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This package provides @cbooify which allows you to write the function call f(a::A, args...) as a.f(args...) as well. You can use it by adding a single line to your module. Using the alternative call syntax incurs no performance penalty.

The main motivation is to make it easy to call many functions with short names without bringing them into scope. For example s.x(1), s.y(3), s.z(3), etc. We want to do this without claiming x, y, z, among others. This is all the package does.

For example, in building quantum computing circuits programmatically, people really want to write circ.x(1) to add an X gate on wire 1. You could do

using QCircuit: add!  # ok to import this probably

add!(circ, QCircuit.x, 1) # But, I really don't want to import x, y, z, etc.

Here is an example from an application

@cbooify QCircuit (x, sx, y, z, h, cx, s, sdg, t, tdg, u, u3, rx, ry, rz, rzx, u4, barrier, measure)

This package doesn't offer other features of typical OO systems. This package writes a getproperty method. So any other OO features that need to be in getproperty might go in CBOOCall.jl

A requirement of design is no performance penalty. I mean I would not have brought this to a package if there were a performance penalty. And benchmarking the code in the test suite shows there is none. But, there may be some lurking somewhere.

For example the script smalltest.jl

push!(LOAD_PATH, "./test/MyAs/", "./test/MyBs/")
using MyAs
using BenchmarkTools
const y2 = MyA(5)
@btime [y2.sx(i) for i in 1:100];
@btime [MyAs.sx(y2, i) for i in 1:100];


  40.218 ns (1 allocation: 896 bytes)
  40.025 ns (1 allocation: 896 bytes)


module Amod

using CBOOCall: @cbooify

struct A

@cbooify A (f, g)

f(a::A, x, y) = a.x + x + y
g(a::A) = a.x

end # module Amod

Then you can write either Amod.f(a, 1, 2) or a.f(1, 2).

For more features and details, see the docstring.

Functions and macros

@cbooify, add_cboo_calls, is_cbooified, whichmodule, cbooified_properties.


@cbooify(Type_to_cbooify, (f1, f2, fa = Mod.f2...), callmethod=nothing, getproperty=getfield)

Allow functions of the form f1(s::Type_to_cbooify, args...) to also be called with s.f1(args...) with no performance penalty.

callmethod and getproperty are keyword arguments.

If an element of the Tuple is an assignment sym = func, then sym is the property that will call func. sym must be a simple identifier (a symbol). func is not required to be a symbol. For example myf = Base._unexportedf.

If callmethod is supplied, then s.f1(args...) is translated to callmethod(s, f1, args...) instead of f1(s, args...).

@cbooify works by writing methods (or clobbering methods) for the functions Base.getproperty and Base.propertnames.

getproperty must be a function. If supplied, then it is called, rather than getfield, when looking up a property that is not on the list of functions. This can be useful if you want further specialzed behavior of getproperty.

@cbooify must by called after the definition of Type_to_cbooify, but may be called before the functions are defined.

If an entry is not function, then it is returned, rather than called. For example @cbooify MyStruct (y=3,). Callable objects meant to be called must be wrapped in a function.


  • Use within a module
module Amod
import CBOOCall

struct A

CBOOCall.@cbooify A (w, z)

w(a::A, y) = a.x + y
z(a::A, x, y) = a.x + y + x
end # module
julia> a = Amod.A(3);

julia> Amod.w(a, 4) == a.w(4) == 7

julia> CBOOCall.whichmodule(a)

julia> CBOOCall.cboofied_properties(a)
(w = Main.Amod.w, z = Main.Amod.z)
  • The following two calls have the same effect.
@cbooify(Type_to_cbooify, (f1, f2, ...))

@cbooify(Type_to_cbooify, (f1, f2, ...), callmethod=nothing, getproperty=getfield)