POV-Ray : Newsgroups : povray.beta-test : Bug and detail for, new at v3.8, global and local dictionaries Server Time
23 May 2024 17:34:52 EDT (-0400)
  Bug and detail for, new at v3.8, global and local dictionaries (Message 1 to 3 of 3)  
From: William F Pokorny
Subject: Bug and detail for, new at v3.8, global and local dictionaries
Date: 20 Oct 2023 14:49:53
Message: <6532cbd1$1@news.povray.org>
If using the local and global, parsing automatic, dictionaries, it's 
safe to use local dictionary test inside macros. This capability is 
essential to the macro, optional parameter defaulting also new to v3.8.

#macro Foo(P1, optional P2)
#ifndef(local.P2) #local P2 = 0; #end // provide default for P2
...
#end

Otherwise, be very careful as there is at least one bug and also some 
complicated behavior - which might or might not be the best thing to 
do... Basically, other documented behavior may or may not work!

Details
-------------------------

Recently, I again wondered, how the, new at v3.8 and later, 'global' and 
'local' dictionaries of identifiers worked at the very top level. The 
#local identifiers are effectively globals when used at the very top of 
the scene hierarchy.

Well, in the top file, #local identifiers are added to both the parser's 
automatic local and global dictionaries of identifiers. Also true for 
all #declare identifiers, declares from the command line, #for loops 
iteration variables (treated internally as non-scoped #local(s)) and 
such in the top file.

The implication here, if leaning on the local / global dictionaries to 
decide things in your scene, is that the conditional test results will 
change as you move code about in the hierarchy of files. Some of this we 
might expect, while other behavior very likely not.

The bug
----------------------
I went on to do a bunch of test cases on and off over a the past couple 
days and that testing turned up relatively basic bug.

If we have three files in A.pov, B.inc, and C.inc where the include 
chain is:

A.pov -> B.inc -> C.inc

where we have #local identifiers defined in B.inc, these are not getting 
added to the global (or local for that matter) dictionary while reading 
/ including C.inc. This a bug.

Those B.inc scoped variables are effectively global for the code in 
C.inc. A #declare in C.inc for #local identifier names in B.inc will 
update those identifiers in the B.inc scope - ones 'effectively global' 
while in C.inc. The #ifdef(), #ifndef() and defined() all return the 
appropriate results for the #local identifiers in B.inc. Namely, those 
older features see the the #local names in B.inc as defined while in 
C.inc. I've attached a failing test case tarball set up with A.pov -> 
B.inc -> C.inc.

Aside: I suspect this bug might have gotten passed us due the top level 
seeing all the methods of setting up identifiers as creating global ones 
(and local). If we imagine the testing was done with something more 
like: A.pov -> B.inc alone. Well, things work then because of that 
global/local duality in the very top file.

Not sure when I'll get around to looking at the bug. My current leaning 
for the global/local duality at the top is everything should be in the 
global dictionary and not the local one too, but, I should let that 
thought bang around in my head for a while.

Bill P.


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Attachments:
Download 'local_global_dictbug.tar.gz' (2 KB)

From: Bald Eagle
Subject: Re: Bug and detail for, new at v3.8, global and local dictionaries
Date: 22 Oct 2023 10:40:00
Message: <web.65353385b7e8be6f1f9dae3025979125@news.povray.org>
William F Pokorny <ano### [at] anonymousorg> wrote:

> The implication here, if leaning on the local / global dictionaries to
> decide things in your scene, is that the conditional test results will
> change as you move code about in the hierarchy of files. Some of this we
> might expect, while other behavior very likely not.


Hi Bill,

It looks like you may be finally touching on the elusive bug that has plagued me
in a number of "recent" projects - where I was having problems with certain
macro results not being defined, especially (it seemed) when I was running those
macros from within include files.

I'm not sure if I posted full code for those examples or not, and it's a bit
worrisome, since it suggests that more such things may be lurking in the parser
- and even more worrisome - that there may be some fundamentally flawed
logic/implementation in the way the entire parser is structured (aside from the
obvious things that we've discussed over the past decade(s) ;) )

I can't recall all of the various instances where I've run into these problems,
but certainly it was a recurring theme in the kumiko triangles project:

https://news.povray.org/povray.advanced-users/thread/%3Cweb.64209db9e0deeaab1f9dae3025979125%40news.povray.org%3E/


I've experimented with tracking the nesting level of the SDL code in the past,
and maybe there's a way to make that visible to the SDL from within source
without slowing things down / adding too much overhead.

