Inverted syntax

From Rosetta Code
Inverted syntax
You are encouraged to solve this task according to the task description, using any language you may know.

Inverted syntax with conditional expressions

In traditional syntax conditional expressions are usually shown before the action within a statement or code block:

 IF raining=true THEN needumbrella=true 

In inverted syntax, the action is listed before the conditional expression in the statement or code block:

 needumbrella=true IF raining=true 

Inverted syntax with assignment

In traditional syntax, assignments are usually expressed with the variable appearing before the expression:

 a = 6

In inverted syntax, the expression appears before the variable:

 6 = a


The task is to demonstrate support for inverted syntax forms within the language by showing both the traditional and inverted forms.


The only place where syntax is kind of inverted is exit when to exit loops:

Foo := 1;
exit when Foo = 10;
Foo := Foo + 1;
end loop;

ALGOL 68[edit]

Works with: ALGOL 68G version Any - tested with release 2.8.win32
# Inverted assignment                                                                       #
# Assignment in Algol 68 is via ":=" which is automaically provided for all modes (types) #
# However we could define e.g. "=:" as an inverted assignment operator but we would need to #
# define a separate operator for each mode, e.g. for integers and strings: #
PRIO =: = 1;
OP =: = ( INT a, REF INT b )REF INT: b := a;
OP =: = ( STRING a, REF STRING b )REF STRING: b := a;
OP =: = ( CHAR a, REF STRING b )REF STRING: b := a;
INT a, b; STRING s;
1 =: a;
a + 1 =: b;
"?" =: s;
print( ( a, b, s, newline ) );
# There is one standard inverted assignment operator: +=: or PLUSTO which prepends a string #
# to another: #
"bc" =: s;
"b" +=: s;
print( ( s, newline ) );
# Inverted Conditional Expressions #
# We could define an operator called WHEN perhaps, that would execute its left operand if #
# the right operand was TRUE. However the left operand would need to be a PROC VOID so the #
# syntax would not be as convientent as the standard IF-THEN-FI construct. E.g.: #
OP WHEN = ( PROC VOID code, BOOL test )VOID: IF test THEN code FI;
( VOID: print( ( "NO", newline ) ) ) WHEN a = b; # the anonymous PROC VOID is not called #
( VOID: print( ( "yes", newline ) ) ) WHEN a /= b # the anonymous PROC VOID is called #
         +1         +2?


The match operator : can play the role of an inverted assignment operator =. The following two definitions of a function double are equivalent.

(=.!arg+!arg):(=?double); { inverted assignment syntax, same result as above. }

Bracmat evaluates all left hand sides of all binary operators. How right hand sides are treated depends on the operator. The = operator does not evaluate its right hand side at all. The right hand side of the : operator is evaluated by a dedicated match evaluator, which for example sees the expression ?double as a variable to be bound to some part of the left hand side of the : operator.

The following two assignments are not equivalent:

foo=3+7  { assigns 3+7 to foo }
3+7:?foo { assigns 10 to foo }


C doesn't have a way to do this cleanly. You need to drop some code before the statements you want to invert. I'll use CPP to make it look as close as I think you can make it. -- ksb, Jan 2013

The original would be "if (foo()) a = 4;" Here is the inverted if logic using "otherwise ... given () ;"

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#define otherwise do { register int _o = 2; do { switch (_o) { case 1:
#define given(Mc)  ;case 0: break; case 2: _o = !!(Mc); continue; } break; } while (1); } while (0)
int foo() { return 1; }
int a = 0;
otherwise a = 4 given (foo());
printf("%d\n", a);

Which actually makes the main program look like:

int a = 0;
do {
register int _o = 2;
do {
switch (_o) {
case 1:
a = 4;
case 0:
case 2:
_o = !!(foo());
} break;
} while (1);
} while (0);
printf("%d\n", a);

To make lint happy you need a /*FALLTHROUGH*/ before the case 0 (in the macro).


