support for 'var' in lambda parameters

Remi Forax forax at
Wed Sep 27 14:06:11 UTC 2017

----- Mail original -----
> De: "Maurizio Cimadamore" <maurizio.cimadamore at>
> À: "Zheka Kozlov" <orionllmain at>
> Cc: "amber-dev" <amber-dev at>
> Envoyé: Mercredi 27 Septembre 2017 14:47:43
> Objet: Re: support for 'var' in lambda parameters

> On 27/09/17 13:20, Zheka Kozlov wrote:
>> Why should we allow `var` in lambda parameters? Who will ever need
>> writing `(var x) -> x` instead of `x -> x`?
> Hi,
> first of all, to clarify things, this is an experimental feature - which
> is why it was left out from the JEP 286 integration into jdk10/master.
> Secondly, JEP 286 is not just about 'var' in local variable declaration
> (although I agree that's the most frequent use case). You can also use
> 'var' in other places too, such as for loops and try-with-resources.
> From an uniformity perspective, one could argue that lambda parameters
> are another place where the 'var' treatment could be applied.
> As you point out, lambdas do provide a more succint version to declare
> implicit parameters - but in a language that is evolving to use 'var' in
> more places (pattern matching will likely use 'var' for pattern
> bindings), I think that, from a pedagogical question at least, it makes
> sense to allow 'var' in all places where you want to declare a variable
> but you don't care about giving it an explicit type.

yes, it's for completeness.
I would love to see if it is possible to use var in an explicitly typed lambda, it's an interesting use case.

> Maurizio


>> 2017-09-27 19:07 GMT+07:00 Maurizio Cimadamore
>> <maurizio.cimadamore at <mailto:maurizio.cimadamore at>>:
>>     Hi,
>>     I've recently pushed a changeset [1] to enable use of 'var' in
>>     lambda parameters. Below is some rationale on the implemented support.
>>     In the current (e.g. JDK 9) grammar, we have two versions of
>>     lambdas: *implicitly*- and *explicitly*-typed. Furthermore, an
>>     implicitly typed lambda can come in two form (there's no
>>     terminology for it, so I'll make up one): *compact* and
>>     *parenthesized*.
>>     Let's see some examples:
>>     x->x //implicit, compact
>>     (x)->x //implicit, parenthesized
>>     (String x)->x //explicit
>>     So, the first question is - when is it ok to use `var`? There are
>>     two choices here:
>>     1. allow `var` on all implicit lambdas
>>     2. allow `var` only on implicit parenthesized lambdas
>>     We concluded that (2) is the option that makes more sense - this
>>     allows for a smooth verbosity curve (see below from most compact
>>     to least compact):
>>     x->x
>>     (x)->x //added parens
>>     (var x)->x //added 'var'
>>     (String x)->x //ok, fully typed
>>     Second question: we basically have now two kind of implicitly
>>     typed parameters - those that omit type info in full (e.g. the
>>     formal decl is just an identifier) and those using `var`. Can we
>>     mix and match between these e.g.
>>     (var x, y)->x+y
>>     We have concluded that there's no need to mix and match. In fact,
>>     it is more likely that one form of implicit parameter declaration
>>     will supplant the other in the long run.
>>     Third question: what about parameter modifiers such as `final`
>>     and/or annotations? Historically, such modifiers were not allowed
>>     in implicit lambda parameters (as those were just identifiers, and
>>     it poses several parser challenges to e.g. allow annotations
>>     there); on the other hand, local variables using `var` support
>>     both modifiers and annotations. We concluded that, for
>>     consistency, we have to do the same when `var` occurs in a lambda
>>     parameter.
>>     Last question: can I mix implicit an explicit parameters?
>>     (var x, String y)-> x + y
>>     While that would be nice, it must be noted that this is a much
>>     deeper change, with ramifications in overload selection, since
>>     implicit and explicit lambdas are currently two disjoint sets,
>>     with very different behavior w.r.t. overload resolution (see
>>     definitions of 'pertinent to applicability' in JLS For
>>     that reason, we won't go down there now (but it's something worth
>>     considering in the future).
>>     Maurizio
>>     [1] -
>>     <>

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