Also, I'm wondering if in your povr branch, you could try addressing the highly
ambiguous "#end" directive and switching over to #endif #endfor etc.

Since you're coding source (in C?  c++?), it would be interesting to hear your
"ramblings" on the types of data structures and code-flow directives we're
currently missing in SDL that you think would be of use.

Great work tracking down these parse errors.   They can seriously challenge
one's sanity when trying to debug scenes in SDL.

- BW


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From: William F Pokorny
Subject: Re: Bug and detail for, new at v3.8, global and local dictionaries
Date: 22 Oct 2023 13:08:20
Message: <65355704@news.povray.org>
On 10/22/23 10:36, Bald Eagle wrote:
> I've experimented with tracking the nesting level of the SDL code in the 
> past, and maybe there's a way to make that visible to the SDL from 
> within source without slowing things down / adding too much overhead.

Unsure in total, what sort of tracking you mean, but...

I did take a run in povr at a debug option for the include files and it 
is still available via the environment variable: 
POV_PARSER_File_Text_INC_DEBUG, but with scenes making use of the 
parse_string / Parse_String macro for dynamic SDL code it's unusable as 
one drowns in debug output so it isn't today a run time povr option.

It's on my list to create a parse_string feature which doesn't use the 
include file mechanism, but some sort of 'memory file' instead.

> Also, I'm wondering if in your povr branch, you could try addressing the 
> highly ambiguous "#end" directive and switching over to #endif #endfor 
> etc. 

Yeah, I find myself typing #endif all the time when coding SDL! It's not 
all that easy to implement differing 'end tokens' unfortunately; So, 
it's not a near term povr work item.

> Since you're coding source (in C? c++?), it would be interesting to 
> hear your "ramblings" on the types of data structures and code-flow 
> directives we're currently missing in SDL that you think would be of 
> use. 

:-) Expect the list here goes on for a while and general 'list' (c++ 
vector) support one feature I'd like(*). I'll leave further rambling on 
this topic for another day.

(*) Some work has been done in this direction by jr and others with 
include files.

> Great work tracking down these parse errors. They can seriously 
> challenge one's sanity when trying to debug scenes in SDL.

Thanks & agree (my sanity is questionable as is).

Took a quick look at your reference to the kumiko triangles project and 
I realize I didn't test 'deprecated' or the 'global', 'local' pseudo 
dictionaries with tuple assignments. The combinations go on and on...

-----
With the pseudo dictionaries my current recommendation would be to use 
only in #macro 'local.' ones.

On writing that, I had the thought we can, I think, implement a 
trustworthy 'global.' test, at least, inside macros with something like:

#if ((!defined(local.V123)) & (defined(V123)))
...
#end

Pending fixes / changes, I'd say stay away 'global' altogether and use 
'local' only within macros for conditional tests or references. Further, 
don't do any assignment / redefinition / undef of identifiers via the 
'global' and 'local' dictionaries.

In povr, wondering if I can make 'global' pseudo dictionary use a parse 
error for now... I worry about where I have myself used it. I know it's 
there in povr's shipped munctions.inc and setidtypes.inc includes. 
Probably none of my 'global' use is absolutely necessary in those though.

What if, we change the expected and documented behavior from:

"Included are the two pseudo-dictionaries local and global they 
represent the most local and the least local or global identifiers 
respectively."

to be:

"Included are the two pseudo-dictionaries local and global, they 
represent the most local and the scene's top file's identifiers 
respectively."

???

The latter is closer to what we have today by implementation. Then we'd 
probably need a new way(s) to create / modify / undef identifiers which 
strictly works with the top file's identifiers. A #top V123 = 123; which 
would bypass any identifier name masking.

The 'least local' which are not today (always?) in the global dictionary 
could be isolated with the code posted above or

#if ((!defined(global.V123)) & (!defined(local.V123)) & (defined(V123)))
...
#end

depending on needs.

Hmm. Is that enough to handle aimed modifications. Maybe, yes, except 
where the #local masking is more than one instance deep(a), but we 
probably don't much need to whack the intermediate locals. They go away 
when we exit the macro or file context, so undef useless there really - 
and redefinition too seems unlikely excepting maybe as a way to 'return 
values' from a included file's context(a).

(a) - There is sort of a "most global, not top level" class of 
identifiers possible too I guess.

I don't know. Thinking aloud...

Might be simpler to fix the bug / match what is documented for behavior, 
but it leaves the pseudo dictionaries as less of a solution to 
identifier name masking than perhaps they could be.

Bill P.


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