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Expressions

Expressions are used to compute values with a resulting type. These values can then be assigned, tested, or ignored. Expressions can also have side effects.

Order Of Evaluation

Binary expressions are evaluated in strictly left-to-right order. Function arguments are evaluated in strictly left-to-right order for functions with extern (D) linkage.

import std.conv;
int i = 0;
(i = 2) = ++i * i++ + i;
assert(i == 13); // left to right evaluation of side effects
assert(text(++i, ++i) == "1415"); // left to right evaluation of arguments
Implementation Defined:
  1. The order of evaluation of the operands of AssignExpression.
  2. The order of evaluation of function arguments for functions with linkage other than extern (D).
Best Practices: Even though the order of evaluation is well-defined, writing code that depends on it is rarely recommended.

Expressions

Expression:
    CommaExpression
CommaExpression: AssignExpression AssignExpression , CommaExpression

The left operand of the , is evaluated, then the right operand is evaluated. The type of the expression is the type of the right operand, and the result is the result of the right operand. Using the result of comma expressions isn't allowed.

Assign Expressions

AssignExpression:
    ConditionalExpression
    ConditionalExpression = AssignExpression
    ConditionalExpression += AssignExpression
    ConditionalExpression -= AssignExpression
    ConditionalExpression *= AssignExpression
    ConditionalExpression /= AssignExpression
    ConditionalExpression %= AssignExpression
    ConditionalExpression &= AssignExpression
    ConditionalExpression |= AssignExpression
    ConditionalExpression ^= AssignExpression
    ConditionalExpression ~= AssignExpression
    ConditionalExpression <<= AssignExpression
    ConditionalExpression >>= AssignExpression
    ConditionalExpression >>>= AssignExpression
    ConditionalExpression ^^= AssignExpression

For all assign expressions, the left operand must be a modifiable lvalue. The type of the assign expression is the type of the left operand, and the value is the value of the left operand after assignment occurs. The resulting expression is a modifiable lvalue.

Undefined Behavior: If either operand is a reference type and one of the following:
  1. the operands have partially overlapping storage
  2. the operands' storage overlaps exactly but the types are different
Implementation Defined: If neither operand is a reference type and one of the following:
  1. the operands have partially overlapping storage
  2. the operands' storage overlaps exactly but the types are different

Simple Assignment Expression

If the operator is = then it is simple assignment. The right operand is implicitly converted to the type of the left operand, and assigned to it.

If the left and right operands are of the same struct type, and the struct type has a Postblit, then the copy operation is as described in Struct Postblit.

If the lvalue is the .length property of a dynamic array, the behavior is as described in Setting Dynamic Array Length.

If the lvalue is a static array or a slice, the behavior is as described in Array Copying and Array Setting.

If the lvalue is a user-defined property, the behavior is as described in Property Functions.

Assignment Operator Expressions

For arguments of built-in types, assignment operator expressions such as

a op= b
are semantically equivalent to:
a = cast(typeof(a))(a op b)
except that

For user-defined types, assignment operator expressions are overloaded separately from the binary operator. Still the left operand must be an lvalue.

Conditional Expressions

ConditionalExpression:
    OrOrExpression
    OrOrExpression ? Expression : ConditionalExpression

The first expression is converted to bool, and is evaluated.

If it is true, then the second expression is evaluated, and its result is the result of the conditional expression.

If it is false, then the third expression is evaluated, and its result is the result of the conditional expression.

If either the second or third expressions are of type void, then the resulting type is void. Otherwise, the second and third expressions are implicitly converted to a common type which becomes the result type of the conditional expression.

Note: When a conditional expression is the left operand of an assign expression, parentheses are required for disambiguation:

bool test;
int a, b, c;
...
test ? a = b : c = 2;   // Deprecated
(test ? a = b : c) = 2; // Equivalent

This makes the intent clearer, because the first statement can easily be misread as the following code:

test ? a = b : (c = 2);

OrOr Expressions

OrOrExpression:
    AndAndExpression
    OrOrExpression || AndAndExpression

The result type of an OrOrExpression is bool, unless the right operand has type void, when the result is type void.

The OrOrExpression evaluates its left operand.

If the left operand, converted to type bool, evaluates to true, then the right operand is not evaluated. If the result type of the OrOrExpression is bool then the result of the expression is true.

If the left operand is false, then the right operand is evaluated. If the result type of the OrOrExpression is bool then the result of the expression is the right operand converted to type bool.

AndAnd Expressions

AndAndExpression:
    OrExpression
    AndAndExpression && OrExpression

The result type of an AndAndExpression is bool, unless the right operand has type void, when the result is type void.

The AndAndExpression evaluates its left operand.

If the left operand, converted to type bool, evaluates to false, then the right operand is not evaluated. If the result type of the AndAndExpression is bool then the result of the expression is false.

If the left operand is true, then the right operand is evaluated. If the result type of the AndAndExpression is bool then the result of the expression is the right operand converted to type bool.

Bitwise Expressions

Bit wise expressions perform a bitwise operation on their operands. Their operands must be integral types. First, the Usual Arithmetic Conversions are done. Then, the bitwise operation is done.

Or Expressions

OrExpression:
    XorExpression
    OrExpression | XorExpression

The operands are OR'd together.

Xor Expressions

XorExpression:
    AndExpression
    XorExpression ^ AndExpression

The operands are XOR'd together.

And Expressions

AndExpression:
    CmpExpression
    AndExpression & CmpExpression

The operands are AND'd together.

