Matchmaker 3.0.1

Install-Package Matchmaker -Version 3.0.1
dotnet add package Matchmaker --version 3.0.1
<PackageReference Include="Matchmaker" Version="3.0.1" />
For projects that support PackageReference, copy this XML node into the project file to reference the package.
paket add Matchmaker --version 3.0.1
The NuGet Team does not provide support for this client. Please contact its maintainers for support.
#r "nuget: Matchmaker, 3.0.1"
#r directive can be used in F# Interactive, C# scripting and .NET Interactive. Copy this into the interactive tool or source code of the script to reference the package.
// Install Matchmaker as a Cake Addin
#addin nuget:?package=Matchmaker&version=3.0.1

// Install Matchmaker as a Cake Tool
#tool nuget:?package=Matchmaker&version=3.0.1
The NuGet Team does not provide support for this client. Please contact its maintainers for support.

Matchmaker

A library which enables more powerful pattern matching than is currently available in the C#'s switch statement/expression.

This library is a successor of PatternMatching. Version 1.x can be found there. This package contains version 2+.

A Simple Example

This is what the simplest match expression looks like:

using static Matchmaker.Patterns.Pattern;

// ...

string result =
    Match.Create<int, string>()
        .Case(EqualTo(1), _ => "one")
        .Case(EqualTo(2), _ => "two")
        .Case(EqualTo(3), _ => "three")
        .Case(EqualTo(4), _ => "four")
        .Case(Any<int>(), i => i.ToString())
        .ExecuteOn(5);

EqualTo is a predefined pattern.

This is what an equivalent switch statement looks like (pre-C# 8):

string result;
int i = 5;

switch (i)
{
    case 1:
        result = "one";
        break;
    case 2:
        result = "two";
        break;
    case 3:
        result = "three";
        break;
    case 4:
        result = "four";
        break;
    default:
        result = i.ToString();
        break;
}

While this example doesn't show the full power of pattern matching, there are a few things to note here:

  • The match expression yields a result. We don't have to assign the result explicitly in each case.

  • The input of the match expression is specified after all the cases. This allows us to save the match expression in an object, and use it multiple times on different input values.

  • The default case is a pattern, just like any other. It's called Any and is always matched successfully.

  • Like in switch the patterns are tried out sequentially. This means that the Any pattern should always come last.

C# 8 included a new way to write switch expressions which yield a value, and C# 9 extended it quite a bit. This drastically reduced the need for external libraries like this one for pattern matching. However, this library lets the user define arbitrary patterns, which makes this library more powerful than the switch expressions.

Here's what the equivalent switch expression looks like in C# 8:

int i = 5;

string result = i switch
{
    1 => "one",
    2 => "two",
    3 => "three",
    4 => "four",
    _ => i.ToString()
};

OK, this is much shorter and cleaner than the previous two examples. But this library shines when the patterns are more complex. While C# allowes various kinds of patterns, this library allows anything you can think about.

Another Example

Let's define a simple list, implemented as cons cells. This list is not generic for simplicity.

public abstract class ConsList
{
    private protected ConsList()
    { }

    public static ConsList Cell(int head, ConsList tail) =>
        new ConsCell(head, tail);

    public static ConsList Empty =>
        new Empty();
}

public sealed class ConsCell : ConsList
{
    public int Head { get; }
    public ConsList Tail { get; }

    internal ConsCell(int head, ConsList tail)
    {
        this.Head = head;
        this.Tail = tail;
    }
}

public sealed class Empty : ConsList
{
    internal Empty()
    { }
}

Now let's look what pattern matching on the list would look like. Let's create a function which finds the sum of all items of the list.

public int Sum(ConsList list) =>
    Match.Create<ConsList, int>()
        .Case<ConsCell>(cell => cell.Head + Sum(cell.Tail))
        .Case<Empty>(_ => 0)
        .ExecuteOn(list);

Case<TType>(...) is the same as Case(Pattern.Type<TInput, TType>(), ...).

