[OT] code is data

Diez B. Roggisch deets at nospam.web.de
Tue Jun 20 11:47:09 CEST 2006

bruno at modulix wrote:

> Diez B. Roggisch wrote:
>>>> because lots of people know how to describe XML transformations, and
>>>> there are plenty of tools that implement such transformations
>>>> efficiently ?
>>> Efficiently enough for dynamic (runtime) use ?
>> Using XML-transformation for AST manipulation isn't my first choice
>> either - yet efficiency concerns aren't really the point here - after
>> all we're talking about generating code,
> I thought we were talking about *transforming* code - just like one uses
> metaclasses to transform a class definition, or @decorators to transform
> a function definition...

Yes we were. So where does the runtime efficiency you mention come in to

While the _result_ of a transformation might be a less efficient piece of
code (e.g. introducing a lock around each call to enable concurrent
access), the transformation itself is very - if not totally - static - and
usually only run once. 

So except from a start up latency, it has no impact. So if for whatever
reason XSLT is someones favorite method of AST-transformation because it
fits her mindset - perfect. As I said: it wouldn't be mine either, but I
can't see your concerns about efficiency. 

And XSLT certainly is suited for tree manipulation, so it might be that it
would be good for e.g. recursivly stripping type annotations of some kind
(think of e.g. type-verifying decorators that you want to get rid of for


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