PEP 622(V2)

Bringing else Back is Rejected

The main reason why people cannot converge on this is the problem of indentation setting.

Although other control flow statements in Python can have an else clause, when putting an else to match statements, there’re several options:

  1. else alighed with case

    match expr:
       case pat1:
       case pat2:
  2. else alighed with match

    match expr:
       case pat1:
       case pat2:
  3. Both..

This proposal has been rejeted as said here.

I propose that we reject this idea. The reasoning should be

  • case _: works just fine
  • There will forever be confusion(*) about the indentation level of the else:
  • “Completionist” arguments like “every other statement has one” are pretty useless (and false)

Variables in Patterns: Bindings instead of Evaluations and Comparisons

The concerned issue is #90.

Some of the community feel terrible about the following code

Bar = ...
match x:
    case Bar:

That they think binding x to Bar might not be a good semantics, instead, checking if x == Bar might be better.

The progress of this is, people converged to a.b means comparing matching target with a.b.

.b is out.

As the uppercase conventions to indicate enumerations in quite many programming languages, an idea to use an uppercase name for loading variables instead of binding variables were came up with. This seems nearly rejected by PEP 622 authors.

The use of uppercase names are not restricted in Python during these years. It’s certainly not a good option to make them behave as those in Haskell/ML/Scala.

Alternative __match__ Protocol

#100 by me is rejected.

A similar proposal is already made in the early stage(but I have to say they’re not identical), and the reason why Guido rejected it.

The previously accepted one is more memory efficient, while this alternative one can be faster and more flexible.

Further, the __match__ protocol is now ditched.

I’m actually in favor of this.

__match__ will after all enable something like AND patterns and active patterns in F#.

Of course I love active patterns, because I used it a lot in F#, which is quite useful in compiler works and web development, as it provides user-friendly options to express domain concepts into the programming part.

So far, PEP 622 authors are negative towards the benefits of AND patterns and active patterns.

Hence, in order to actually disable AND patterns and active patterns, it’s good to ditch __match__ and everything will get fine. There’re many good concerns presented in #115, say, no __match__ still works for many exemlar use cases discovered by PEP 622 authors, and we can add a proper __match__ protocol later if users actually need it and call for it.

The Switch Semantics

As I used to overwhelming the tracker repository, I stopped posting more proposals.

One of which is the switch semantics, which could speed up pattern matching in some cases.

This could be achieved by Label As Value, just like how switch/match things got implemented in a static language.

In Python we also have Label As Value, by using the Python bytecode instruction END_FINALLY.

I was told about this by @bhuztez, and he seems to know this from GOSUB.

Besides, I’ve made an intermediate language implementing this feature, compiling to Python bytecode:

Sijuiacion Language.

label a
blockaddr a  # get the address of label a
indir        # according to TOS(top of stack), jump to some label 

In above code, we use label a, define a label, it will have an offset I<a> among all instructions in the same function.

You can use goto a to jump to label a directly.

However, for pattern matching or switch cases, an indirect jump can be performant.

blockaddr a will access the offset of label a in the whole instructions, and push it to TOS;

indir consumes TOS, and jump to the corresponding offset.

Above sijuiacion things will be compiled to CPython bytecode instructions with the help of END_FINALLY.

If we have such a match statement:

match expr:
    case C1(...):
        # block 1
    case C2(...):
        # block 2
    case C2(...):
        # block 3
    case C3(...):
        # block 4
    case _:
        # block 5

And if we can know some static and unique tags held by C1, C2, …, we can generate a constant table TABLE = {tag(C1): <blockaddr 1>, tag(C2): <blockaddr 2>, tag(C3): <blockaddr 4>}, we could generate such instructions:

# we compute the label value and push it ot TOS
<call dict.get(TABLE, tag(match_target), <blockaddr 5>)> 
indir  # indirect jump according to TOS

In this way, we can very fast decide which cases are possible to try.

However, a global variable like C1, C2, C3 is actually dynamic variables in Python, this will cause it difficult to create a jump table.

Besides, active patterns will disable such optimizations.


#96 is shutdown as PEP 622 authors didn’t agree that this was an issue.

a =  1
match [10, 20]:
    case [a, 2]:
    case _:
        print(a) # 1 or 10?

Some concern against using name shadowing technique is, locals and other Python reflection things are already widely used to access local names, and it might be difficult to predict where the lifetime of a variable has ended up.

This is not a problem, because name shadowing just generates some “weird” names, and statically shadows some existing variables.

Its implementation within the CPython codebase can be easily made when building symbol tables, or building bytecode instructions.

I can make a demonstration for name shadowing steps based on the following code, and assume that we perform this when building bytecode instructions.

a = 1
match expr:
    case C(a, 1) if (lambda : a < 2)():
  1. We create an empty map ENV, from user-written names to generated names.
  2. When visiting the sub-patterns of C(a, 1), we saw a, we generate some name for a, maybe $a.h@z, which shall be an invalid Python identifier. We add the mapping to ENV(ENV[a := $a.h@z]).
  3. When visiting the name a in the guard (lambda : a < 2)(), we lookup ENV(ENV.get("a", "a")), hence we will actually get the generated name "$a.h@z" here.
  4. If the case C(a, 1) if (lambda : a < 2)() failed, we just exit it. Notice that variable a is not bound,
  5. Otherwise, before print(a), we inserted instructions to do name bindings a = $a.h@z.

As you can see, name shadowing can also be totally made with AST transformations (this can be better as you don’t need to care about whether a variable is (cell)bound/free/global):

a = 1
match expr:
    case C($a.h@z, 1) if (lambda : $a.h@z < 2)():
        a = $a.h@z

How about locals? Or other reflection tools?

Fine. The generated are invalid identifiers, you can just skip them.

However, it’s rejected after all. This semantics is already clarified in some degree, in PEP 622.


I forgot them. TODO.