CPS - manage flow of control in Continuation-Passing Style


      Note: This module is entirely deprecated now. It is maintained for
      compatibility for any code still using it, but please consider
      rewriting to use Future instead, which offers a far neater method of
      representing asynchronous program and data flow. In addition,
      Future::AsyncAwait can further improve readability of Future-based
      code by letting it use the familiar kinds of Perl control structure
      while still being asynchronous.

      At some later date this entire CPS module distribution may be

    The functions in this module implement or assist the writing of
    programs, or parts of them, in Continuation Passing Style (CPS).
    Briefly, CPS is a style of writing code where the normal call/return
    mechanism is replaced by explicit "continuations", values passed in to
    functions which they should invoke, to implement return behaviour. For
    more detail on CPS, see the SEE ALSO section.

    What this module implements is not in fact true CPS, as Perl does not
    natively support the idea of a real continuation (such as is created by
    a co-routine). Furthermore, for CPS to be efficient in languages that
    natively support it, their runtimes typically implement a lot of
    optimisation of CPS code, which the Perl interpreter would be unable to
    perform. Instead, CODE references are passed around to stand in their
    place. While not particularly useful for most regular cases, this
    becomes very useful whenever some form of asynchronous or event-based
    programming is being used. Continuations passed in to the body function
    of a control structure can be stored in the event handlers of the
    asynchronous or event-driven framework, so that when they are invoked
    later, the code continues, eventually arriving at its final answer at
    some point in the future.

    In order for these examples to make sense, a fictional and simple
    asynchronisation framework has been invented. The exact details of
    operation should not be important, as it simply stands to illustrate
    the point. I hope its general intention should be obvious. :)

     read_stdin_line( \&on_line ); # wait on a line from STDIN, then pass it
                                   # to the handler function

    This module itself provides functions that manage the flow of control
    through a continuation passing program. They do not directly facilitate
    the flow of data through a program. That can be managed by lexical
    variables captured by the closures passed around. See the EXAMPLES

    For CPS versions of data-flow functionals, such as map and grep, see
    also CPS::Functional.


     use CPS qw( kloop );
     kloop( sub {
        my ( $knext, $klast ) = @_;
        print "Enter a number, or q to quit: ";
        read_stdin_line( sub {
           my ( $first ) = @_;
           chomp $first;
           return $klast->() if $first eq "q";
           print "Enter a second number: ";
           read_stdin_line( sub {
              my ( $second ) = @_;
              print "The sum is " . ( $first + $second ) . "\n";
           } );
        } );
     sub { exit }


    In all of the following functions, the \&body function can provide
    results by invoking its continuation / one of its continuations, either
    synchronously or asynchronously at some point later (via some event
    handling or other mechanism); the next invocation of \&body will not
    take place until the previous one exits if it is done synchronously.

    They all take the prefix k before the name of the regular perl keyword
    or function they aim to replace. It is common in CPS code in other
    languages, such as Scheme or Haskell, to store a continuation in a
    variable called k. This convention is followed here.

 kloop( \&body, $k )

    CPS version of perl's while(true) loop. Repeatedly calls the body code
    until it indicates the end of the loop, then invoke $k.

     $body->( $knext, $klast )

    If $knext is invoked, the body will be called again. If $klast is
    invoked, the continuation $k is invoked.

 kwhile( \&body, $k )

    Compatibility synonym for kloop; it was renamed after version 0.10. New
    code should use kloop instead.

 kforeach( \@items, \&body, $k )

    CPS version of perl's foreach loop. Calls the body code once for each
    element in @items, until either the items are exhausted or the body
    invokes its $klast continuation, then invoke $k.

     $body->( $item, $knext, $klast )

 kdescendd( $root, \&body, $k )

    CPS version of recursive descent on a tree-like structure, defined by a
    function, body, which when given a node in the tree, yields a list of
    child nodes.

     $body->( $node, $kmore )
        $kmore->( @child_nodes )

    The first value to be passed into body is $root.

    At each iteration, a node is given to the body function, and it is
    expected to pass a list of child nodes into its $kmore continuation.
    These will then be iterated over, in the order given. The tree-like
    structure is visited depth-first, descending fully into one subtree of
    a node before moving on to the next.

    This function does not provide a way for the body to accumulate a
    resultant data structure to pass into its own continuation. The body is
    executed simply for its side-effects and its continuation is invoked
    with no arguments. A variable of some sort should be shared between the
    body and the continuation if this is required.

 kdescendb( $root, \&body, $k )

    A breadth-first variation of kdescendd. This function visits each child
    node of the parent, before iterating over all of these nodes's
    children, recursively until the bottom of the tree.

 kpar( @bodies, $k )

    This CPS function takes a list of function bodies and calls them all
    immediately. Each is given its own continuation. Once every body has
    invoked its continuation, the main continuation $k is invoked.

     $body->( $kdone )

    This allows running multiple operations in parallel, and waiting for
    them all to complete before continuing. It provides in a CPS form
    functionality similar to that provided in a more object-oriented
    fashion by modules such as Async::MergePoint or Event::Join.

 kpareach( \@items, \&body, $k )

    This CPS function takes a list of items and a function body, and calls
    the body immediately once for each item in the list. Each invocation is
    given its own continuation. Once every body has invoked its
    continuation, the main continuation $k is invoked.