Compare Expressions

CmpExpression:
    ShiftExpression
    EqualExpression
    IdentityExpression
    RelExpression
    InExpression

Equality Expressions

EqualExpression:
    ShiftExpression == ShiftExpression
    ShiftExpression != ShiftExpression

Equality expressions compare the two operands for equality (==) or inequality (!=). The type of the result is bool. The operands undergo the Usual Arithmetic Conversions to bring them to a common type before comparison.

If they are integral values or pointers, equality is defined as the bit pattern of the type matches exactly.

Equality for floating point types is more complicated. -0 and +0 compare as equal. If either or both operands are NAN, then both the == returns false and != returns true. Otherwise, the bit patterns are compared for equality.

For complex numbers, equality is defined as equivalent to:

x.re == y.re && x.im == y.im
and inequality is defined as equivalent to:
x.re != y.re || x.im != y.im

Equality for struct objects means the logical product of all equality results of the corresponding object fields. If all struct fields use bitwise equality, the whole struct equality could be optimized to one memory comparison operation (the existence of alignment holes in the objects is accounted for, usually by setting them all to 0 upon initialization).

For class and struct objects, the expression (a == b) is rewritten as a.opEquals(b), and (a != b) is rewritten as !a.opEquals(b).

For class objects, the == and != operators are intended to compare the contents of the objects, however an appropriate opEquals override must be defined for this to work. The default opEquals provided by the root Object class is equivalent to the is operator. Comparing against null is invalid, as null has no contents. Use the is and !is operators instead.

class C;
C c;
if (c == null)  // error
    ...
if (c is null)  // ok
    ...

For static and dynamic arrays, equality is defined as the lengths of the arrays matching, and all the elements are equal.

Identity Expressions

IdentityExpression:
    ShiftExpression is ShiftExpression
    ShiftExpression !is ShiftExpression

The is compares for identity. To compare for nonidentity, use e1 !is e2. The type of the result is bool. The operands undergo the Usual Arithmetic Conversions to bring them to a common type before comparison.

For class objects, identity is defined as the object references are for the same object. Null class objects can be compared with is.

For struct objects and floating point values, identity is defined as the bits in the operands being identical.

For static and dynamic arrays, identity is defined as referring to the same array elements and the same number of elements.

For other operand types, identity is defined as being the same as equality.

The identity operator is cannot be overloaded.

Relational Expressions

RelExpression:
    ShiftExpression < ShiftExpression
    ShiftExpression <= ShiftExpression
    ShiftExpression > ShiftExpression
    ShiftExpression >= ShiftExpression

First, the Usual Arithmetic Conversions are done on the operands. The result type of a relational expression is bool.

For class objects, the result of Object.opCmp() forms the left operand, and 0 forms the right operand. The result of the relational expression (o1 op o2) is:

(o1.opCmp(o2) op 0)

It is an error to compare objects if one is null.

For static and dynamic arrays, the result of the relational op is the result of the operator applied to the first non-equal element of the array. If two arrays compare equal, but are of different lengths, the shorter array compares as "less" than the longer array.

Integer comparisons

Integer comparisons happen when both operands are integral types.

Integer comparison operators
OperatorRelation
<less
>greater
<=less or equal
>=greater or equal
==equal
!=not equal

It is an error to have one operand be signed and the other unsigned for a <, <=, > or >= expression. Use casts to make both operands signed or both operands unsigned.

Floating point comparisons

If one or both operands are floating point, then a floating point comparison is performed.

A relational operator can have NaN operands. If either or both operands is NaN, the floating point comparison operation returns as follows:

Floating point comparison operators
OperatorRelationReturns
<lessfalse
>greaterfalse
<=less or equalfalse
>=greater or equalfalse
==equalfalse
!=unordered, less, or greatertrue

Class comparisons

For class objects, the relational operators compare the contents of the objects. Therefore, comparing against null is invalid, as null has no contents.

class C;
C c;
if (c < null)  // error
    ...

In Expressions

InExpression:
    ShiftExpression in ShiftExpression
    ShiftExpression !in ShiftExpression

An associative array can be tested to see if an element is in the array:

int foo[char[]];
...
if ("hello" in foo)
    ...

The in expression has the same precedence as the relational expressions <, <=, etc. The return value of the InExpression is null if the element is not in the array; if it is in the array it is a pointer to the element.

The !in expression is the logical negation of the in operation.

Shift Expressions

ShiftExpression:
    AddExpression
    ShiftExpression << AddExpression
    ShiftExpression >> AddExpression
    ShiftExpression >>> AddExpression

The operands must be integral types, and undergo the Usual Arithmetic Conversions. The result type is the type of the left operand after the promotions. The result value is the result of shifting the bits by the right operand's value.

<< is a left shift. >> is a signed right shift. >>> is an unsigned right shift.

It's illegal to shift by the same or more bits than the size of the quantity being shifted:

int c;
auto x = c << 33;        // error

Add Expressions

AddExpression:
    MulExpression
    AddExpression + MulExpression
    AddExpression - MulExpression
    CatExpression

If the operands are of integral types, they undergo the Usual Arithmetic Conversions, and then are brought to a common type using the Usual Arithmetic Conversions.

If either operand is a floating point type, the other is implicitly converted to floating point and they are brought to a common type via the Usual Arithmetic Conversions.

If the operator is + or -, and the first operand is a pointer, and the second is an integral type, the resulting type is the type of the first operand, and the resulting value is the pointer plus (or minus) the second operand multiplied by the size of the type pointed to by the first operand.

If the second operand is a pointer, and the first is an integral type, and the operator is +, the operands are reversed and the pointer arithmetic just described is applied.

If both operands are pointers, and the operator is +, then it is illegal.

