[erlang-questions] eep: multiple patterns

Richard A. O'Keefe <>
Fri May 30 00:17:19 CEST 2008


On 29 May 2008, at 6:44 pm, Ulf Wiger (TN/EAB) wrote:
> It seemed to me as if the thread was approaching
> the idea of
>
> receive Msg ->
>  case classify_msg(Msg) of
>    Type -> Action
>    ...
>  end.

This is due to an accident:  one example we were given
_did_ have a receive that was going to handle every
possible message (there was an X-> case at the end).
I wanted to concentrate on the "two cases" idea and
not on receiving.

> Maybe it's another thread altogether, but, I was
> under the impression that abstract patterns could
> actually help this situation (too) somewhat.

Yes they can.  I think I mentioned that, but I
wanted to show that the problem can be handled
without excessive pain in the language as it stands.

Let's take the running example:

    loop(State) ->
	case receive
		 quit                              -> quit
	       ; {?MODULE,{signal,{window1,_}}}    -> quit
	       ; {?MODULE,{signal,{quit1,_}}}      -> quit
	       ; {?MODULE,{signal,{connect,_}}}    -> connect
	       ; {?MODULE,{signal,{disconnect,_}}} -> disconnect
	       ; {?MODULE,{signal,{about1,_}}}     -> show_about
	       ; {?MODULE,{signal,{dialog1,_}}}    -> hide_about
	       ; {?MODULE,{signal,{dialogb,_}}}    -> hide_about
	       ; {data,Data}                       -> {data,Data}
	       ; X                                 -> {error,X}
	     end
	  of quit       -> quit()
	   ; connect    -> loop(conn(State))
	   ; disconnect -> loop(disc(State))
	   ; show_about -> loop(show_about(State))
	   ; hide_about -> loop(hide_about(State))
	   ; {data,D}   -> loop(update(State, D))
	   ; {error,X}  -> io:fwrite("got ~p~n", [X]),
			   loop(State)
	end.

Now let's do it with abstract patterns.

#quit() ->       quit;
#quit() ->       {?MODULE,{signal,{window1,_}}};
#quit() ->       {?MODULE,{signal,{quit1,_}}}.

#connect() ->    {?MODULE,{signal,{connect,_}}}.

#disconnect() -> {?MODULE,{signal,{disconnect,_}}}.

#show_about() -> {?MODULE,{signal,{about1,_}}}.

#hide_about() -> {?MODULE,{signal,{dialog1,_}}};
#hide_about() -> {?MODULE,{signal,{dialogb,_}}}.

#data(Data)   -> {data,Data}.

    loop(State) ->
	receive
	    #quit()       -> quit()
	  ; #connect()    -> loop(conn(State))
	  ; #disconnect() -> loop(disc(State))
	  ; #show_about() -> loop(show_about(State))
           ; #hide_about() -> loop(hide_about(State))
	  ; #data(Data)   -> loop(update(State, Data))
           ; X             -> io:fwrite("got ~p~n", [X]),
			     loop(State)
	end.

 From one point of view, of course, this simply *IS*
multiple patterns.  But the complexity has to be moved
out of the case or receive or whatever and given a *NAME*.
Once again we are separating "what is to be done" from
"how to do it", making it easier to understand each.




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