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[CLJ-701] Compiler loses 'loop's return type in some cases Created: 03/Jan/11  Updated: 21/Oct/13

Status: Open
Project: Clojure
Component/s: None
Affects Version/s: Backlog
Fix Version/s: None

Type: Defect Priority: Major
Reporter: Chouser Assignee: Unassigned
Resolution: Unresolved Votes: 0
Labels: None

Clojure commit 9052ca1854b7b6202dba21fe2a45183a4534c501, version 1.3.0-master-SNAPSHOT

Approval: Vetted

(set! *warn-on-reflection* true)
(fn [] (loop [b 0] (recur (loop [a 1] a))))

Generates the following warnings:

recur arg for primitive local: b is not matching primitive, had: Object, needed: long
Auto-boxing loop arg: b

This is interesting for several reasons. For one, if the arg to recur is a let form, there is no warning:

(fn [] (loop [b 0] (recur (let [a 1] a))))

Also, the compiler appears to understand the return type of loop forms just fine:

(use '[clojure.contrib.repl-utils :only [expression-info]])
(expression-info '(loop [a 1] a))
;=> {:class long, :primitive? true}

The problem can of course be worked around using an explicit cast on the loop form:

(fn [] (loop [b 0] (recur (long (loop [a 1] a)))))

Reported by leafw in IRC: http://clojure-log.n01se.net/date/2011-01-03.html#10:31

Comment by a_strange_guy [ 03/Jan/11 4:36 PM ]

The problem is that a 'loop form gets converted into an anonymous fn that gets called immediately, when the loop is in a expression context (eg. its return value is needed, but not as the return value of a method/fn).


(fn [] (loop [b 0] (recur (loop [a 1] a))))

gets converted into

(fn [] (loop [b 0] (recur ((fn [] (loop [a 1] a))))))

see the code in the compiler:

this conversion already bites you if you have mutable fields in a deftype and want to 'set! them in a loop


Comment by Christophe Grand [ 23/Nov/12 2:28 AM ]

loops in expression context are lifted into fns because else Hotspot doesn't optimize them.
This causes several problems:

  • type inference doesn't propagate outside of the loop[1]
  • the return value is never a primitive
  • mutable fields are inaccessible
  • surprise allocation of one closure objects each time the loop is entered.

Adressing all those problems isn't easy.
One can compute the type of the loop and emit a type hint but it works only with reference types. To make it works with primitive, primitie fns aren't enough since they return only long/double: you have to add explicit casts.
So solving the first two points can be done in a rather lccal way.
The two other points require more impacting changes, the goal would be to emit a method rather than a fn. So it means at the very least changing ObjExpr and adding a new subclassof ObjMethod.

[1] beware of CLJ-1111 when testing.

Comment by Alex Miller [ 21/Oct/13 10:28 PM ]

I don't think this is going to make it into 1.6, so removing the 1.6 tag.

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