2.3. Statements

A daScript program is a simple sequence of statements:

stats ::= stat [';'|'\n'] stats

Statements in daScript are comparable to those in C-family languages (C/C++, Java, C#, etc.): there are assignments, function calls, program flow control structures, etc. There are also some custom statements like blocks, structs, and initializers (which will be covered in detail later in this document). Statements can be separated with a new line or ‘;’.

2.3.1. Visibility Block

visibility_block ::= indent (stat)* unindent
visibility_block ::= '{' (stat)* '}'

A sequence of statements delimited by indenting or curly brackets ({ }) is called a visibility_block.

2.3.2. Control Flow Statements

daScript implements the most common control flow statements: if, while, for true and false

daScript has a strong boolean type (bool). Only expressions with a boolean type can be part of the condition in control statements. if/elif/else statement

stat ::= 'if' exp '\n' visibility_block (['elif' exp '\n' visibility_block])*  ['else' '\n' visibility_block]

Conditionally executes a statement depending on the result of an expression:

if a > b
    a = b
elif a < b
    b = a
    print("equal") while statement

stat ::= 'while' exp '\n' indent stat

Executes a statement while the condition is true:

while true
    if a<0

2.3.3. Ranged Loops for

stat ::= 'for' iterator 'in' [rangeexp] '\n' visibility_block

Executes a loop body statement for every element/iterator in expression, in sequenced order:

for i in range(0, 10)
    print("{i}")       // will print numbers from 0 to 9

// or

let arr: array<int>
resize(arr, 4)
for i in arr
    print("{i}")       // will print content of array from first element to last

// or

var a: array<int>
var b: int[10]
resize(a, 4)
for l, r in a, b
    print("{l}=={r}")  // will print content of a array and first 4 elements of array b

// or

var tab: table<string; int>
for k, v in keys(tab), values(tab)
    print("{k}:{v}")   // will print content of table, in form key:value

Iterable types are implemented via iterators (see Iterators).

2.3.4. break

stat ::= 'break'

The break statement terminates the execution of a loop (for or while).

2.3.5. continue

stat ::= 'continue'

The continue operator jumps to the next iteration of the loop, skipping the execution of the rest of the statements.

2.3.6. return

stat ::= return [exp]
stat ::= return <- exp

The return statement terminates the execution of the current function, block, or lambda, and optionally returns the result of an expression. If the expression is omitted, the function will return nothing, and the return type is assumed to be void. Returning mismatching types from same function is an error (i.e., all returns should return a value of the same type). If the function’s return type is explicit, the return expression should return the same type.


def foo(a: bool)
    if a
      return 1
      return 0.f  // error, different return type

def bar(a: bool): int
    if a
      return 1
      return 0.f  // error, mismatching return type

def foobar(a)
    return a  // return type will be same as argument type

In generator blocks, return must always return boolean expression, where false indicates end of generation.

‘return <- exp’ syntax is for move-on-return:

def make_array
    var a: array<int>
    a.resize(10)  // fill with something
    return <- a   // return will return

let a <- make_array() //create array filled with make_array

2.3.7. yield

Yield serves similar purpose as return for generators (see Generators).

It is similar to return syntax, but can only be used inside generator blocks.

Yield must always produce a value which matches that of the generator:

let gen <- generator<int>() <| $()
    yield 0         // int 0
    yield 1         // int 1
    return false

2.3.8. Finally statement

stat ::= finally visibility-block

Finally declares a block which will be executed once for any block (including control statements). A finally block can’t contain break, continue, or return statements. It is designed to ensure execution after ‘all is done’. Consider the following:

def test(a: array<int>; b: int)
    for x in a
        if x == b
            return 10
     return -1
     print("print anyway")

def test(a: array<int>; b: int)
    for x in a
        if x == b
            print("we found {x}")
         print("we print this anyway")

Finally may be used for resource de-allocation.

It’s possible to add code to the finally statement of the block with the defer macro:

require daslib/defer

def foo

def bar
    defer <|

In the example above, functions foo and bar are semantically identical. Multiple defer statements occur in reverse order.

The defer_delete macro adds a delete statement for its argument, and does not require a block.

2.3.9. Local variables declaration

initz ::= id [:type] [= exp]
initz ::= id [:type] [<- exp]
initz ::= id [:type] [:= exp]
ro_stat ::= 'let' initz
rw_stat ::= 'var' initz

Local variables can be declared at any point in a function. They exist between their declaration and the end of the visibility block where they have been declared. let declares read only variables, and var declares mutable (read-write) variables.

Copy =, move ->, or clone := semantics indicate how the variable is to be initialized.

2.3.10. Function declaration

stat ::= 'def' id ['(' args ')'] [':' type ] visibility_block

arg_decl = [var] id (',' id)* [':' type]
args ::= (arg_decl)*

Declares a new function. Examples:

def hello

def hello(): bool
    return false

def printVar(i: int)

def printVarRef(i: int&)

def setVar(var i: int&)
    i = i + 2

2.3.11. try/recover

stat ::= 'try' stat 'recover' visibility-block

The try statement encloses a block of code in which a panic condition can occur, such as a fatal runtime error or a panic function. The try-recover clause provides the panic-handling code.

It is important to understand that try/recover is not correct error handling code, and definitely not a way to implement control-flow. Much like in the Go language, this is really an invalid situation which should not normally happen in a production environment. Examples of potential exceptions are dereferencing a null pointer, indexing into an array out of bounds, etc.

2.3.12. panic

stat ::= 'panic' '(' [string-exp] ')'

Calling panic causes a runtime exception with string-exp available in the log.

2.3.13. global variables

stat ::= 'let|var' { shared } {private} '\n' indent id '=' expression
stat ::= 'let|var' { shared } {private} '\n' indent id '<-' expression
stat ::= 'let|var' { shared } {private} '\n' indent id ':=' expression

Declares a constant global variable. This variable is initialized once during initialization of the script (or each time when script init is manually called).

shared indicates that the constant is to be initialized once, and its memory is shared between multiple instances of the daScript context.

private indicates that the variable is not visible outside of its module.

2.3.14. enum

enumerations ::= ( 'id' ) '\n'
stat ::= 'enum' id indent enumerations unindent

Declares an enumeration (see Constants & Enumerations).

2.3.15. Expression statement

stat ::= exp

In daScript every expression is also allowed to be a statement. If so, the result of the expression is thrown away.