ISO/IEC JTC1 SC22 WG21 DxxxxR0
Author: Jens Maurer
Target audience: LEWG

DxxxxR0: Naming improvements for std::execution

1 Abstract

This paper proposes naming improvements for the sender factories and sender adaptors presented in P2300R4 std::execution.

2 Paper history

R0: initial revision

3 List of names with suggeted changes

P2300R4 name suggested name alternative name
just set_value value
transfer_just transfer_set_value remove
just_error set_errorerror
just_stopped set_stoppedstopped
then transform
upon_error/stopped then_error/then_stopped transform_error/transform_stopped
let_value/error/stopped ?
transfer_when_all remove

4 Discussion

Senders/receivers employ three channels: Operations that are available for all three channels should call out the specific channel they operate on, in a consistent manner. If, instead, the value channel is considered sufficiently default that it need not be named explicitly, it should never be namend. Existing practice in P2300R4 appears to gravitate towards always naming the channel.

Compare let_value / let_error / let_stopped with just / just_error / just_stopped for an obvious inconsistency in this regard.

Looking at the existing names, there seems to be little consistency in the kinds of words being used: verbs (schedule, transfer, execute), verb-based phrases (stopped_as_optional), and adverbs (just, then, when_all) are intermixed.

For me, particularly and negatively outstanding is the rather unsophisticated just to indicate the injection of values in the sender chain. The proposal here is to use either set_value / set_error / set_stopped or plain value / error / stopped as the consistent triplet, with the author's slight preference towards the set_* names for consistency with let_*.

The counterparts for then are upon_error and upon_stopped, which is inconsistent. Also, the name transform is used in other areas of the standard to describe the application of a functor on some input value(s), e.g. std::transform or std::ranges::view::transform. For then in particular, such cross-domain consistency may not carry its weight compared to the idiomatic then in the local domain.

The rationale for let_value is the similarity to a LISP-style "let" operation that introduces a local variable. However, examples seem to favor a fork or spawn reading. I do not have sufficient experience with the actual usage of senders/receivers to form an opinion whether such examples warrant a rename of the let_* adaptors.

Finally, if at all possible, compound operations such as transfer_just or transfer_when_all should be left as an implementation optimization (possibly specified in the standard); however, the user should not need to learn whether a certain combination of sender adaptors has a compound spelling or not.

5 Proposal