Title

Basic Syntax-rules Extensions

Author

Taylor Campbell

Status

This SRFI is currently in ``final'' status. To see an explanation of each status that a SRFI can hold, see here. You can access previous messages via the archive of the mailing list.

Abstract

This SRFI proposes two extensions to the R5RS1 syntax-rules pattern language: the first allows syntax-rules macros to generate macros, where the macro-generated macros use ellipsis that is not used by the macro-generating macros; the second allows for 'tail patterns.'

Rationale

Macros that generate macros are fairly common and very useful in a variety of circumstances, e.g. in CPS macros2 for local continuation macros. R5RS currently provides no mechanism for generating literal ellipsis in a syntax-rules clause's template — all ellipsis in the template is processed by the macro. Macros that generate macros are thereby restricted, since the generated macros are unable to make use of ellipsis. This is a severe restriction that can be removed by a simple extension to the syntax-rules syntax.

Additionally, it is often very convenient to be able to match a finite sequence of elements not only before any ellipsis but also after any ellipsis. Such 'tail patterns' are unsupported by R5RS in its specification of syntax-rules; thus, this SRFI proposes the simple addition of tail patterns to syntax-rules.

Specification

Syntax-rules syntax is extended so that there is an extra possible token before the literal identifier list:

  (syntax-rules [<ellipsis-identifier>] (<literal-identifier> ...)
    (<pattern> <template>)
    ...)

Ellipsis-identifier specifies the token used for ellipsis. It defaults to the usual R5RS1 ellipsis identifier, ..., but it can be specified to be any identifier, such as :::. This identifier's specification is considered to be a binding whose scope is the rules of the transformer. The macro system implementation must make the hygienic arrangements described in R5RS's section 4.3 to preserve the lexical scope of these bindings.

The syntax-rules pattern language is also extended to allow 'tail patterns.' The following clauses are added to <pattern>:

 (<pattern> ... <ellipsis> <pattern> ...)
#(<pattern> ... <ellipsis> <pattern> ...)

And the following clauses are added to the semantics of syntax-rules' pattern matching:

Examples

;;; Examples of the user-specified ellipsis token extension

;;; Utility macro for CPS macros
(define-syntax apply-syntactic-continuation
  (syntax-rules ()
    ((apply-syntactic-continuation (?k ?env ...) . ?args)
     (?k ?env ... . ?args))))

;;; Generates a list of temporaries, for example to implement LETREC
;;; (see below), and 'returns' it by CPS.
(define-syntax generate-temporaries
  (syntax-rules ()
    ((generate-temporaries ?origs ?k)
     (letrec-syntax
         ((aux (syntax-rules ::: ()
                 ;; We use a trick here: pass the continuation again
                 ;; to AUX in case it contains ellipsis.  If we stuck
                 ;; it right into AUX's template, AUX would process the
                 ;; ellipsis in ?K as ellipsis for something in the AUX
                 ;; macro.
                 ((aux ?temps () ?k*)
                  (apply-syntactic-continuation ?k* ?temps))
                 ;; Be careful about the ellipsis!
                 ((aux (?temp :::) (?x ?more :::) ?k*)
                  (aux (?temp ::: new-temp)
                       (?more :::)
                       ?k*)))))
       (aux () ?origs ?k)))))

;;; Instead of having lots of auxiliary clauses in LETREC, like in the
;;; R5RS sample implementation, we use GENERATE-TEMPORARIES.  Instead
;;; of 'returning,' like an ordinary function, we create a continuation
;;;  for GENERATE-TEMPORARIES with LET-SYNTAX.  Since this continuation
;;; uses ellipsis, we must use the ellipsis token extension.
(define-syntax letrec
  (syntax-rules ()
    ((letrec ((?var ?init) ...) ?body1 ?body2 ...)
     (let-syntax
         ((k (syntax-rules ::: ()
               ;; Use the same trick as with the continuations in
               ;; GENERATE-TEMPORARIES.  Be careful about the ellipsis!
               ((k ((?var* ?init*) :::)
                   (?body1* ?body2* :::)
                   ;; Here are the actual arguments to the continuation
                   ;; -- the previous bits of the pattern were just the
                   ;; 'environment' of the continuation --:
                   (?temp :::))
                (let ((?var* (if #f #f)) ; Get an 'unspecific' value.
                      :::)
                  (let ((?temp ?init*) :::)
                    (set! ?var* ?temp) :::
                    (let () ?body1* ?body2* :::)))))))
       (generate-temporaries (?var ...)
         ;; Pass K the environment.  GENERATE-TEMPORARIES will add the
         ;; temporary variable list argument.
         (k ((?var ?init) ...) (?body1 ?body2 ...)))))))

