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DSL control structures

Pattern-action blocks

These are reminiscent of awk syntax. They can be used to allow assignments to be done only when appropriate -- e.g. for math-function domain restrictions, regex-matching, and so on:

mlr cat data/put-gating-example-1.dkvp
x=-1
x=0
x=1
x=2
x=3
mlr put '$x > 0.0 { $y = log10($x); $z = sqrt($y) }' data/put-gating-example-1.dkvp
x=-1
x=0
x=1,y=0,z=0
x=2,y=0.3010299956639812,z=0.5486620049392715
x=3,y=0.4771212547196624,z=0.6907396432228734
mlr cat data/put-gating-example-2.dkvp
a=abc_123
a=some other name
a=xyz_789
mlr put '
  $a =~ "([a-z]+)_([0-9]+)" {
    $b = "left_\1"; $c = "right_\2"
  }' \
  data/put-gating-example-2.dkvp
a=abc_123,b=left_abc,c=right_123
a=some other name
a=xyz_789,b=left_xyz,c=right_789

This produces heteregenous output which Miller, of course, has no problems with (see Record Heterogeneity). But if you want homogeneous output, the curly braces can be replaced with a semicolon between the expression and the body statements. This causes put to evaluate the boolean expression (along with any side effects, namely, regex-captures \1, \2, etc.) but doesn't use it as a criterion for whether subsequent assignments should be executed. Instead, subsequent assignments are done unconditionally:

mlr --opprint put '
  $a =~ "([a-z]+)_([0-9]+)";
  $b = "left_\1";
  $c = "right_\2"
' data/put-gating-example-2.dkvp
a               b        c
abc_123         left_abc right_123
some other name left_    right_
xyz_789         left_xyz right_789

Note that pattern-action blocks are just a syntactic variation of if-statements. The following do the same thing:

  boolean_condition {
    body
  }
  if (boolean_condition) {
    body
  }

If-statements

These are again reminiscent of awk. Pattern-action blocks are a special case of if with no elif or else blocks, no if keyword, and parentheses optional around the boolean expression:

mlr put 'NR == 4 {$foo = "bar"}'
mlr put 'if (NR == 4) {$foo = "bar"}'

Compound statements use elif (rather than elsif or else if):

mlr put '
  if (NR == 2) {
    ...
  } elif (NR ==4) {
    ...
  } elif (NR ==6) {
    ...
  } else {
    ...
  }
'

While and do-while loops

Miller's while and do-while are unsurprising in comparison to various languages, as are break and continue:

echo x=1,y=2 | mlr put '
  while (NF < 10) {
    $[NF+1] = ""
  }
  $foo = "bar"
'
x=1,y=2,3=,4=,5=,6=,7=,8=,9=,10=,foo=bar
echo x=1,y=2 | mlr put '
  do {
    $[NF+1] = "";
    if (NF == 5) {
      break
    }
  } while (NF < 10);
  $foo = "bar"
'
x=1,y=2,3=,4=,5=,foo=bar

A break or continue within nested conditional blocks or if-statements will, of course, propagate to the innermost loop enclosing them, if any. A break or continue outside a loop is a syntax error that will be flagged as soon as the expression is parsed, before any input records are ingested.

The existence of while, do-while, and for loops in Miller's DSL means that you can create infinite-loop scenarios inadvertently. In particular, please recall that DSL statements are executed once if in begin or end blocks, and once per record otherwise. For example, while (NR < 10) will never terminate. The NR variable is only incremented between records, and each DSL expression is invoked once per record: so, once for NR=1, once for NR=2, etc.

If you do want to loop over records, see Operating on all records for some options.

For-loops

While Miller's while and do-while statements are much as in many other languages, for loops are more idiosyncratic to Miller. They are loops over key-value pairs, whether in stream records, out-of-stream variables, local variables, or map-literals: more reminiscent of foreach, as in (for example) PHP. There are for-loops over map keys and for-loops over key-value tuples. Additionally, Miller has a C-style triple-for loop with initialize, test, and update statements. Each is described below.

