9.5.3 @:genericBuild

since Haxe 3.1.0

Normal build-macros are run per-type and are already very powerful. In some cases it is useful to run a build macro per type usage instead, i.e. whenever it actually appears in the code. Among other things this allows accessing the concrete type parameters in the macro.

@:genericBuild is used just like @:build by adding it to a type with the argument being a macro call:

import haxe.macro.Expr;
import haxe.macro.Context;
import haxe.macro.Type;

class GenericBuildMacro1 {
  static public function build() {
    switch (Context.getLocalType()) {
      case TInst(_, [t1]):
        trace(t1);
      case t:
        Context.error("Class expected", Context.currentPos());
    }
    return null;
  }
}
@:genericBuild(GenericBuildMacro1.build())
class MyType<T> { }

class Main {
  static function main() {
    var x:MyType<Int>;
    var x:MyType<String>;
  }
}

When running this example the compiler outputs TAbstract(Int,[]) and TInst(String,[]), indicating that it is indeed aware of the concrete type parameters of MyType. The macro logic could use this information to generate a custom type (using haxe.macro.Context.defineType) or refer to an existing one. For brevity we return null here which asks the compiler to infer the type.

In Haxe 3.1 the return type of a @:genericBuild macro has to be a haxe.macro.Type. Haxe 3.2 allows (and prefers) returning a haxe.macro.ComplexType instead, which is the syntactic representation of a type. This is easier to work with in many cases because types can simply be referenced by their paths.

Const type parameter

Haxe allows passing constant expression as a type parameter if the type parameter name is Const. This can be utilized in the context of @:genericBuild macros to pass information from the syntax directly to the macro:

import haxe.macro.Expr;
import haxe.macro.Context;
import haxe.macro.Type;

class GenericBuildMacro2 {
  static public function build() {
    switch (Context.getLocalType()) {
      case TInst(_,[TInst(_.get() => { kind: KExpr(macro $v{(s:String)}) },_)]):
        trace(s);
      case t:
        Context.error("Class expected", Context.currentPos());
    }
    return null;
  }
}
@:genericBuild(GenericBuildMacro2.build())
class MyType<Const> { }

class Main {
  static function main() {
    var x:MyType<"myfile.txt">;
  }
}

Here the macro logic could load a file and use its contents to generate a custom type.

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