions. In the course of doing this, the
> additional restrictions that cofunctions impose have
> already proved their worth -- I forgot a cocall, and
> it clearly told me so and pointed out exactly where
> it had to go!

This is good to hear. Without being too critical, I feel like saying
that so far I've been following the cofunctions threads and waiting
for compelling use cases. So, I'll be happy to see what you have
there. It seems like the main use case that comes to mind for
cofunctions is, essentially, quick and dirty cooperative multitasking.
Of course, as we all know on the OS side of things, cooperative
multitasking has been more or less phased out (I don't know about the
embeded space. Probably it's hanging on there for real time purposes.)
in favor of preemptive multitasking. But Python already has preemptive
multitasking: it's called threads. Or, if one prefers, there is
multiprocessing. Of course, those are relatively heavy-weight, but
then again, so is adding new keywords and syntax. So, other use cases
would be appreciated.

> I forgot a cocall, and it clearly told me so and pointed out exactly where it had to go!

Hmm. I think this can be pushed even farther. For example, we could
use mandatory function annotations to mark what classes a function is
capable of receiving and we could mark the classes of variable names
using some new syntax. Then when, for example, you accidentally try to
send a string to sum, you could be told at compile time "TypeError." I
propose we call this "Static TypeErroring". ;-)

OTOH, "Explicit is better than implicit." So, maybe the explicit
syntax for cocalling is worth the pain. Again, I'd like to see more
motivating examples.

Cautiously-optimistically-yrs,

-- Carl Johnson



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