If both operands are pointers, and the operator is -, the pointers are subtracted and the result is divided by the size of the type pointed to by the operands. In this calculation the assumed size of void is one byte. It is an error if the pointers point to different types. The type of the result is ptrdiff_t.

If both operands are of integral types and an overflow or underflow occurs in the computation, wrapping will happen. That is, uint.max + 1 == uint.min and uint.min - 1 == uint.max.

Add expressions for floating point operands are not associative.

Cat Expressions

CatExpression:
    AddExpression ~ MulExpression

A CatExpression concatenates arrays, producing a dynamic array with the result. The arrays must be arrays of the same element type. If one operand is an array and the other is of that array's element type, that element is converted to an array of length 1 of that element, and then the concatenation is performed.

Mul Expressions

MulExpression:
    UnaryExpression
    MulExpression * UnaryExpression
    MulExpression / UnaryExpression
    MulExpression % UnaryExpression

The operands must be arithmetic types. They undergo the Usual Arithmetic Conversions.

For integral operands, the *, /, and % correspond to multiply, divide, and modulus operations. For multiply, overflows are ignored and simply chopped to fit into the integral type.

For integral operands of the / and % operators, the quotient rounds towards zero and the remainder has the same sign as the dividend. If the divisor is zero, an Exception is thrown.

For floating point operands, the * and / operations correspond to the IEEE 754 floating point equivalents. % is not the same as the IEEE 754 remainder. For example, 15.0 % 10.0 == 5.0, whereas for IEEE 754, remainder(15.0,10.0) == -5.0.

Mul expressions for floating point operands are not associative.

Unary Expressions

UnaryExpression:
    & UnaryExpression
    ++ UnaryExpression
    -- UnaryExpression
    * UnaryExpression
    - UnaryExpression
    + UnaryExpression
    ! UnaryExpression
    ComplementExpression
    ( Type ) . Identifier
    ( Type ) . TemplateInstance
    DeleteExpression
    CastExpression
    PowExpression

Complement Expressions

ComplementExpression:
    ~ UnaryExpression

ComplementExpressions work on integral types (except bool). All the bits in the value are complemented.

Note: the usual Integer Promotions are not performed prior to the complement operation.

New Expressions

NewExpression:
    new AllocatorArgumentsopt Type
    NewExpressionWithArgs
NewExpressionWithArgs: new AllocatorArgumentsopt Type [ AssignExpression ] new AllocatorArgumentsopt Type ( ArgumentListopt ) NewAnonClassExpression
AllocatorArguments: ( ArgumentListopt )
ArgumentList: AssignExpression AssignExpression , AssignExpression , ArgumentList

NewExpressions are used to allocate memory on the garbage collected heap (default) or using a class or struct specific allocator.

To allocate multidimensional arrays, the declaration reads in the same order as the prefix array declaration order.

char[][] foo;   // dynamic array of strings
...
foo = new char[][30]; // allocate array of 30 strings

The above allocation can also be written as:

foo = new char[][](30); // allocate array of 30 strings

To allocate the nested arrays, multiple arguments can be used:

int[][][] bar;
...
bar = new int[][][](5, 20, 30);
The code above is equivalent to:
bar = new int[][][5];
foreach (ref a; bar)
{
    a = new int[][20];
    foreach (ref b; a)
    {
        b = new int[30];
    }
}

If there is a new ( ArgumentList ), then those arguments are passed to the class or struct specific allocator function after the size argument.

If a NewExpression is used as an initializer for a function local variable with scope storage class, and the ArgumentList to new is empty, then the instance is allocated on the stack rather than the heap or using the class specific allocator.

Delete Expressions

DeleteExpression:
    delete UnaryExpression

NOTE: delete has been deprecated. Instead, please use destroy if feasible, or core.memory.__delete as a last resort.

If the UnaryExpression is a class object reference, and there is a destructor for that class, the destructor is called for that object instance.

Next, if the UnaryExpression is a class object reference, or a pointer to a struct instance, and the class or struct has overloaded operator delete, then that operator delete is called for that class object instance or struct instance.

Otherwise, the garbage collector is called to immediately free the memory allocated for the class instance or struct instance.

If the UnaryExpression is a pointer or a dynamic array, the garbage collector is called to immediately release the memory.

The pointer, dynamic array, or reference is set to null after the delete is performed. Any attempt to reference the data after the deletion via another reference to it will result in undefined behavior.

If UnaryExpression is a variable allocated on the stack, the class destructor (if any) is called for that instance. Neither the garbage collector nor any class deallocator is called.

Undefined Behavior:
  1. Using delete to free memory not allocated by the garbage collector.
  2. Referring to data that has been the operand of delete.

Cast Expressions

CastExpression:
    cast ( Type ) UnaryExpression
    cast ( TypeCtorsopt ) UnaryExpression

A CastExpression converts the UnaryExpression to Type.

cast(foo) -p; // cast (-p) to type foo
(foo) - p;      // subtract p from foo

Any casting of a class reference to a derived class reference is done with a runtime check to make sure it really is a downcast. null is the result if it isn't.

class A { ... }
class B : A { ... }

void test(A a, B b)
{
    B bx = a;         // error, need cast
    B bx = cast(B) a; // bx is null if a is not a B
    A ax = b;         // no cast needed
    A ax = cast(A) b; // no runtime check needed for upcast
}

In order to determine if an object o is an instance of a class B use a cast:

if (cast(B) o)
{
    // o is an instance of B
}
else
{
    // o is not an instance of B
}

Casting a pointer type to and from a class type is done as a type paint (i.e. a reinterpret cast).

