InternalString class for easy String manipulation


(Richard Ward) #1

First, this is my first post to a list like this and I could not find the instructions to properly respond to a post in the digest. Does one have to subscribe to the verbose (non digest post) in order to respond to a thread correctly? Or is there a link to some instructions? Thanks.

I come from a scientific/engineering background where I create a lot of utility applications which do not have to be as robust in certain ways as commercial applications which are used by a mass number of people. To be clear, the applications need to work and produce correct results and need to be robust in this way. Python is used by a large portion of the scientific community to create applications such as I mentioned and in large part due to what Michael stated in his original email. I dislike having to scan/read code which has long multiply nested method trains such as

str.characters.count where to me, it is easier to scan/read code such as str.len or len(str)

I understand the need for unicode in general purpose / internationalized applications. However, it is overkill for most of what I need to do. Also, I agree with Michael that learning the unicode way of Swift is a barrier to people new to coding.

I am wondering why one can’t make a method extension for String called .len or .length (and for that case make a commonly used subscript extension as well) which conform to a protocol which is constructed as only taking say ascii or simplified string?s This could be put into a “semi-standard” library and people who needed/wanted a simplified interface could access and use it? Couldn’t the existing dull underlying string structure be used for this?

I also don’t like to have to perform type conversions between floating point numbers but that is for another thread.

···

——

On Aug 15, 2016, at 1:00 PM, Michael Savich <savichmichael@icloud.com <mailto:savichmichael@icloud.com>> wrote:

Back in Swift 1.0, subscripting a String was easy, you could just use subscripting in a very Python like way. But now, things are a bit more complicated. I recognize why we need syntax like str.startIndex.advancedBy(x) but it has its downsides. Namely, it makes things hard on beginners. If one of Swift's goals is to make it a great first language, this syntax fights that. Imagine having to explain Unicode and character size to an 8 year old. This is doubly problematic because String manipulation is one of the first things new coders might want to do.

<snip>

On Aug 15, 2016, at 8:24 PM,Xiaodi Wu <xiaodi.wu@gmail.com <mailto:xiaodi.wu@gmail.com>> wrote:
<snip>
But, we also want Swift to support Unicode by default, and we want that support to do things The Right Way(TM) by default. In other words, a user
should not have to reach for a special type in order to handle arbitrary strings correctly, and I should be able to reassign `a = "你好"` and have things work as expected. So, we also can't have the "easy" string type be the default...


(Xiaodi Wu) #2

First, this is my first post to a list like this and I could not find the
instructions to properly respond to a post in the digest. Does one have to
subscribe to the verbose (non digest post) in order to respond to a thread
correctly? Or is there a link to some instructions? Thanks.

Welcome! Sadly, I don't know of any way to reply to the right thread from
the digest.

I come from a scientific/engineering background where I create a lot of
utility applications which do not have to be as robust in certain ways as
commercial applications which are used by a mass number of people. To be
clear, the applications need to work and produce correct results and need
to be robust in this way. Python is used by a large portion of the
scientific community to create applications such as I mentioned and in
large part due to what Michael stated in his original email. I dislike
having to scan/read code which has long multiply nested method trains such
as

str.characters.count where to me, it is easier to scan/read code such
as str.len or len(str)

I come from a scientific background too and know and love Python (well,
*knew*, back in the good ol' 2.* days). Unicode in Python 2 was, if I
recall correctly, not exactly a bright spot.

This argument is not persuasive to me. The same issue about long spellings
(as compared to other languages) applies pervasively in Swift, but as far
as I can tell, in each case brevity is deliberately taking a backseat to
correctness. I expect you're bound to encounter, if you ever try (for
example) to read a binary format for scientific/engineering uses, spellings
such as `UnsafeMutableBufferPointer` and others new to Swift 3 such as
`UnsafeRawPointer(ptr).bindMemory(to: T.self)`, `MemoryLayout<T>.size(of:
value)`, etc. Each of these is significantly longer than the spelling of
similar facilities in, say, C or Python. But it reflects Swift naming
guidelines, which were one of the main focuses of Swift 3 evolution. IMO,
what you're advocating for, if applied throughout Swift APIs, would be a
very broad shift in a diametrically opposite direction on a settled issue.

One Swift renaming that sticks out to me as taking the "Swift way" to its
epitome, having skimmed some of the API notes, is this one:

  - Name: NSTimeIntervalSince1970
    SwiftName: timeIntervalBetween1970AndReferenceDate

I understand the need for unicode in general purpose / internationalized

applications. However, it is overkill for most of what I need to do.
Also, I agree with Michael that learning the unicode way of Swift is a
barrier to people new to coding.

I am wondering why one can’t make a method extension for String called
.len or .length (and for that case make a commonly used subscript extension
as well) which conform to a protocol which is constructed as only taking
say ascii or simplified string?s This could be put into a “semi-standard”
library and people who needed/wanted a simplified interface could access
and use it? Couldn’t the existing dull underlying string structure be used
for this?

The beauty of Swift is that it is easy to do this for your own code, and
easy to do it correctly. My take would be that your own code would be where
such an approach would be most "Swifty."

···

On Sun, Aug 21, 2016 at 3:04 PM, Richard Ward via swift-evolution < swift-evolution@swift.org> wrote:

I also don’t like to have to perform type conversions between floating
point numbers but that is for another thread.

——

On Aug 15, 2016, at 1:00 PM, Michael Savich <savichmichael@icloud.com> > wrote:

Back in Swift 1.0, subscripting a String was easy, you could just use
subscripting in a very Python like way. But now, things are a bit more
complicated. I recognize why we need syntax like
str.startIndex.advancedBy(x) but it has its downsides. Namely, it makes
things hard on beginners. If one of Swift's goals is to make it a great
first language, this syntax fights that. Imagine having to explain Unicode
and character size to an 8 year old. This is doubly problematic because
String manipulation is one of the first things new coders might want to do.