Though rarely, if ever, used in practice, user-defined class types can have inverted syntax with assignment.

class invertedAssign {
int data;
invertedAssign(int data):data(data){}
int getData(){return data;}
void operator=(invertedAssign& other) const { = this->data;
#include <iostream>
int main(){
invertedAssign a = 0;
invertedAssign b = 42;
std::cout << a.getData() << ' ' << b.getData() << '\n';
b = a;
std::cout << a.getData() << ' ' << b.getData() << '\n';

It doesn't work if the left operand is not of the type invertedAssign.


The "thread last" macro permits inversion of syntax in virtually all contexts. Any form for which the construction of a new list from consecutive elements doesn't change the semantics may be turned "inside-out"; this is to the exclusion of those containing function definitions and little else.

; normal
(if (= 1 1)
(print "Math works."))
; inverted
(->> (print "Math still works.")
(if (= 1 1)))
; a la Haskell
(->> (print a " is " b)
(let [a 'homoiconicity
b 'awesome]))

Expanding the macro reveals the nature of the aforementioned limitation.

((fn [x] (* x x) 5) ; Define a lambda and call it with 5.
(macroexpand-1 '(->> 5 (fn [x] (* x x))))
(fn [x] (* x x) 5) ; Define a lambda that returns 5 regardless.

The "thread first" macro (colloquially, the Thrush) provides a similar facility, wherein each expression becomes the first argument to the next.

(= (mod (inc 42) 7)
(-> 42 inc (mod 7)))


CoffeeScript allows loop constructs and conditionals to be written in a suffix manner. Loop constructs evaluate to an array containing the result of each iteration; conditionals evaluates either the true-case expression or the false-case one.

alert "hello" if true
alert "hello again" unless false # the same as the above; unless is a negated if.
idx = 0
arr = (++idx while idx < 10) # arr is [1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10]
idx = 0
arr = (++idx until idx is 10) # same as above; until is an inverted while.

Common Lisp[edit]

Lisp has a PROGN macro for evaluating a bunch of forms, such that the value(s) of the last one is yielded as the result of the PROGN. We can create a reversed analog of PROGN, inside which, we must write the syntax backwards: arguments first, then the operator. Furthermore, this rule is recursively applied to expressions.

Note: unfortunately this is completely naive. To do this 100% right, we need a code walker, which is more complicated. However, code walkers are used in practice for hairy language transformation jobs, just not commonly so in daily Lisp programming. A code walker would let us imlement a more smarter version which would apply the transformation to forms which are evaluated, and not things like literal data. As it is, our macro also transforms literal data, making it impossible, for instance, to use the quote shorthand 'FORM. This stands for (QUOTE FORM) and of course, the macro will treat it as reversed syntax, transforming it to (FORM QUOTE). We could hack in a special case which recognized QUOTE, but then we do not know whether or not (QUOTE FORM) is in a context where it is being evaluated. That is why we need the code walker. It's best to use someone's well-tested, portable code-walker, since they are not trivial to write, and they have some implementation-specific parts (such as recognition of compiler-specific forms that come out of system macros or perhaps out of user-written nonportable code).

(eval-when (:compile-toplevel :load-toplevel :execute)
(defun unrev-syntax (form)
((atom form) form)
((null (cddr form)) form)
(t (destructuring-bind (oper &rest args) (reverse form)
`(,oper ,@(mapcar #'unrev-syntax args)))))))
(defmacro rprogn (&body forms)
`(progn ,@(mapcar #'unrev-syntax forms)))

Interactive test run:

$ clisp -q -i reverse.lisp
;; Loading file reverse.lisp ...
;; Loaded file reverse.lisp
[1]> (rprogn ((1 2 +) (3 4 +) *))
[2]> (rprogn (("not greater" print) ("greater" print) (1 2 >) if))

[3]> (macroexpand '(rprogn (("not greater" print) ("greater" print) (1 2 >) if)))
(PROGN (IF (> 2 1) (PRINT "greater") (PRINT "not greater"))) ;

Now here is a slightly more complicated version which more closely conforms to the idea given in this task. The operator is assumed to be the second-last element of a form. The last element of the form is the first argument, and the forms prior to the operator are the remaining arguments (in reverse order). These rules are recursively applied to each of the arguments, but not to the operator. A two element form is assumed to be (argument operator), and is rewritten to (operator argument*) where argument* is the result of applying the unreversal to the argument:

(eval-when (:compile-toplevel :load-toplevel :execute)
(defun unrev-syntax (form)
((atom form) form) ;; atom: leave alone
((null (cdr form)) form) ;; one-element form: leave alone
((null (cddr form)) ;; two-element form: swap
(destructuring-bind (arg oper) form
`(,oper ,(unrev-syntax arg))))
(t ;; two or more args: swap last two, add others in reverse
(destructuring-bind (arg1 oper &rest args) (reverse form)
`(,oper ,(unrev-syntax arg1) ,@(mapcar #'unrev-syntax args)))))))
(defmacro rprogn (&body forms)
`(progn ,@(mapcar #'unrev-syntax forms)))
[1]> (rprogn ((1 + 2) * (3 + 4)))
[2]> (rprogn (("not equal" print) ("equal" print) if (1 = 2)))

"not equal"
"not equal"
[3]> (rprogn (("not equal" print) ("equal" print) if (1 = 1)))

[4]> (macroexpand '(rprogn (("not equal" print) ("equal" print) if (1 = 1))))
(PROGN (IF (= 1 1) (PRINT "equal") (PRINT "not equal"))) ;
[5]> (macroexpand '(rprogn ((1 + 2) * (3 + 4))))
(PROGN (* (+ 4 3) (+ 2 1))) ;


D enables a function to be called as if it were a method of its first argument. This feature often leads to natural syntax and readable, left-to-right expressions:

import std.algorithm;
void main() {
assert("Hello, World".length == 12);
auto r = [1, 4, 2, 8, 5, 7]
.filter!(n => n > 2)
.map!(n => n * 2);
assert(r.equal([8, 16, 10, 14]));


;; use reader macros to transform (a OP b) into (OP b a)
(lib 'match)
(define-macro invert-= (a <- b) (set! b a))
(define-macro invert-IF (a 'IF b) (when b a))
(define raining #f)
(#t <- raining)
β†’ #t
('umbrella-need IF raining)
β†’ umbrella-need
(#f <- raining)
('umbrella-need IF raining)
β†’ #f
;; debug mode
(debug 3)
('umbrella-need IF raining)
πŸ’‘ [0] invert-IF β†’ ('umbrella-need IF raining)
compiled :: (#when raining 'umbrella-need)


Since code is data in Factor, we can simply reverse it, transforming postfix into "prefix."

1 1 + ! 2
[ + 1 1 ] reverse call ! 2
{ 1 2 3 4 5 } [ sq ] map ! { 1 4 9 16 25 }
[ map [ sq ] { 1 2 3 4 5 } ] reverse call ! { 1 4 9 16 25 }

Additionally, using parsing words and Lisp-style macros, we can add any syntax we like. The infix vocabulary is an example of this:

USE: infix
5*(1+1) ! 10


Leaving aside those who think that Fortran is inherently backward, assignment in Fortran is firmly right-to-left in the form variable = expression where the expression is computed in accordance with the precedence rules and the resulting value is assigned to the variable.

However, assignment-style constructions appear inside the INQUIRE statement as in

Here, a logical variable MAYBE is to receive the value of whether or not the disc file named in FILENAME(1:L) exists, and integer variable RESULT contains an error code, zero if all went well - the file name may not be correctly formed, for example. Thus, FILE is receiving a value right-to-left on entry to the statement, while MAYBE and RESULT receive values left-to-right on exit from the statement. Despite appearances, ERR = 666 is not an assignment statement; 666 is not an integer, it is a statement label to which execution will jump should an error arise. Similar arrangements apply for the file OPEN and CLOSE statements.

There is no deviationism with the workings of IF-statements.