Casting a dynamic array to another dynamic array is done only if the array lengths multiplied by the element sizes match. The cast is done as a type paint, with the array length adjusted to match any change in element size. If there's not a match, a runtime error is generated.

import std.stdio;

int main()
{
    byte[] a = [1,2,3];
    auto b = cast(int[])a; // runtime array cast misalignment

    int[] c = [1, 2, 3];
    auto d = cast(byte[])c; // ok
    // prints:
    // [1, 0, 0, 0, 2, 0, 0, 0, 3, 0, 0, 0]
    writeln(d);
    return 0;
}

Casting a floating point literal from one type to another changes its type, but internally it is retained at full precision for the purposes of constant folding.

void test()
{
    real a = 3.40483L;
    real b;
    b = 3.40483;     // literal is not truncated to double precision
    assert(a == b);
    assert(a == 3.40483);
    assert(a == 3.40483L);
    assert(a == 3.40483F);
    double d = 3.40483; // truncate literal when assigned to variable
    assert(d != a);     // so it is no longer the same
    const double x = 3.40483; // assignment to const is not
    assert(x == a);     // truncated if the initializer is visible
}

Casting a floating point value to an integral type is the equivalent of converting to an integer using truncation.

void main()
{
    int a = cast(int) 0.8f;
    assert(a == 0);
    long b = cast(long) 1.5;
    assert(b == 1L);
    long c = cast(long) -1.5;
    assert(c == -1);
}

Casting a value v to a struct S, when value is not a struct of the same type, is equivalent to:

S(v)

Casting to a CastQual replaces the qualifiers to the type of the UnaryExpression.

shared int x;
assert(is(typeof(cast(const)x) == const int));

Casting with no Type or CastQual removes any top level const, immutable, shared or inout type modifiers from the type of the UnaryExpression.

shared int x;
assert(is(typeof(cast()x) == int));

Casting an expression to void type is allowed to mark that the result is unused. On ExpressionStatement, it could be used properly to avoid "has no effect" error.

void foo(lazy void exp) {}
void main()
{
    foo(10);            // NG - has no effect in expression '10'
    foo(cast(void)10);  // OK
}

Pow Expressions

PowExpression:
    PostfixExpression
    PostfixExpression ^^ UnaryExpression

PowExpression raises its left operand to the power of its right operand.

Postfix Expressions

PostfixExpression:
    PrimaryExpression
    PostfixExpression . Identifier
    PostfixExpression . TemplateInstance
    PostfixExpression . NewExpression
    PostfixExpression ++
    PostfixExpression --
    PostfixExpression ( ArgumentListopt )
    TypeCtorsopt BasicType ( ArgumentListopt )
    IndexExpression
    SliceExpression

Index Expressions

IndexExpression:
    PostfixExpression [ ArgumentList ]

PostfixExpression is evaluated. If PostfixExpression is an expression of type static array or dynamic array, the symbol $ is set to be the number of elements in the array. If PostfixExpression is a ValueSeq, the symbol $ is set to be the number of elements in the sequence. A new declaration scope is created for the evaluation of the ArgumentList and $ appears in that scope only.

If PostfixExpression is a ValueSeq, then the ArgumentList must consist of only one argument, and that must be statically evaluatable to an integral constant. That integral constant n then selects the nth expression in the ValueSeq, which is the result of the IndexExpression. It is an error if n is out of bounds of the ValueSeq.

Slice Expressions

SliceExpression:
    PostfixExpression [ ]
    PostfixExpression [ Slice ,opt ]
Slice:
    AssignExpression
    AssignExpression , Slice
    AssignExpression .. AssignExpression
    AssignExpression .. AssignExpression , Slice

PostfixExpression is evaluated. if PostfixExpression is an expression of type static array or dynamic array, the special variable $ is declared and set to be the length of the array. A new declaration scope is created for the evaluation of the AssignExpression..AssignExpression and $ appears in that scope only.

The first AssignExpression is taken to be the inclusive lower bound of the slice, and the second AssignExpression is the exclusive upper bound. The result of the expression is a slice of the PostfixExpression array.

If the [ ] form is used, the slice is of the entire array.

The type of the slice is a dynamic array of the element type of the PostfixExpression.

A SliceExpression is not a modifiable lvalue.

If the slice bounds can be known at compile time, the slice expression is implicitly convertible to an lvalue of static array. For example:

arr[a .. b]     // typed T[]
If both a and b are integers (may be constant-folded), the slice expression can be converted to a static array type T[b - a].
void foo(int[2] a)
{
    assert(a == [2, 3]);
}
void bar(ref int[2] a)
{
    assert(a == [2, 3]);
    a[0] = 4;
    a[1] = 5;
    assert(a == [4, 5]);
}
void baz(int[3] a) {}

void main()
{
    int[] arr = [1, 2, 3];

    foo(arr[1 .. 3]);
    assert(arr == [1, 2, 3]);

    bar(arr[1 .. 3]);
    assert(arr == [1, 4, 5]);

  //baz(arr[1 .. 3]); // cannot match length
}

The following forms of slice expression can be convertible to a static array type:

e
An expression that contains no side effects.
a, b
Integers (that may be constant-folded).
Computing array lengths during compilation
FormThe length calculated at compile time
arr[]The compile time length of arr if it's known.
arr[a .. b] b - a
arr[e-a .. e] a
arr[e .. e+b] b
arr[e-a .. e+b]a + b
arr[e+a .. e+b]b - a if a <= b
arr[e-a .. e-b]a - b if a >= b

If PostfixExpression is a ValueSeq, then the result of the slice is a new ValueSeq formed from the upper and lower bounds, which must statically evaluate to integral constants. It is an error if those bounds are out of range.

