2.5. Temporary types

Temporary types are designed to address lifetime issues of data, which are exposed to daScript directly from C++.

Let’s review the following C++ example:

void peek_das_string(const string & str, const TBlock<void,TTemporary<const char *>> & block, Context * context) {
    vec4f args[1];
    args[0] = cast<const char *>::from(str.c_str());
    context->invoke(block, args, nullptr);

The C++ function here exposes a pointer a to c-string, internal to std::string. From daScript’s perspective, the declaration of the function looks like this:

def peek ( str : das_string; blk : block<(arg:string#):void> )

Where string# is a temporary version of a daScript string type.

The main idea behind temporary types is that they can’t escape outside of the scope of the block they are passed to.

Temporary values accomplish this by following certain rules.

Temporary values can’t be copied or moved:

def sample ( var t : das_string )
    var s : string
    peek(t) <| $ ( boo : string# )
        s = boo // error, can't copy temporary value

Temporary values can’t be returned or passed to functions, which require regular values:

def accept_string(s:string)

def sample ( var t : das_string )
    peek(t) <| $ ( boo : string# )
        accept_string(boo) // error

This causes the following error:

30304: no matching functions or generics accept_string ( string const&# )
candidate function:
        accept_string ( s : string const ) : void
                invalid argument s. expecting string const, passing string const&#

Values need to be marked as implicit to accept both temporary and regular values. These functions implicitly promise that the data will not be cached (copied, moved) in any form:

def accept_any_string(s:string implicit)

def sample ( var t : das_string )
    peek(t) <| $ ( boo : string# )

Temporary values can and are intended to be cloned:

def sample ( var t : das_string )
    peek(t) <| $ ( boo : string# )
        var boo_clone : string := boo

Returning a temporary value is an unsafe operation.

A pointer to the temporary value can be received for the corresponding scope via the safe_addr macro:

require daslib/safe_addr

def foo
    var a = 13
    var b = safe_addr(a)    // b is int?#, and this operation does not require unsafe