FreeBASIC has nothing like this built into the language. The nearest we can get is to define macros which reverse the order of the arguments:

' FB 1.05.0 Win64
#Define ThenIf(a, b) If b Then a
#Define InvertAssign(a, b) b = a
Dim As Boolean needUmbrella = False, raining = True
ThenIf(needUmbrella = True, raining = True)
Print "needUmbrella = "; needUmbrella
Dim As Integer b = 0, a = 3
InvertAssign(a, b)
Print "b is"; b
needUmbrella = true
b is 3


Because Haskell is an expression-based pure functional language, this cannot be defined in the general case, because not every expression has a type with a null-like default value that can be inferred.

However, for the common case where you want to perform a certain action only when some condition holds, you can define a simple binary operator:

when :: Monad m => m () -> Bool -> m ()
action `when` condition = if condition then action else return ()

Example usage:

Prelude> putStrLn "It's true." `when` False
Prelude> putStrLn "It's true." `when` True
It's true.

Haskell has a feature that can be considered "inverted" syntax (although it is not one of the types listed in the description of the task): The definition of local variables to be used in a function can be placed in a where clause that comes after the function body:

func a b x = (x + y) / y
where y = a * b

This is in contrast to let expressions, where the definition of local variables comes before the scope that uses them:

func a b x =
let y = a * b in
(x + y) / y

Icon and Unicon[edit]

Icon and Unicon can use expression conjunctions that select different sub-expression results to create this effect.

procedure main()
raining := TRUE := 1 # there is no true/false null/non-null will do
if \raining then needumbrella := TRUE # normal
needumbrella := 1(TRUE, \raining) # inverted (choose sub-expression 1)


J tries to minimize syntax and control structures. However, they are present.

For control structures, "traditional conditional structures" are traditional (control structures implemented using keywords such as if. are not inverted). But J offers some alternatives which are inverted (operations such as ^:) or both (operations such as * (multiplication) can be used as inverted conditional structures or as traditional conditional structures, depending on whether you place the boolean test on the left or the right side). See Conditional_Structures/J for some examples.

Note also that simple, regular iteration without control structures is fundamental to the language (and turns data selection operations, including indexing, into conditional structures). But no special syntax is present for these cases so it can be neither traditional nor inverted.


The closest Java comes to placing an action before a condition is with
do ... while(condition);


jq's syntax for associating a value with a variable is "inverted": the expression for associating a value, v, with a variable, $x, is:

v as $x

Note, however, that there is limited support for the conventional "target = value" syntax in the context of JSON objects and arrays, but the semantics is purely functional.
For example, if o is {"a": 1}, then the expression:

o["a"] = 2
# or equivalently: o.a = 2
emits another object equal to {"a": 2}.


Works with: Julia version 0.6

Can be easily implemented as a macro:

macro inv(expr, cond)
cond isa Expr && cond.head == :if || throw(ArgumentError("$cond is not an if expression"))
cond.args[2] = expr
return cond
@inv println("Wow! Lucky Guess!") if true else println("Not!") end


Kotlin can get close to an inverted 'if' syntax by defining an infix function - 'iif' say. However, there doesn't appear to be a way to mimic inverted assignment.

// version 1.0.6
infix fun Boolean.iif(cond: Boolean) = if (cond) this else !this
fun main(args: Array<String>) {
val raining = true
val needUmbrella = true iif (raining)
println("Do I need an umbrella? ${if(needUmbrella) "Yes" else "No"}")
Do I need an umbrella?  Yes

M2000 Interpreter[edit]

There is no way to have inverted syntax for conditionals, except for using lambda functions. Three more things we can do. One to invert the way we call a module, passing statements before calling the module. The Second by using Let we make a Push and then a Read, so first evaluated the right expression and then the left. Here we change a global variable in the right expression and we change the index of array where we set the returned value from function. The third one is more complicated. We make a callback function which act as code of a module, with same scope, and use a module to check condition before we call the callback function

