Issue #4085 has been updated by headius (Charles Nutter).


shugo: I may have a possible compromise that fixes some of the technical issues.

Currently, refinements have to be looked up via cref, basically (there's oddities for module_eval case, but it's similar to cref). If instead refinements are located *solely* based on the caller object, we can implement refinements using ko1's method flag trick.

The logic would work like this:

* Any method that gets refined gets flagged, as you described earlier.
* A call site that encounters a refined method at lookup time will do the search for refinements by looking at the calling object.
* Lookup will check the object's class and superclasses searching for the refined version of the method.
* If a refined method is found in the caller's hierarchy, it is cached at the call site, but instead of guarding only on the target class it also guards based on the calling class. Modifications to either invalidate the site.
* If a refined method is not found in the caller's hierarchy, caching proceeds as normal.

The edges here are whether refinements added to a caller's hierarchy later should get picked up. If that was a requirement, it would require all call sites cache based on caller as well, regardless of whether they see refinements the first time or not. The alternative would be like ko1 suggested, not caching refinements at the call site at all and only caching the target method as a trigger to look in a second cache that's invalidated globally when modifications come in.

If refinements added after the first call should not be seen, then it's more like the current "temporal" application of refinements.

This implementation would add no overhead to unrefined call logic (other than the initial check) because it's similar to visibility checking. In order to check visibility, we already have to pass caller to the call site anyway.

I'll note again that this does not make any of the added complexity of refinements (from a user/programmer perspective) go away...it just might make it easier to implement without impacting unrefined calls. It also doesn't address the concerns about future modifications to the refined class and whether they can overwrite previously-refined methods.
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Feature #4085: Refinements and nested methods
https://bugs.ruby-lang.org/issues/4085#change-32872

Author: shugo (Shugo Maeda)
Status: Assigned
Priority: Normal
Assignee: shugo (Shugo Maeda)
Category: core
Target version: 2.0.0


=begin
 As I said at RubyConf 2010, I'd like to propose a new features called
 "Refinements."
 
 Refinements are similar to Classboxes.  However, Refinements doesn't
 support local rebinding as mentioned later.  In this sense,
 Refinements might be more similar to selector namespaces, but I'm not
 sure because I have never seen any implementation of selector
 namespaces.
 
 In Refinements, a Ruby module is used as a namespace (or classbox) for
 class extensions.  Such class extensions are called refinements.  For
 example, the following module refines Fixnum.
 
   module MathN
     refine Fixnum do
       def /(other) quo(other) end
     end
   end
 
 Module#refine(klass) takes one argument, which is a class to be
 extended.  Module#refine also takes a block, where additional or
 overriding methods of klass can be defined.  In this example, MathN
 refines Fixnum so that 1 / 2 returns a rational number (1/2) instead
 of an integer 0.
 
 This refinement can be enabled by the method using.
 
   class Foo
     using MathN
 
     def foo
       p 1 / 2
     end
   end
 
   f = Foo.new
   f.foo #=> (1/2)
   p 1 / 2
 
 In this example, the refinement in MathN is enabled in the definition
 of Foo.  The effective scope of the refinement is the innermost class,
 module, or method where using is called; however the refinement is not
 enabled before the call of using.  If there is no such class, module,
 or method, then the effective scope is the file where using is called.
 Note that refinements are pseudo-lexically scoped.  For example,
 foo.baz prints not "FooExt#bar" but "Foo#bar" in the following code:
 
   class Foo
     def bar
       puts "Foo#bar"
     end
 
     def baz
       bar
     end
   end
 
   module FooExt
     refine Foo do
       def bar
         puts "FooExt#bar"
       end
     end
   end
 
   module Quux
     using FooExt
 
     foo = Foo.new
     foo.bar  # => FooExt#bar
     foo.baz  # => Foo#bar
   end
 
 Refinements are also enabled in reopened definitions of classes using
 refinements and definitions of their subclasses, so they are
 *pseudo*-lexically scoped.
 
   class Foo
     using MathN
   end
 
   class Foo
     # MathN is enabled in a reopened definition.
     p 1 / 2  #=> (1/2)
   end
 
   class Bar < Foo
     # MathN is enabled in a subclass definition.
     p 1 / 2  #=> (1/2)
   end
 
 If a module or class is using refinements, they are enabled in
 module_eval, class_eval, and instance_eval if the receiver is the
 class or module, or an instance of the class.
 
   module A
     using MathN
   end
   class B
     using MathN
   end
   MathN.module_eval do
     p 1 / 2  #=> (1/2)
   end
   A.module_eval do
     p 1 / 2  #=> (1/2)
   end
   B.class_eval do
     p 1 / 2  #=> (1/2)
   end
   B.new.instance_eval do
     p 1 / 2  #=> (1/2)
   end
 
 Besides refinements, I'd like to propose new behavior of nested methods.
 Currently, the scope of a nested method is not closed in the outer method.
 
   def foo
     def bar
       puts "bar"
     end
     bar
   end
   foo  #=> bar
   bar  #=> bar
 
 In Ruby, there are no functions, but only methods.  So there are no
 right places where nested methods are defined.  However, if
 refinements are introduced, a refinement enabled only in the outer
 method would be the right place.  For example, the above code is
 almost equivalent to the following code:
 
   def foo
     klass = self.class
     m = Module.new {
       refine klass do
         def bar
           puts "bar"
         end
       end
     }
     using m
     bar
   end
   foo  #=> bar
   bar  #=> NoMethodError
 
 The attached patch is based on SVN trunk r29837.
=end



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