Primary Expressions

PrimaryExpression:
    Identifier
    . Identifier
    TemplateInstance
    . TemplateInstance
    this
    super
    null
    true
    false
    $
    IntegerLiteral
    FloatLiteral
    CharacterLiteral
    StringLiterals
    ArrayLiteral
    AssocArrayLiteral
    FunctionLiteral
    AssertExpression
    MixinExpression
    ImportExpression
    NewExpressionWithArgs
    BasicTypeX . Identifier
    BasicTypeX ( ArgumentListopt )
    TypeCtor ( Type ) . Identifier
    TypeCtor ( Type ) ( ArgumentListopt )
    Typeof
    TypeidExpression
    IsExpression
    ( Expression )
    SpecialKeyword
    TraitsExpression

.Identifier

Identifier is looked up at module scope, rather than the current lexically nested scope.

this

Within a non-static member function, this resolves to a reference to the object for which the function was called. If the object is an instance of a struct, this will be a pointer to that instance. If a member function is called with an explicit reference to typeof(this), a non-virtual call is made:

class A
{
    char get() { return 'A'; }

    char foo() { return typeof(this).get(); }
    char bar() { return this.get(); }
}

class B : A
{
    override char get() { return 'B'; }
}

void main()
{
    B b = new B();

    assert(b.foo() == 'A');
    assert(b.bar() == 'B');
}

Assignment to this is not allowed.

super

super is identical to this, except that it is cast to this's base class. It is an error if there is no base class. It is an error to use super within a struct member function. (Only class Object has no base class.) If a member function is called with an explicit reference to super, a non-virtual call is made.

Assignment to super is not allowed.

null

null represents the null value for pointers, pointers to functions, delegates, dynamic arrays, associative arrays, and class objects. If it has not already been cast to a type, it is given the singular type typeof(null) and it is an exact conversion to convert it to the null value for pointers, pointers to functions, delegates, etc. After it is cast to a type, such conversions are implicit, but no longer exact.

true, false

These are of type bool and when cast to another integral type become the values 1 and 0, respectively.

Character Literals

Character literals are single characters and resolve to one of type char, wchar, or dchar. If the literal is a \u escape sequence, it resolves to type wchar. If the literal is a \U escape sequence, it resolves to type dchar. Otherwise, it resolves to the type with the smallest size it will fit into.

String Literals

StringLiterals:
    StringLiteral
    StringLiterals StringLiteral

String literals can implicitly convert to any of the following types, they have equal weight:

immutable(char)*
immutable(wchar)*
immutable(dchar)*
immutable(char)[]
immutable(wchar)[]
immutable(dchar)[]

By default, a string literal is typed as a dynamic array, but the element count is known at compile time. So all string literals can be implicitly converted to static array types.

void foo(char[2] a)
{
    assert(a == "bc");
}
void bar(ref const char[2] a)
{
    assert(a == "bc");
}
void baz(const char[3] a) {}

void main()
{
    string str = "abc";
    foo(str[1 .. 3]);
    bar(str[1 .. 3]);
  //baz(str[1 .. 3]); // cannot match length
}

String literals have a 0 appended to them, which makes them easy to pass to C or C++ functions expecting a const char* string. The 0 is not included in the .length property of the string literal.

Array Literals

ArrayLiteral:
    [ ArgumentListopt ]

Array literals are a comma-separated list of AssignExpressions between square brackets [ and ]. The AssignExpressions form the elements of a dynamic array, the length of the array is the number of elements. The common type of the all elements is taken to be the type of the array element, and all elements are implicitly converted to that type.

auto a1 = [1,2,3];  // type is int[], with elements 1, 2 and 3
auto a2 = [1u,2,3]; // type is uint[], with elements 1u, 2u, and 3u

By default, an array literal is typed as a dynamic array, but the element count is known at compile time. So all array literals can be implicitly converted to static array types.

void foo(long[2] a)
{
    assert(a == [2, 3]);
}
void bar(ref long[2] a)
{
    assert(a == [2, 3]);
    a[0] = 4;
    a[1] = 5;
    assert(a == [4, 5]);
}
void baz(const char[3] a) {}

void main()
{
    long[] arr = [1, 2, 3];

    foo(arr[1 .. 3]);
    assert(arr == [1, 2, 3]);

    bar(arr[1 .. 3]);
    assert(arr == [1, 4, 5]);

  //baz(arr[1 .. 3]); // cannot match length
}

If any of the arguments in the ArgumentList are a ValueSeq, then the elements of the ValueSeq are inserted as arguments in place of the sequence.

Array literals are allocated on the memory managed heap. Thus, they can be returned safely from functions:

int[] foo()
{
    return [1, 2, 3];
}

When array literals are cast to another array type, each element of the array is cast to the new element type. When arrays that are not literals are cast, the array is reinterpreted as the new type, and the length is recomputed:

import std.stdio;

void main()
{
    // cast array literal
    const short[] ct = cast(short[]) [cast(byte)1, 1];
    // this is equivalent with:
    // const short[] ct = [cast(short)1, cast(short)1];
    writeln(ct);  // writes [1, 1]

    // cast other array expression
    // --> normal behavior of CastExpression
    byte[] arr = [cast(byte)1, cast(byte)1];
    short[] rt = cast(short[]) arr;
    writeln(rt);  // writes [257]
}
In other words, casting literal expression will change the literal type.