expr=lambda ->{
Print "ok"
ifrev=lambda (dothis, cond) ->{
if cond then call dothis()
call ifrev(expr, a=1)
\\ on module call
Module Subtract (a, b) {
Push a-b
Module PrintTop {
Print Number
Subtract 10, 3 : PrintTop
\\ pushing before calling in reverse order
Push 3, 10 : Subtract : PrintTop
\\ Before call PrintTop any parameter send to stack
\\ So this works ok
PrintTop 1000
\\ on assignment
Dim A(5)=1
Global n=2
Function AddOne (x) {
\\ Execution of left expression, then right expression
Print A(n-1)=5, n=3
\\ Execution of right expression, then left expression
Let A(n)=AddOne(15)
Print A(n)=15, n=4
\\ This statement..
Let X=1, Y=2
\\ executed like these
Push 2, 1 : Read X, Y
\\ This is the CallBack way
Module ExecCond {
Read &callback(), cond
if cond then call callback()
\\ this aa() is a function but when we call it after transforming from Lazy$()
\\ act as part of module so we see x, and alter it
Function aa {
ExecCond Lazy$(&aa()), A=1
Print x=2


We extend our language with a new macro, thenif, to invert the arguments to the builtin macro, ifelse.

define(`thenif', `ifelse($2, $3, `$1')')dnl
ifelse(eval(23 > 5), 1, 23 is greater than 5)
ifelse(eval(23 > 5), 0, math is broken)
thenif(23 is greater than 5, eval(23 > 5), 1)
thenif(math is broken, eval(23 > 5), 0)

This example outputs these four lines. Math was not broken, so two lines are empty.

23 is greater than 5

23 is greater than 5


Traditional form:

a = 4
b = 5
Print["This was expected"]
->This was expected

Inversion of syntax:

Unprotect["="]; SetAttributes[Set2, HoldAll]; Set2[a_, b_] := Set[b, a]
<< Notation`; Notation[ParsedBoxWrapper[RowBox[{"x_", "=","y_"}]] 
ParsedBoxWrapper[RowBox[{" ", RowBox[{"Set2", "[", RowBox[{"x_", ",", "y_"}], "]"}]}]]]

2 = c

3 = d

Notation[If[x_,y_] \[DoubleLongLeftRightArrow]  If2[x_,y_]]

If[Print["This was expected"],
->This was expected


Although there is an assignment operator, you can also define values of variables by equations, such as:


Therefore it can be done both ways.


For Mercury, order rarely matters. Just as programmers in most languages take care to order their function definitions or their method definitions for clarity and emphasis, while knowing that it's all the same to the compiler, Mercury programmers can do this also in the bodies of functions.

These two clauses are exactly the same:

:- pred progress(int::in, int::in, int::out, int::out) is det.
progress(Past, Future, At, Total) :-
At = Past + 1,
Total = Past + Future.
progress(Past, Future, At, Total) :-
Past + Future = Total,
Past + 1 = At.

Order doesn't matter even when a data dependency tells you (and Mercury's compiler) what the order of evaluation must be:

:- func example(int) = string.
example(N) = S :-
from_int(N) = S0,
pad_left(S0, '0', 3, S).
example(N) = S :-
pad_left(S0, '0', 3, S),
from_int(N) = S0.

Data dependencies are most obvious when state is threaded through a clause:

main(IO0, IO) :-
io.write_string("Hello, ", IO0, IO1),
io.write_string("world!\n", IO1, IO).
main(!IO) :-
io.write_string("Hello, ", !IO),
io.write_string("world!\n", !IO).

The io.write_string/2's in the first example could be written in either order and the result would be the same, as the "world!\n" can't be written until the "Hello, " provides the IO1. Order matters in the second example, however, as it uses state variables. The order is still enforced by a data dependency, so

main(!IO) :-
io.write_string(X, !IO),!IO),
% this is the same:
main(!IO) :-
io.write_string(X, !IO),!IO).
% but this is different!
main(!IO) :-!IO), io.write_string(X, !IO),


Oforth uses RPN so some forms a partially (or totally) inverted  :

  6 -> a : Push 6 on the stack and set the top of the stack as value of local variable a (top of the stack is consumed)
  6 := a : Push 6 on the stack and set the top of the satck as value of  attribute a (top of the stack is consumed).
  raining ifTrue: [ true ->needumbrella ]


Macros may have localised scope, so they can be safely deployed as HumptyDumpty words.

macro cond(a,c) {c then a}
macro store(b,a) {a=b}
sys a,c=10
if c>4 then a=4
cond a=40, if c>4
store 4,a
cond store(5,a), if c>4


Works with: PARI/GP version version 2.4.2 and above

GP does not include a syntax-inverted if, but that can be defined using closures.

fi(f, condition)=if(condition,f());
if(raining, print("Umbrella needed"))
fi(->print("Umbrella needed"), raining)

PARI can also be used to implement it more directly in GP.