As with while and do-while, a break or continue within nested control structures will propagate to the innermost loop enclosing them, if any, and a break or continue outside a loop is a syntax error that will be flagged as soon as the expression is parsed, before any input records are ingested.

Single-variable for-loops

For maps, the single variable is always bound to the key of key-value pairs:

mlr --from data/small put -q '
  print "NR = ".NR;
  for (e in $*) {
    print "  key:", e, "value:", $[e];
  }
'
NR = 1
  key: a value: pan
  key: b value: pan
  key: i value: 1
  key: x value: 0.346791
  key: y value: 0.726802
NR = 2
  key: a value: eks
  key: b value: pan
  key: i value: 2
  key: x value: 0.758679
  key: y value: 0.522151
NR = 3
  key: a value: wye
  key: b value: wye
  key: i value: 3
  key: x value: 0.204603
  key: y value: 0.338318
NR = 4
  key: a value: eks
  key: b value: wye
  key: i value: 4
  key: x value: 0.381399
  key: y value: 0.134188
NR = 5
  key: a value: wye
  key: b value: pan
  key: i value: 5
  key: x value: 0.573288
  key: y value: 0.863624
mlr -n put -q '
  end {
    o = {"a":1, "b":{"c":3}};
    for (e in o) {
      print "key:", e, "valuetype:", typeof(o[e]);
    }
  }
'
key: a valuetype: int
key: b valuetype: map

Note that the value corresponding to a given key may be gotten as through a computed field name using square brackets as in $[e] for stream records, or by indexing the looped-over variable using square brackets.

For arrays, the single variable is always bound to the value (not the array index):

mlr -n put -q '
  end {
    o = [10, "20", {}, "four", true];
    for (e in o) {
      print "value:", e, "valuetype:", typeof(e);
    }
  }
'
value: 10 valuetype: int
value: 20 valuetype: string
value: {} valuetype: map
value: four valuetype: string
value: true valuetype: bool

Key-value for-loops

For maps, the first loop variable is the key and the second is the value; for arrays, the first loop variable is the (1-up) array index and the second is the value.

Single-level keys may be gotten at using either for(k,v) or for((k),v); multi-level keys may be gotten at using for((k1,k2,k3),v) and so on. The v variable will be bound to to a scalar value (non-array/non-map) if the map stops at that level, or to a map-valued or array-valued variable if the map goes deeper. If the map isn't deep enough then the loop body won't be executed.

cat data/for-srec-example.tbl
label1 label2 f1  f2  f3
blue   green  100 240 350
red    green  120 11  195
yellow blue   140 0   240
mlr --pprint --from data/for-srec-example.tbl put '
  $sum1 = $f1 + $f2 + $f3;
  $sum2 = 0;
  $sum3 = 0;
  for (key, value in $*) {
    if (key =~ "^f[0-9]+") {
      $sum2 += value;
      $sum3 += $[key];
    }
  }
'
label1 label2 f1  f2  f3  sum1 sum2 sum3
blue   green  100 240 350 690  690  690
red    green  120 11  195 326  326  326
yellow blue   140 0   240 380  380  380
mlr --from data/small --opprint put 'for (k,v in $*) { $[k."_type"] = typeof(v) }'
a   b   i x        y        a_type b_type i_type x_type y_type
pan pan 1 0.346791 0.726802 string string int    float  float
eks pan 2 0.758679 0.522151 string string int    float  float
wye wye 3 0.204603 0.338318 string string int    float  float
eks wye 4 0.381399 0.134188 string string int    float  float
wye pan 5 0.573288 0.863624 string string int    float  float

Note that the value of the current field in the for-loop can be gotten either using the bound variable value, or through a computed field name using square brackets as in $[key].

