Phrase Completeness

By default, any part of the phrase is optional. That means, any part can terminate the phrase. This may be incorrect from the domain-specific point of view. To prevent such situation, it is possible to require certain parts to present in phrase. For that, the clause may require continuation. So, the phrase part corresponding to such clause can not be the last one.

To require a continuation, it is sufficient to put an ellipsis (...) right before closing brace (>) of clause declaration. An example of sub-string, taking the length as a second parameter instead of the ending index:

Substr :=> string (
  <[] | from | length ...> *Input
                            ~~ Either `from` or `length` required.
  <From...> (               ~~ Argument required after the `from` word.
    <[] | length> *From     ~~ `Length` can be provided after `from`,
                            ~~ but is optional.
  <Length...> (             ~~ Argument required after the `length` word.
    <[]> *Length            ~~ Length has no continuation and can only be the last.

  Input :=< `string
  From := `0
  Length := integer` link = input: length - from

  = Input: substring _from [from] to [from + length]

Substr "string" from [2] length [2]   ~~ `"ri"`
Substr "string" from [2]              ~~ `"ring"`
Substr "string" length [3]            ~~ `"str"`
Substr "string"                       ~~ This is an error. Phrase is incomplete.


Look at the following code:

Str :=> string (
  <''> ()

Str 'abc' [1]

The last expression will fail, because a string clause of object Str has no continuation. So, an expression should be rewritten to work:

(Str 'abc') [1] ~~ The second character of string, i.e. `"b"`

or, in a shorter form:

Str 'abc'\ [1] ~~ The second character of string, i.e. `"b"`

But once it is well known that the clause has no continuation, it is logical to omit the grouping in the above expressions. To make this work the clause should be declared as terminator. The clause becomes a terminator when an exclamation mark (!) precedes the closing bracket. So, the following code is valid:

Str :=> string (
  <''!> ()

Str 'abc' [1]   ~~ This is valid and is the same as:
(Str 'abc') [1] ~~ Equals to `"b"`.
Str 'abc'\ [1]  ~~ The same as above.

The part of the phrase corresponding to terminator clause is always considered the last one. That is why terminator can not have continuations and can not reuse other clauses.