Associative Array Literals

AssocArrayLiteral:
    [ KeyValuePairs ]
KeyValuePairs: KeyValuePair KeyValuePair , KeyValuePairs
KeyValuePair: KeyExpression : ValueExpression
KeyExpression: AssignExpression
ValueExpression: AssignExpression

Associative array literals are a comma-separated list of key:value pairs between square brackets [ and ]. The list cannot be empty. The common type of the all keys is taken to be the key type of the associative array, and all keys are implicitly converted to that type. The common type of the all values is taken to be the value type of the associative array, and all values are implicitly converted to that type. An AssocArrayLiteral cannot be used to statically initialize anything.

[21u:"he", 38:"ho", 2:"hi"];  // type is string[uint],
                              // with keys 21u, 38u and 2u
                              // and values "he", "ho", and "hi"

If any of the keys or values in the KeyValuePairs are a ValueSeq, then the elements of the ValueSeq are inserted as arguments in place of the sequence.

Function Literals

FunctionLiteral:
    function Typeopt ParameterWithAttributes opt FunctionLiteralBody
    delegate Typeopt ParameterWithMemberAttributes opt FunctionLiteralBody
    ParameterMemberAttributes FunctionLiteralBody
    FunctionLiteralBody
    Lambda
ParameterWithAttributes: Parameters FunctionAttributesopt
ParameterWithMemberAttributes: Parameters MemberFunctionAttributesopt
FunctionLiteralBody: BlockStatement FunctionContractsopt BodyStatement

FunctionLiterals enable embedding anonymous functions and anonymous delegates directly into expressions. Type is the return type of the function or delegate, if omitted it is inferred from any ReturnStatements in the FunctionLiteralBody. ( ArgumentList ) forms the arguments to the function. If omitted it defaults to the empty argument list ( ). The type of a function literal is pointer to function or pointer to delegate. If the keywords function or delegate are omitted, it is inferred from whether FunctionLiteralBody is actually accessing to the outer context.

For example:

int function(char c) fp; // declare pointer to a function

void test()
{
    static int foo(char c) { return 6; }

    fp = &foo;
}
is exactly equivalent to:
int function(char c) fp;

void test()
{
    fp = function int(char c) { return 6;} ;
}

Also:

int abc(int delegate(int i));

void test()
{
    int b = 3;
    int foo(int c) { return 6 + b; }

    abc(&foo);
}
is exactly equivalent to:
int abc(int delegate(int i));

void test()
{
    int b = 3;

    abc( delegate int(int c) { return 6 + b; } );
}

and the following where the return type int and function/delegate are inferred:

int abc(int delegate(int i));
int def(int function(int s));

void test()
{
    int b = 3;

    abc( (int c) { return 6 + b; } );  // inferred to delegate
    def( (int c) { return c * 2; } );  // inferred to function
  //def( (int c) { return c * b; } );  // error!
    // Because the FunctionLiteralBody accesses b, then the function literal type
    // is inferred to delegate. But def cannot receive delegate.
}

If the type of a function literal can be uniquely determined from its context, the parameter type inference is possible.

void foo(int function(int) fp);

void test()
{
    int function(int) fp = (n) { return n * 2; };
    // The type of parameter n is inferred to int.

    foo((n) { return n * 2; });
    // The type of parameter n is inferred to int.
}

Anonymous delegates can behave like arbitrary statement literals. For example, here an arbitrary statement is executed by a loop:

double test()
{
    double d = 7.6;
    float f = 2.3;

    void loop(int k, int j, void delegate() statement)
    {
        for (int i = k; i < j; i++)
        {
            statement();
        }
    }

    loop(5, 100, { d += 1; });
    loop(3, 10,  { f += 3; });

    return d + f;
}

When comparing with nested functions, the function form is analogous to static or non-nested functions, and the delegate form is analogous to non-static nested functions. In other words, a delegate literal can access stack variables in its enclosing function, a function literal cannot.

Lambdas

Lambda:
    function Typeopt ParameterAttributes => AssignExpression
    delegate Typeopt ParameterMemberAttributes => AssignExpression
    ParameterMemberAttributes => AssignExpression
    Identifier => AssignExpression

Lambdas are a shorthand syntax for FunctionLiterals.

  1. Just one Identifier is rewritten to Parameters:

    ( Identifier )
  2. The following part => AssignExpression is rewritten to FunctionLiteralBody:

    { return AssignExpression ; }

Example usage:

import std.stdio;

void main()
{
    auto i = 3;
    auto twice  = function (int x) => x * 2;
    auto square = delegate (int x) => x * x;

    auto n = 5;
    auto mul_n = (int x) => x * n;

    writeln(twice(i));   // prints 6
    writeln(square(i));  // prints 9
    writeln(mul_n(i));   // prints 15
}

Uniform construction syntax for built-in scalar types

The implicit conversions of built-in scalar types can be explicitly represented by using function call syntax. For example:

auto a = short(1);  // implicitly convert an integer literal '1' to short
auto b = double(a); // implicitly convert a short variable 'a' to double
auto c = byte(128); // error, 128 cannot be represented in a byte

If the argument is omitted, it means default construction of the scalar type:

auto a = ushort();  // same as: ushort.init
auto b = wchar();   // same as: wchar.init
auto c = creal();   // same as: creal.init

Assert Expressions

AssertExpression:
    assert ( AssertArguments )
AssertArguments: AssignExpression ,opt AssignExpression , AssignExpression ,opt

The first AssignExpression must evaluate to true. If it does not, an Assert Failure has occurred and the program enters an Invalid State.

If the first AssignExpression consists entirely of compile time constants, and evaluates to false, it is a special case; it signifies that it is unreachable code. Compile Time Function Execution (CTFE) is not attempted.

AssertExpression has different semantics if it is in a unittest or in contract.

The second AssignExpression, if present, must be implicitly convertible to type const(char)[].