Important note: to avoid inconsistent looping behavior in case you're setting new fields (and/or unsetting existing ones) while looping over the record, Miller makes a copy of the record before the loop: loop variables are bound from the copy and all other reads/writes involve the record itself:

mlr --from data/small --opprint put '
  $sum1 = 0;
  $sum2 = 0;
  for (k,v in $*) {
    if (is_numeric(v)) {
      $sum1 +=v;
      $sum2 += $[k];
    }
  }
'
a   b   i x        y        sum1               sum2
pan pan 1 0.346791 0.726802 2.073593           8.294372
eks pan 2 0.758679 0.522151 3.28083            13.12332
wye wye 3 0.204603 0.338318 3.542921           14.171684
eks wye 4 0.381399 0.134188 4.515587           18.062348
wye pan 5 0.573288 0.863624 6.4369119999999995 25.747647999999998

It can be confusing to modify the stream record while iterating over a copy of it, so instead you might find it simpler to use a local variable in the loop and only update the stream record after the loop:

mlr --from data/small --opprint put '
  sum = 0;
  for (k,v in $*) {
    if (is_numeric(v)) {
      sum += $[k];
    }
  }
  $sum = sum
'
a   b   i x        y        sum
pan pan 1 0.346791 0.726802 2.073593
eks pan 2 0.758679 0.522151 3.28083
wye wye 3 0.204603 0.338318 3.542921
eks wye 4 0.381399 0.134188 4.515587
wye pan 5 0.573288 0.863624 6.4369119999999995

You can also start iterating on sub-maps of an out-of-stream or local variable; you can loop over nested keys; you can loop over all out-of-stream variables. The bound variables are bound to a copy of the sub-map as it was before the loop started. The sub-map is specified by square-bracketed indices after in, and additional deeper indices are bound to loop key-variables. The terminal values are bound to the loop value-variable whenever the keys are not too shallow. The value-variable may refer to a terminal (string, number) or it may be map-valued if the map goes deeper. Example indexing is as follows:

# Parentheses are optional for single key:
for (k1,           v in @a["b"]["c"]) { ... }
for ((k1),         v in @a["b"]["c"]) { ... }
# Parentheses are required for multiple keys:
for ((k1, k2),     v in @a["b"]["c"]) { ... } # Loop over subhashmap of a variable
for ((k1, k2, k3), v in @a["b"]["c"]) { ... } # Ditto
for ((k1, k2, k3), v in @a { ... }            # Loop over variable starting from basename
for ((k1, k2, k3), v in @* { ... }            # Loop over all variables (k1 is bound to basename)

That's confusing in the abstract, so a concrete example is in order. Suppose the out-of-stream variable @myvar is populated as follows:

mlr -n put --jknquoteint -q '
  begin {
    @myvar = {
      1: 2,
      3: { 4 : 5 },
      6: { 7: { 8: 9 } }
    }
  }
  end { dump }
'
{
  "myvar": {
    "1": 2,
    "3": {
      "4": 5
    },
    "6": {
      "7": {
        "8": 9
      }
    }
  }
}

Then we can get at various values as follows:

mlr -n put --jknquoteint -q '
  begin {
    @myvar = {
      1: 2,
      3: { 4 : 5 },
      6: { 7: { 8: 9 } }
    }
  }
  end {
    for (k, v in @myvar) {
      print
        "key=" . k .
        ",valuetype=" . typeof(v);
    }
  }
'
key=1,valuetype=int
key=3,valuetype=map
key=6,valuetype=map
mlr -n put --jknquoteint -q '
  begin {
    @myvar = {
      1: 2,
      3: { 4 : 5 },
      6: { 7: { 8: 9 } }
    }
  }
  end {
    for ((k1, k2), v in @myvar) {
      print
        "key1=" . k1 .
        ",key2=" . k2 .
        ",valuetype=" . typeof(v);
    }
  }
'
key1=3,key2=4,valuetype=int
key1=6,key2=7,valuetype=map
mlr -n put --jknquoteint -q '
  begin {
    @myvar = {
      1: 2,
      3: { 4 : 5 },
      6: { 7: { 8: 9 } }
    }
  }
  end {
    for ((k1, k2), v in @myvar[6]) {
      print
        "key1=" . k1 .
        ",key2=" . k2 .
        ",valuetype=" . typeof(v);
    }
  }
'
key1=7,key2=8,valuetype=int