<snip>

On Aug 15, 2016, at 8:24 PM,Xiaodi Wu <xiaodi.wu@gmail.com> wrote:

<snip>

But, we also want Swift to support Unicode by default, and we want that support
to do things The Right Way(TM) by default. In other words, a user
should not have to reach for a special type in order to handle arbitrary strings
correctly, and I should be able to reassign `a = "你好"` and have things
work as expected. So, we also can't have the "easy" string type be the
default...

_______________________________________________
swift-evolution mailing list
swift-evolution@swift.org
https://lists.swift.org/mailman/listinfo/swift-evolution


(Félix Cloutier) #3

I generally agree with Xiaodi. I'm not saying that you need Unicode in your scientific application, but it's very easy to think that you don't need it when you actually do, especially because you don't necessarily get to test yourself. The argument that one doesn't need Unicode is the slippery slope down which current systems found themselves. As French native speaker, my insight is that the potential for misuse of ASCII strings has been demonstrated over and over.

I view ASCII strings as a mistake for the wider world. Instead of repeating that mistake, I would prefer to understand what kind of parsing/comparison you need to perform and come up with a more convenient solution to that.

Félix

···

Le 22 août 2016 à 18:44:38, Xiaodi Wu via swift-evolution <swift-evolution@swift.org> a écrit :

On Sun, Aug 21, 2016 at 3:04 PM, Richard Ward via swift-evolution <swift-evolution@swift.org <mailto:swift-evolution@swift.org>> wrote:
First, this is my first post to a list like this and I could not find the instructions to properly respond to a post in the digest. Does one have to subscribe to the verbose (non digest post) in order to respond to a thread correctly? Or is there a link to some instructions? Thanks.

Welcome! Sadly, I don't know of any way to reply to the right thread from the digest.

I come from a scientific/engineering background where I create a lot of utility applications which do not have to be as robust in certain ways as commercial applications which are used by a mass number of people. To be clear, the applications need to work and produce correct results and need to be robust in this way. Python is used by a large portion of the scientific community to create applications such as I mentioned and in large part due to what Michael stated in his original email. I dislike having to scan/read code which has long multiply nested method trains such as

str.characters.count where to me, it is easier to scan/read code such as str.len or len(str)

I come from a scientific background too and know and love Python (well, *knew*, back in the good ol' 2.* days). Unicode in Python 2 was, if I recall correctly, not exactly a bright spot.

This argument is not persuasive to me. The same issue about long spellings (as compared to other languages) applies pervasively in Swift, but as far as I can tell, in each case brevity is deliberately taking a backseat to correctness. I expect you're bound to encounter, if you ever try (for example) to read a binary format for scientific/engineering uses, spellings such as `UnsafeMutableBufferPointer` and others new to Swift 3 such as `UnsafeRawPointer(ptr).bindMemory(to: T.self)`, `MemoryLayout<T>.size(of: value)`, etc. Each of these is significantly longer than the spelling of similar facilities in, say, C or Python. But it reflects Swift naming guidelines, which were one of the main focuses of Swift 3 evolution. IMO, what you're advocating for, if applied throughout Swift APIs, would be a very broad shift in a diametrically opposite direction on a settled issue.

One Swift renaming that sticks out to me as taking the "Swift way" to its epitome, having skimmed some of the API notes, is this one:

  - Name: NSTimeIntervalSince1970
    SwiftName: timeIntervalBetween1970AndReferenceDate

I understand the need for unicode in general purpose / internationalized applications. However, it is overkill for most of what I need to do. Also, I agree with Michael that learning the unicode way of Swift is a barrier to people new to coding.

I am wondering why one can’t make a method extension for String called .len or .length (and for that case make a commonly used subscript extension as well) which conform to a protocol which is constructed as only taking say ascii or simplified string?s This could be put into a “semi-standard” library and people who needed/wanted a simplified interface could access and use it? Couldn’t the existing dull underlying string structure be used for this?

The beauty of Swift is that it is easy to do this for your own code, and easy to do it correctly. My take would be that your own code would be where such an approach would be most "Swifty."

I also don’t like to have to perform type conversions between floating point numbers but that is for another thread.

——

On Aug 15, 2016, at 1:00 PM, Michael Savich <savichmichael@icloud.com <mailto:savichmichael@icloud.com>> wrote:

Back in Swift 1.0, subscripting a String was easy, you could just use subscripting in a very Python like way. But now, things are a bit more complicated. I recognize why we need syntax like str.startIndex.advancedBy(x) but it has its downsides. Namely, it makes things hard on beginners. If one of Swift's goals is to make it a great first language, this syntax fights that. Imagine having to explain Unicode and character size to an 8 year old. This is doubly problematic because String manipulation is one of the first things new coders might want to do.

<snip>

On Aug 15, 2016, at 8:24 PM,Xiaodi Wu <xiaodi.wu@gmail.com <mailto:xiaodi.wu@gmail.com>> wrote:
<snip>
But, we also want Swift to support Unicode by default, and we want that support to do things The Right Way(TM) by default. In other words, a user
should not have to reach for a special type in order to handle arbitrary strings correctly, and I should be able to reassign `a = "你好"` and have things work as expected. So, we also can't have the "easy" string type be the default...

_______________________________________________
swift-evolution mailing list
swift-evolution@swift.org <mailto:swift-evolution@swift.org>
https://lists.swift.org/mailman/listinfo/swift-evolution

_______________________________________________
swift-evolution mailing list
swift-evolution@swift.org <mailto:swift-evolution@swift.org>
https://lists.swift.org/mailman/listinfo/swift-evolution