If the first AssignExpression is a reference to a class instance for which a Class Invariant exists, the Class Invariant must hold.

If the first AssignExpression is a pointer to a struct instance for which a Struct Invariant exists, the Struct Invariant must hold.

The type of an AssertExpression is void.

Undefined Behavior: Once in an Invalid State the behavior of the continuing execution of the program is undefined.
Implementation Defined: Whether the first AssertExpression is evaluated or not at runtime is typically set with a compiler switch. If it is not evaluated, any side effects specified by the AssertExpression may not occur. The behavior if the first AssertExpression is evaluated and is false is also typically set with a compiler switch and may include these options:
  1. continuing execution
  2. immediately halting via execution of a special CPU instruction
  3. aborting the program
  4. calling the assert failure function in the corresponding C runtime library
  5. throwing the AssertError exception in the D runtime library
If the optional second AssignExpression is provided, the implementation may evaluate it and print the resulting message upon assert failure:
void main()
{
    assert(0, "an" ~ " error message");
}

When compiled and run, it will produce the message:

core.exception.AssertError@test.d(3) an error message

The implementation may handle the case of the first AssignExpression evaluating at compile time to false differently in that in release mode it may simply generate a HLT instruction or equivalent.

Best Practices:
  1. Do not have side effects in either AssignExpression that subsequent code depends on.
  2. AssertExpressions are intended to detect bugs in the program, do not use for detecting input or environmental errors.
  3. Do not attempt to resume normal execution after an Assert Failure.

Mixin Expressions

MixinExpression:
    mixin ( AssignExpression )

The AssignExpression must evaluate at compile time to a constant string. The text contents of the string must be compilable as a valid Expression, and is compiled as such.

int foo(int x)
{
    return mixin("x + 1") * 7;  // same as ((x + 1) * 7)
}

Import Expressions

ImportExpression:
    import ( AssignExpression )

The AssignExpression must evaluate at compile time to a constant string. The text contents of the string are interpreted as a file name. The file is read, and the exact contents of the file become a string literal.

Implementations may restrict the file name in order to avoid directory traversal security vulnerabilities. A possible restriction might be to disallow any path components in the file name.

Note that by default an import expression will not compile unless you pass one or more paths via the -J switch. This tells the compiler where it should look for the files to import. This is a security feature.

void foo()
{
    // Prints contents of file foo.txt
    writeln(import("foo.txt"));
}

Typeid Expressions

TypeidExpression:
    typeid ( Type )
    typeid ( Expression )

If Type, returns an instance of class TypeInfo corresponding to Type.

If Expression, returns an instance of class TypeInfo corresponding to the type of the Expression. If the type is a class, it returns the TypeInfo of the dynamic type (i.e. the most derived type). The Expression is always executed.

class A { }
class B : A { }

void main()
{
    writeln(typeid(int));        // int
    uint i;
    writeln(typeid(i++));        // uint
    writeln(i);                  // 1
    A a = new B();
    writeln(typeid(a));          // B
    writeln(typeid(typeof(a)));  // A
}

IsExpression

IsExpression:
    is ( Type )
    is ( Type : TypeSpecialization )
    is ( Type == TypeSpecialization )
    is ( Type : TypeSpecialization , TemplateParameterList )
    is ( Type == TypeSpecialization , TemplateParameterList )
    is ( Type Identifier )
    is ( Type Identifier : TypeSpecialization )
    is ( Type Identifier == TypeSpecialization )
    is ( Type Identifier : TypeSpecialization , TemplateParameterList )
    is ( Type Identifier == TypeSpecialization , TemplateParameterList )
TypeSpecialization: Type struct union class interface enum function delegate super const immutable inout shared return __parameters

IsExpressions are evaluated at compile time and are used for checking for valid types, comparing types for equivalence, determining if one type can be implicitly converted to another, and deducing the subtypes of a type. The result of an IsExpression is a boolean of value true if the condition is satisfied. If the condition is not satisfied, the result is a boolean of value false.

Type is the type being tested. It must be syntactically correct, but it need not be semantically correct. If it is not semantically correct, the condition is not satisfied.

Identifier is declared to be an alias of the resulting type if the condition is satisfied. The Identifier forms can only be used if the IsExpression appears in a StaticIfCondition.

TypeSpecialization is the type that Type is being compared against.

The forms of the IsExpression are:

  1. is ( Type )
    The condition is satisfied if Type is semantically correct (it must be syntactically correct regardless).
    alias int func(int);    // func is a alias to a function type
    void foo()
    {
        if (is(func[]))     // not satisfied because arrays of
                            // functions are not allowed
            writeln("satisfied");
        else
            writeln("not satisfied");
    
        if (is([][]))       // error, [][] is not a syntactically valid type
            ...
    }
    
  2. is ( Type : TypeSpecialization )
    The condition is satisfied if Type is semantically correct and it is the same as or can be implicitly converted to TypeSpecialization. TypeSpecialization is only allowed to be a Type.
    alias Bar = short;
    void foo()
    {
        if (is(Bar : int))   // satisfied because short can be
                             // implicitly converted to int
            writeln("satisfied");
        else
            writeln("not satisfied");
    }
    
  3. is ( Type == TypeSpecialization )
    The condition is satisfied if Type is semantically correct and is the same type as TypeSpecialization.
    If TypeSpecialization is one of
    struct union class interface enum function delegate const immutable shared
    then the condition is satisfied if Type is one of those.
    alias Bar = short;
    void foo()
    {
        if (is(Bar == int))   // not satisfied because short is not
                              // the same type as int
            writeln("satisfied");
        else
            writeln("not satisfied");
    }
    