C-style triple-for loops

These are supported as follows:

mlr --from data/small --opprint put '
  num suma = 0;
  for (a = 1; a <= NR; a += 1) {
    suma += a;
  }
  $suma = suma;
'
a   b   i x        y        suma
pan pan 1 0.346791 0.726802 1
eks pan 2 0.758679 0.522151 3
wye wye 3 0.204603 0.338318 6
eks wye 4 0.381399 0.134188 10
wye pan 5 0.573288 0.863624 15
mlr --from data/small --opprint put '
  num suma = 0;
  num sumb = 0;
  for (num a = 1, num b = 1; a <= NR; a += 1, b *= 2) {
    suma += a;
    sumb += b;
  }
  $suma = suma;
  $sumb = sumb;
'
a   b   i x        y        suma sumb
pan pan 1 0.346791 0.726802 1    1
eks pan 2 0.758679 0.522151 3    3
wye wye 3 0.204603 0.338318 6    7
eks wye 4 0.381399 0.134188 10   15
wye pan 5 0.573288 0.863624 15   31

Notes:

  • In for (start; continuation; update) { body }, the start, continuation, and update statements may be empty, single statements, or multiple comma-separated statements. If the continuation is empty (e.g. for(i=1;;i+=1)) it defaults to true.

  • In particular, you may use $-variables and/or @-variables in the start, continuation, and/or update steps (as well as the body, of course).

  • The typedecls such as int or num are optional. If a typedecl is provided (for a local variable), it binds a variable scoped to the for-loop regardless of whether a same-name variable is present in outer scope. If a typedecl is not provided, then the variable is scoped to the for-loop if no same-name variable is present in outer scope, or if a same-name variable is present in outer scope then it is modified.

  • Miller has no ++ or -- operators.

  • As with all for/if/while statements in Miller, the curly braces are required even if the body is a single statement, or empty.

Begin/end blocks

Miller supports an awk-like begin/end syntax. The statements in the begin block are executed before any input records are read; the statements in the end block are executed after the last input record is read. (If you want to execute some statement at the start of each file, not at the start of the first file as with begin, you might use a pattern/action block of the form FNR == 1 { ... }.) All statements outside of begin or end are, of course, executed on every input record. Semicolons separate statements inside or outside of begin/end blocks; semicolons are required between begin/end block bodies and any subsequent statement. For example:

mlr put '
  begin { @sum = 0 };
  @x_sum += $x;
  end { emit @x_sum }
' ./data/small
a=pan,b=pan,i=1,x=0.346791,y=0.726802
a=eks,b=pan,i=2,x=0.758679,y=0.522151
a=wye,b=wye,i=3,x=0.204603,y=0.338318
a=eks,b=wye,i=4,x=0.381399,y=0.134188
a=wye,b=pan,i=5,x=0.573288,y=0.863624
x_sum=2.26476

Since uninitialized out-of-stream variables default to 0 for addition/substraction and 1 for multiplication when they appear on expression right-hand sides (not quite as in awk, where they'd default to 0 either way), the above can be written more succinctly as

mlr put '
  @x_sum += $x;
  end { emit @x_sum }
' ./data/small
a=pan,b=pan,i=1,x=0.346791,y=0.726802
a=eks,b=pan,i=2,x=0.758679,y=0.522151
a=wye,b=wye,i=3,x=0.204603,y=0.338318
a=eks,b=wye,i=4,x=0.381399,y=0.134188
a=wye,b=pan,i=5,x=0.573288,y=0.863624
x_sum=2.26476

The put -q option suppresses printing of each output record, with only emit statements being output. So to get only summary outputs, you could write

mlr put -q '
  @x_sum += $x;
  end { emit @x_sum }
' ./data/small
x_sum=2.26476

We can do similarly with multiple out-of-stream variables:

mlr put -q '
  @x_count += 1;
  @x_sum += $x;
  end {
    emit @x_count;
    emit @x_sum;
  }
' ./data/small
x_count=5
x_sum=2.26476

This is of course (see also here) not much different than

mlr stats1 -a count,sum -f x ./data/small
x_count=5,x_sum=2.26476

Note that it's a syntax error for begin/end blocks to refer to field names (beginning with $), since begin/end blocks execute outside the context of input records.

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