Here is the equivalent function implemented using the switch statement (pre-C# 8):

public int Sum(ConsList list)
{
    switch (list)
    {
        case ConsCell cell:
            return cell.Head + Sum(cell.Tail);
        case Empty _:
            return 0;
    }

    throw new MatchException("This will never happen, but C# can't know that.");
}

As you can see, we have to throw an exception in the switch version, because C# can't know that ConsCell and Empty are the only possible subclasses of ConsList. And for that reason, if we forget to define one of the cases in switch or in a match, we'll get an exception. In F# a warning is issued when the match is incomplete, but C# doesn't have the notion of complete or incomplete matches.

With C# 8 there's a better way to do this, but we still have to explicitly throw an exception in the default case (which we know won't happen):

public int Sum(ConsList list) =>
    list switch
    {
        ConsCell cell => cell.Head + Sum(cell.Tail),
        Empty _ => 0,
        _ => throw new MatchException("This will never happen, but C# can't know that.");
    };
}

Matching with Fall-through

C, C++ and, Java support fall-through in switch statements. So does this library, although it works differently here. You can read more here.

Here's an implementation of the famous fizz-buzz program which uses matching with fall-through:

using System.Linq;

using Matchmaker;
using Matchmaker.Linq;

using static Matchmaker.Patterns.Pattern;

// ...

IPattern<int, int> DivisibleBy(int n) =>
    CreatePattern<int>(input => input % n == 0);

var result = Enumerable.Range(0, 15)
    .Select(Match.Create<int, string>(fallthroughByDefault: true)
        .Case(DivisibleBy(3), _ => "Fizz")
        .Case(DivisibleBy(5), _ => "Buzz")
        .Case(Not(DivisibleBy(3).Or(DivisibleBy(5))), n => n.ToString())
        .ToFunctionWithFallthrough())
    .Select(items => items.Aggregate(String.Concat))
    .ToList();

// The result is ("FizzBuzz", "1", "2", "Fizz", "4", "Buzz", "Fizz", "7", "8", "Fizz", "Buzz", "11", "Fizz", "13", "14", "FizzBuzz");

Static Match Expressions

One pain point of match expressions is that whenever a method which contains a match expression is executed, the match expression is initialized from scratch every time. This can be solved with static match expressions. Take a look at the revised simple example:

string result = Match.CreateStatic<int, string>(match => match
        .Case(EqualTo(1), _ => "one")
        .Case(EqualTo(2), _ => "two")
        .Case(EqualTo(3), _ => "three")
        .Case(EqualTo(4), _ => "four")
        .Case(Any<int>(), i => i.ToString()))
    .ExecuteOn(5);

Now this match expression will be initialized only once even if its containing method is executed multiple times. You can read more here.

More Info

If you want to learn how to use this library, you should read the documentation. The articles provide everything you need to know to use this library.

If you need extensive information, go to the API reference.

If you need even more info about this library, you can go through the tests. They are property-based and as such they describe every aspect of the classes and their members.

Is This Library Still Maintained?

I'm not planning on writing new versions beyond 3.0 (or maybe 3.1 if some stuff needs fixing). To be fair, I thought the same thing after releasing version 1.1 and yet here we are. This time I do believe that this library has enough features (probably more than enough). Maybe one day I'll revisit this decision, but for now (January 2022) this is it; this is as good as it gets.

That said, if you report a bug or request a new feature, I'll definitely look into it. I'm not giving up on this library any time soon.

License

MIT License

There are no supported framework assets in this package.

Learn more about Target Frameworks and .NET Standard.

  • .NETStandard 2.1

    • No dependencies.

NuGet packages

This package is not used by any NuGet packages.

GitHub repositories

This package is not used by any popular GitHub repositories.

Version Downloads Last updated
3.0.1 33 1/4/2022
3.0.0 238 5/16/2020
2.1.0 224 4/23/2020
2.0.0 218 4/20/2020