     $body->( $item, $kdone )

    This is similar to kforeach, except that the body is started
    concurrently for all items in the list list, rather than each item
    waiting for the previous to finish.

 kseq( @bodies, $k )

    This CPS function takes a list of function bodies and calls them each,
    one at a time in sequence. Each is given a continuation to invoke,
    which will cause the next body to be invoked. When the last body has
    invoked its continuation, the main continuation $k is invoked.

     $body->( $kdone )

    A benefit of this is that it allows a long operation that uses many
    continuation "pauses", to be written without code indenting further and
    further to the right. Another is that it allows easy skipping of
    conditional parts of a computation, which would otherwise be tricky to
    write in a CPS form. See the EXAMPLES section.


    All of the above functions are implemented using a loop which
    repeatedly calls the body function until some terminating condition. By
    controlling the way this loop re-invokes itself, a program can control
    the behaviour of the functions.

    For every one of the above functions, there also exists a variant which
    takes a CPS::Governor object as its first argument. These functions use
    the governor object to control their iteration.

     kloop( \&body, $k )
     gkloop( $gov, \&body, $k )
     kforeach( \@items, \&body, $k )
     gkforeach( $gov, \@items, \&body, $k )

    In this way, other governor objects can be constructed which have
    different running properties; such as interleaving iterations of their
    loop with other IO activity in an event-driven framework, or giving
    rate-limitation control on the speed of iteration of the loop.


    These function names do not begin with k because they are not
    themselves CPS primatives, but may be useful in CPS-oriented code.

 $kfunc = liftk { BLOCK }

 $kfunc = liftk( \&func )

    Returns a new CODE reference to a CPS-wrapped version of the code block
    or passed CODE reference. When $kfunc is invoked, the function &func is
    called in list context, being passed all the arguments given to $kfunc
    apart from the last, expected to be its continuation. When &func
    returns, the result is passed into the continuation.

     $kfunc->( @func_args, $k )
        $k->( @func_ret )

    The following are equivalent

     print func( 1, 2, 3 );
     my $kfunc = liftk( \&func );
     $kfunc->( 1, 2, 3, sub { print @_ } );

    Note that the returned wrapper function only has one continuation slot
    in its arguments. It therefore cannot be used as the body for kloop(),
    kforeach() or kgenerate(), because these pass two continuations. There
    does not exist a "natural" way to lift a normal call/return function
    into a CPS function which requires more than one continuation, because
    there is no way to distinguish the different named returns.

 $func = dropk { BLOCK } $kfunc

 $func = dropk $waitfunc, $kfunc

    Returns a new CODE reference to a plain call/return version of the
    passed CPS-style CODE reference. When the returned ("dropped") function
    is called, it invokes the passed CPS function, then waits for it to
    invoke its continuation. When it does, the list that was passed to the
    continuation is returned by the dropped function. If called in scalar
    context, only the first value in the list is returned.

     $kfunc->( @func_args, $k )
        $k->( @func_ret )
     @func_ret = $func->( @func_args )

    Given the following trivial CPS function:

     $kadd = sub { $_[2]->( $_[0] + $_[1] ) };

    The following are equivalent

     $kadd->( 10, 20, sub { print "The total is $_[0]\n" } );
     $add = dropk { } $kadd;
     print "The total is ".$add->( 10, 20 )."\n";

    In the general case the CPS function hasn't yet invoked its
    continuation by the time it returns (such as would be the case when
    using any sort of asynchronisation or event-driven framework). For
    dropk to actually work in this situation, it requires a way to run the
    event framework, to cause it to process events until the continuation
    has been invoked.

    This is provided by the block, or the first passed CODE reference. When
    the returned function is invoked, it repeatedly calls the block or wait
    function, until the CPS function has invoked its continuation.


 Returning Data From Functions

    No facilities are provided directly to return data from CPS body
    functions in kloop, kpar and kseq. Instead, normal lexical variable
    capture may be used here.

     my $bat;
     my $ball;
        sub {
           my ( $k ) = @_;
           get_bat( on_bat => sub { $bat = shift; goto &$k } );
        sub {
           my ( $k ) = @_;
           serve_ball( on_ball => sub { $ball = shift; goto &$k } );
        sub {
           $bat->hit( $ball );

    The body function can set the value of a variable that it and its final
    continuation both capture.

 Using kseq For Conditionals

    Consider the call/return style of code

     if( $maybe ) {

    We cannot easily write this in CPS form without naming C twice

     kA( sub {
        $maybe ?
           kB( sub { kC() } ) :
     } );

    While not so problematic here, it could get awkward if C were in fact a
    large code block, or if more than a single conditional were employed in
    the logic; a likely scenario. A further issue is that the logical
    structure becomes much harder to read.

    Using kseq allows us to name the continuation so each arm of kmaybe can
    invoke it indirectly.

        sub { my $k = shift; $maybe ? kB( $k ) : goto &$k; },


      * Future - represent an operation awaiting completion

      * Future::AsyncAwait - deferred subroutine syntax for futures

      * CPS::Functional - functional utilities in Continuation-Passing

      * on


    Matt S. Trout (mst) <> - for the inspiration of
    kpareach and with apologies to for naming of the said. ;)


    Paul Evans <>