;;; The next example uses two other macros that we don't define here:
;;; SYNTACTIC-SYMBOL? and UNION.  (SYNTACTIC-SYMBOL? <x> <sk> <fk>)
;;; expands to SK if X is a symbol or FK otherwise.  (UNION <s1> <s2>
;;; <k>) applies K with APPLY-SYNTACTIC-CONTINUATION to the union of
;;; the syntactic lists S1 and S2.  Both of SYNTACTIC-SYMBOL? and UNION
;;; are possible to implement here, but we sha'n't bother with them, as
;;; we wish only to demonstrate an example of macros generating macro-
;;; generating macros, and they provide no such examples.

;;; ALL-SYMBOLS digs out all the symbols in a syntax.
(define-syntax all-symbols
  (syntax-rules ()
    ((all-symbols (?x . ?y) ?k)
     (let-syntax
         ((k (syntax-rules :::0 ()
               ((k ?y* ?k*  (?symbol :::0))
                (let-syntax
                    ((k* (syntax-rules :::1 ()
                           ;; Doubly nested ellipsis: we use another
                           ;; distinct ellipsis token.
                           ((k* ?k** (?symbol* :::1))
                            (union (?symbol  :::0)
                                   (?symbol* :::1)
                                   ?k**)))))
                  (all-symbols ?y* (k* ?k*)))))))
       (all-symbols ?x (k ?y ?k))))

    ((all-symbols #(?x ...) ?k)
     (all-symbols (?x ...) ?k))

    ((all-symbols ?x ?k)
     (syntax-symbol? ?x
       (apply-syntactic-continuation ?k (?x))
       (apply-syntactic-continuation ?k ())))))

(all-symbols (foo 4 bar #(#t (baz (#f quux)) zot) (mumble #(frotz)))
             (quote)) ; => (frotz mumble zot quux baz bar foo)

;;; This example demonstrates the hygienic renaming of the ellipsis
;;; identifiers.

(let-syntax
    ((f (syntax-rules ()
          ((f ?e)
           (let-syntax
               ((g (syntax-rules ::: ()
                     ((g (??x ?e) (??y :::))
                      '((??x) ?e (??y) :::)))))
             (g (1 2) (3 4)))))))
  (f :::))
    ; => ((1) 2 (3) (4)), if hygienic rules of ellipsis identifiers are
    ;      correctly implemented, not ((1) (2) (3) (4))
;;; --------------------
;;; Examples of tail patterns

;;; This example of the tail pattern extension is a crippled version of
;;; R5RS's BEGIN special form.  (It is crippled because it does not
;;; support internal definitions or commands within its body returning
;;; fewer or more than one value.)

(define-syntax fake-begin
  (syntax-rules ()
    ((fake-begin ?body ... ?tail)
     (let* ((ignored ?body) ...) ?tail))))

;;; For example,
;;;   (FAKE-BEGIN
;;;     (DISPLAY "Hello,")
;;;     (WRITE-CHAR #\SPACE)
;;;     (DISPLAY "world!")
;;;     (NEWLINE))
;;; would expand to
;;;   (LET* ((IGNORED (DISPLAY "Hello,"))
;;;          (IGNORED (WRITE-CHAR #\SPACE))
;;;          (IGNORED (DISPLAY "world!")))
;;;     (NEWLINE))

(let-syntax
    ((foo (syntax-rules ()
            ((foo ?x ?y ... ?z)
             (list ?x (list ?y ...) ?z)))))
  (foo 1 2 3 4 5))
    ; => (1 (2 3 4) 5)

Implementation

There are two example macro expanders here provided that implement the proposed extensions, Alexpander & EIOD. Alexpander is a complete, sophisticated expander for the syntax-rules macro system; EIOD is an implementation of R5RS's eval that obviously requires a macro expander internally. Both were written by Al* Petrofsky; see their source for copyright information & licensing terms. Alexpander is available at <http://srfi.schemers.org/srfi-46/alexpander.scm> and EIOD is available at <http://srfi.schemers.org/srfi-46/eiod.scm>.

Acknowledgements

Al* Petrofsky provided much crucial input about the fundamental design of this SRFI's extensions on the mailing list that strongly influenced the final result; I thank him greatly for that input.

References

  1. Richard Kelsey, William Clinger, and Jonathon Rees (editors).
    The Revised5 Report on the Algorithmic Language Scheme
    Higher-Order and Symbolic Computation, Vol. 11, No. 1, September, 1998, and ACM SIGPLAN Notices, Vol. 33, No. 9, October, 1998.
    http://www.schemers.org/Documents/Standards/R5RS/
  2. Erik Hilsdale and Daniel P. Friedman.
    Writing Macros in Continuation-Passing Style
    Scheme and Functional Programming 2000, September, 2000.
    http://www.ccs.neu.edu/home/matthias/Scheme2000/hilsdale.ps

Copyright

Copyright (C) Taylor Campbell (2005). All Rights Reserved.

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.


Editor: David Rush
Last modified: Sun May 17 12:34:31 MST 2009