  4. is ( Type Identifier )
    The condition is satisfied if Type is semantically correct. If so, Identifier is declared to be an alias of Type.
    alias Bar = short;
    void foo()
    {
        static if (is(Bar T))
            alias S = T;
        else
            alias S = long;
    
        writeln(typeid(S)); // prints "short"
        if (is(Bar T))      // error, Identifier T form can
                            // only be in StaticIfConditions
            ...
    }
    
  5. is ( Type Identifier : TypeSpecialization )
    The condition is satisfied if Type is the same as TypeSpecialization, or if Type is a class and TypeSpecialization is a base class or base interface of it. The Identifier is declared to be either an alias of the TypeSpecialization or, if TypeSpecialization is dependent on Identifier, the deduced type.
    alias Bar = int;
    alias Abc = long*;
    void foo()
    {
        static if (is(Bar T : int))
            alias S = T;
        else
            alias S = long;
    
        writeln(typeid(S));  // prints "int"
    
        static if (is(Abc U : U*))
        {
            U u;
            writeln(typeid(typeof(u)));  // prints "long"
        }
    }
    
    The way the type of Identifier is determined is analogous to the way template parameter types are determined by TemplateTypeParameterSpecialization.
  6. is ( Type Identifier == TypeSpecialization )
    The condition is satisfied if Type is semantically correct and is the same as TypeSpecialization. The Identifier is declared to be either an alias of the TypeSpecialization or, if TypeSpecialization is dependent on Identifier, the deduced type.
    If TypeSpecialization is one of struct union class interface enum function delegate const immutable shared
    then the condition is satisfied if Type is one of those. Furthermore, Identifier is set to be an alias of the type:
    keywordalias type for Identifier
    structType
    unionType
    classType
    interfaceType
    superTypeSeq of base classes and interfaces
    enumthe base type of the enum
    functionTypeSeq of the function parameter types. For C- and D-style variadic functions, only the non-variadic parameters are included. For typesafe variadic functions, the ... is ignored.
    delegatethe function type of the delegate
    returnthe return type of the function, delegate, or function pointer
    __parametersthe parameter sequence of a function, delegate, or function pointer. This includes the parameter types, names, and default values.
    constType
    immutable Type
    shared Type
    alias Bar = short;
    enum E : byte { Emember }
    void foo()
    {
        static if (is(Bar T == int))   // not satisfied, short is not int
            alias S = T;
        alias U = T;                   // error, T is not defined
    
        static if (is(E V == enum))    // satisified, E is an enum
            V v;                       // v is declared to be a byte
    }
    
  7. is ( Type : TypeSpecialization , TemplateParameterList )
    is ( Type == TypeSpecialization , TemplateParameterList )
    is ( Type Identifier : TypeSpecialization , TemplateParameterList )
    is ( Type Identifier == TypeSpecialization , TemplateParameterList )
    More complex types can be pattern matched; the TemplateParameterList declares symbols based on the parts of the pattern that are matched, analogously to the way implied template parameters are matched.
    import std.stdio, std.typecons;
    
    void main()
    {
        alias Tup = Tuple!(int, string);
        alias AA = long[char[]];
    
        static if (is(Tup : Template!Args, alias Template, Args...))
        {
            writeln(__traits(isSame, Template, Tuple)); // true
            writeln(is(Template!(int, long) == Tup));  // true
            writeln(typeid(Args[0]));  // int
            writeln(typeid(Args[1]));  // immutable(char)[]
        }
    
        static if (is(AA T : T[U], U : const char[]))
        {
            writeln(typeid(T));  // long
            writeln(typeid(U));  // const char[]
        }
    
        static if (is(AA A : A[B], B : int))
        {
            assert(0);  // should not match, as B is not an int
        }
    
        static if (is(int[10] W : W[len], int len))
        {
            writeln(typeid(W));  // int
            writeln(len);        // 10
        }
    
        static if (is(int[10] X : X[len], int len : 5))
        {
            assert(0);  // should not match, len should be 10
        }
    }
    

Special Keywords

SpecialKeyword:
    __FILE__
    __FILE_FULL_PATH__
    __MODULE__
    __LINE__
    __FUNCTION__
    __PRETTY_FUNCTION__

__FILE__ and __LINE__ expand to the source file name and line number at the point of instantiation. The path of the source file is left up to the compiler.

__FILE_FULL_PATH__ expands to the absolute source file name at the point of instantiation.

__MODULE__ expands to the module name at the point of instantiation.

__FUNCTION__ expands to the fully qualified name of the function at the point of instantiation.

__PRETTY_FUNCTION__ is similar to __FUNCTION__, but also expands the function return type, its parameter types, and its attributes.

Example:

module test;
import std.stdio;

void test(string file = __FILE__, size_t line = __LINE__,
        string mod = __MODULE__, string func = __FUNCTION__,
        string pretty = __PRETTY_FUNCTION__,
        string fileFullPath = __FILE_FULL_PATH__)
{
    writefln("file: '%s', line: '%s', module: '%s',\nfunction: '%s', " ~
        "pretty function: '%s',\nfile full path: '%s'",
        file, line, mod, func, pretty, fileFullPath);
}

int main(string[] args)
{
    test();
    return 0;
}

Assuming the file was at /example/test.d, this will output:

file: 'test.d', line: '13', module: 'test',
function: 'test.main', pretty function: 'int test.main(string[] args)',
file full path: '/example/test.d'

Associativity and Commutativity

An implementation may rearrange the evaluation of expressions according to arithmetic associativity and commutativity rules as long as, within that thread of execution, no observable difference is possible.

This rule precludes any associative or commutative reordering of floating point expressions.

Pragmas
Statements