Emojicode Documentation 0.8
Guides Language Reference Package Index

Generics

Generics allow you to write code in which you can use a placeholder – variable names – instead of an actual type, which will then be substituted with real types when you use that code later. This is a really powerful feature and is a great way to avoid code duplication.

Defining a Generic Type

To define a generic class or value type provide generic parameters after the name of the type. A generic parameter consits of a name, which can then be used instead of a type inside the class or value type, and a type constraint.

generic-parametervariable type
generic-parameter-listgeneric-parameter [generic-parameter-list]
generic-parameters ⟶ 🐚 generic-parameter-list 🍆

See this example for a box type that can store objects of a specified type. Note that inside the class body T is used as a type.

🐇 🎁 🐚T🔵🍆 🍇
  🖍🆕 something T

  🆕 ✂️ 🍼 something T 🍇🍉

  ❗️ 🎉 ➡️  T 🍇
    ↩️ something
  🍉
🍉

The following example demonstrates how to instantiate a generic class:

🆕🎁🐚🔡🍆✂️ 🔤Been wishin' for you🔤❗

Type Constraint

The type constraint constrains which types can be supplied as an arguments for a generic type parameter. Type contstraints are useful as they allow you to treat values of a generic type as if they were an instance of the type constraint.

Subclassing a Generic Class

Naturally you can subclass a generic class. Like in any other circumstance you have to provide values for the superclass’s generic parameters. For instance:

🐇 ☑️ 🎁🐚🔡🍆 🍇

🍉

If the subclass itself takes a generic argument this argument can be used as argument for the superclass:

🐇 🌟🐚A🔵🍆 🎁🐚A🍆 🍇

🍉

Compatibility

Two generic types are only compatible if they were provided with exactly the same arguments. So 🍨🐚🔡🍆 is only compatible to 🍨🐚🔡🍆 but not to 🍨🐚⚪️🍆 as one might expect.

Generic Methods and Intializers

It’s also possible to define a generic method, type method or intializer. A such method, type method or intializer takes generic arguments which then can be used as argument types, as return types or as types in the body.

A good example from the standard library is 🍨’s 🐰 method. It is defined like this:

❗️ 🐰 🐚A⚪🍆️ callback 🍇Element➡️A🍉 ➡️ 🍨🐚A🍆 🍇
  💭 ...
🍉

As you can see above has one generic parameter named A which is restricted to subtypes of ⚪️, that is any type. Now, if you'd wish to call this method you can know provide the generic type arguments after the object or class on which on which you call the method:

🍨🔤aa🔤 🔤12345🔤🍆 ➡️ list
🐰 list 🐚🔡🍆 🍇 a 🔡 ➡️ 🔡
  ↩️ 🍪a 🔤!🔤🍪
🍉

The grammar for generic arguments is:

generic-argument-listtype [generic-argument-list]
generic-arguments ⟶ 🐚 generic-argument-list 🍆

Emojicode is, however, capable of automatically inferring the generic arguments for you, so we can just write:

🐰 list 🍇 a 🔡 ➡️ 🔡
  ↩️ 🍪a 🔤!🔤🍪
🍉

and Emojicode will automatically provide 🔡 as generic argument for A.

Generic Protocols

It’s also possible to define generic protocols. Generic protocols work very similar to generic classes and the same compatibility rules apply.

A generic protocol which you might use is 🔂.

🐊 🔂🐚Element⚪🍆️ 🍇
  ❗️ 🍡 ➡️ 🍡🐚Element🍆
🍉

It takes one generic argument Element which determines the generic argument for the iterator (🍡) the 🍡 method must return.

A class conforming to this protocol must pass a generic argument, like the string class does for example:

🐇 🌳🐚Element⚪🍆️ 🍇
  🐊 🍡🐚Element🍆

  💭 ...
🍉

🐋 🔡 🍇
  🐊 🔂🐚🍬🔣

  💭 ...

  ❗️ 🍡 ➡️ 🌳🐚🍬🔣🍆 🍇
    💭 ...
  🍉
🍇
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