Find/last, find/reverse => find-last, find-reverse


#1

R3-Alpha's FIND function had a whole slew of refinements:

    /part -- Limits the search to a given length or position
            length (number! series! pair!)
    /only -- Treats a series value as only a single value
    /case -- Characters are case-sensitive
    /any -- Enables the * and ? wildcards  ; !!! Note: this didn't work
    /with -- Allows custom wildcards  ; !!! neither did this
            wild -- Specifies alternates for * and ? (string!)
    /skip -- Treat the series as records of fixed size
            size (integer!)
    /last -- Backwards from end of series
    /reverse -- Backwards from the current position
    /tail -- Returns the end of the series
    /match -- Performs comparison and returns the tail of the match

Whenever you see that many options on a function, a good question to ask is what happens when you combine them? There's a working philosophy that you shouldn't have refinements that can't be used together. Does it know how to FIND/SKIP/MATCH/REVERSE? with a SKIP of -7?

When you're trying to rewrite the code to support something like--say--arbitrary UTF-8 encoded strings, you have to pare down the combinatorics if you're going to hope things will work. To try and make a bit of headway on this problem, I defined FIND-LAST and FIND-REVERSE like this:

find-reverse: redescribe [
    {Variant of FIND that uses a /SKIP of -1}
](
    specialize 'find/skip [size: -1]
)

find-last: redescribe [
    {Variant of FIND that uses a /SKIP of -1 and seeks the TAIL of a series}
](
    adapt 'find-reverse [
        if not any-series? series [
            fail 'series "Can only use FIND-LAST on ANY-SERIES!"
        ]
        series: tail of series    ; can't use plain TAIL, there's a /TAIL
   ]
)

That knocks off two refinements, and it keeps you from specifying something like FIND-REVERSE with /SKIP of a positive number.

This may not be perfect, and suggestions are welcome. But the only way to make the implementation tractable (in a way that gives correct answers) is to formalize the definitions in this vein.