6.4.9 Extractors

since Haxe 3.1.0

Extractors allow applying transformations to values being matched. This is often useful when a small operation is required on a matched value before matching can continue:

enum Test {
  TString(s:String);
  TInt(i:Int);
}

class Main {
  static public function main() {
    var e = TString("fOo");
    switch(e) {
      case TString(temp):
        switch(temp.toLowerCase()) {
          case "foo": true;
          case _: false;
        }
      case _: false;
    }
  }
}

Here we have to capture the argument value of the TString enum constructor in a variable temp and use a nested switch on temp.toLowerCase(). Obviously, we want matching to succeed if TString holds a value of "foo" regardless of its casing. This can be simplified with extractors:

enum Test {
  TString(s:String);
  TInt(i:Int);
}

class Main {
  static public function main() {
    var e = TString("fOo");
    var success = switch(e) {
      case TString(_.toLowerCase() => "foo"):
        true;
      case _:
        false;
    }
  }
}

Extractors are identified by the extractorExpression => match expression. The compiler generates code which is similar to the previous example, but the original syntax was greatly simplified. Extractors consist of two parts, which are separated by the => operator:

  1. The left side can be any expression, where all occurrences of underscore _ are replaced with the currently matched value.
  2. The right side is a pattern which is matched against the result of the evaluation of the left side.

Since the right side is a pattern, it can contain another extractor. The following example "chains" two extractors:

class Main {
  static public function main() {
    switch(3) {
      case add(_, 1) => mul(_, 3) => a:
        trace(a);
    }
  }

  static function add(i1:Int, i2:Int) {
    return i1 + i2;
  }

  static function mul(i1:Int, i2:Int) {
    return i1 * i2;
  }
}

This traces 12 as a result of the calls to add(3, 1), where 3 is the matched value, and mul(4, 3) where 4 is the result of the add call. It is worth noting that the a on the right side of the second => operator is a capture variable.

It is currently not possible to use extractors within or-patterns:

class Main {
  static public function main() {
    switch("foo") {
      // Extractors in or patterns are not allowed
      case (_.toLowerCase() => "foo") | "bar":
    }
  }
}

However, it is possible to have or-patterns on the right side of an extractor, so the previous example would compile without the parentheses.


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