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[CLJ-701] Compiler loses 'loop's return type in some cases Created: 03/Jan/11  Updated: 21/Jul/14

Status: Open
Project: Clojure
Component/s: None
Affects Version/s: Backlog
Fix Version/s: Release 1.7

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

Clojure commit 9052ca1854b7b6202dba21fe2a45183a4534c501, version 1.3.0-master-SNAPSHOT


Approval: Vetted

 Description   
(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



 Comments   
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).

so

(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:
http://github.com/clojure/clojure/blob/master/src/jvm/clojure/lang/Compiler.java#L5572

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

http://dev.clojure.org/jira/browse/CLJ-274

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.

Comment by Kevin Downey [ 21/Jul/14 7:14 PM ]

an immediate solution to this might be to hoist loops out in to distinct non-ifn types generated by the compiler with an invoke method that is typed to return the getJavaClass() type of the expression, that would give us the simplifying benefits of hoisting the code out and free use from the Object semantics of ifn

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