Perl already has that:

if ($guess == 6) { print "Wow! Lucky Guess!"; };    # Traditional syntax
print 'Wow! Lucky Guess!' if $guess == 6; # Inverted syntax (note missing braces and parens)
unless ($guess == 6) { print "Sorry, your guess was wrong!"; } # Traditional syntax
print 'Huh! You Guessed Wrong!' unless $guess == 6; # Inverted syntax

Inverted syntax can also be used with the ternary operator. However this may produce different results to the traditional syntax form because when inverted syntax is used, we are effectively making an assignment to a ternary expression. so in the following example code, instead of the assignment being made to variable a (as it is in the traditional syntax form), the inverted syntax form will cause assignment to be made to either b or c, depending on value of the ok variable:

# Note that the results obtained by the inverted syntax form
# may produce differing results from the traditional syntax form
$a = $ok ? $b : $c; # Traditional syntax
($ok ? $b : $c) = $a; # Inverted syntax

We can also emulate inverted syntax for scalar assignment by creating a function as follows:

sub assign { $_[1] = $_[0] }
$a = $b; # Traditional syntax
assign $b, $a; # Inverted syntax

Inverted list assignment is not possible because it prevents arrays from flattening.

Perl 6[edit]

Like all Perls, PerlΒ 6 has statement modifiers:

if $guess == 6 { say "Wow! Lucky Guess!" }          # Traditional
say 'Wow! Lucky Guess!' if $guess == 6; # Inverted
unless $guess == 6 { say "Huh! You Guessed Rong!" } # Traditional
say 'Huh! You Guessed Rong!' unless $guess == 6; # Inverted

Perl also inverts the syntax of loops:

while $i { --$i }
--$i while $i;
until $x > 10 { $x++ }
$x++ until $x > 10;
for 1..10 { .say if $_ %% 2 }
.say if $_ %% 2 for 1..10; # list comprehension

PerlΒ 6 has a system of metaoperators that modify the characteristics of normal operators. Among these is the R metaoperator, which is able to reverse the arguments of most infix operators (including user-defined ones). So a reversed assignment is easy to write:

42 R= $_; say $_;   # prints 42

Since, much like list operators, assignment loosens the precedence of the following expression to allow comma lists, reverse assignment of a list requires parens where the normal assignment would not:

my @a = 1,2,3;
(1,2,3) R= my @a;

However, generally in that case you'd use a feed operator anyway, which is like an object pipe, but unlike Unix pipes works in either direction:

my @a <== 1,2,3;
1,2,3 ==> my @a;

We think this is much more readable than a reversed assignment.

One other interesting inversion is the ability to put the conditional of a repeat loop at either end, with identical test-after semantics:

repeat {
$_ = prompt "Gimme a number: ";
} until /^\d+$/;
repeat until /^\d+$/ {
$_ = prompt "Gimme a number: ";

This might seem relatively useless, but it allows a variable to be declared in the conditional that isn't actually set until the loop body:

repeat until my $answer ~~ 42 {
$answer = prompt "Gimme an answer: ";

This would require a prior declaration (and two extra semicolons, horrors) if written in the non-inverted form with the conditional at the bottom:

my $answer;
repeat {
$answer = prompt "Gimme an answer: ";
} until $answer ~~ 42;

You can't just put the my on the $answer in the block because the conditional is outside the scope of the block, and would not see the declaration.


We define a read macro for reverted syntax

(de rv Prg
(append (last Prg) (head -1 Prg)) )


(de needUmbrella (Raining)
   `(rv                                # Inverted syntax
      (on *NeedUmbrella)
      (println 'Need 'an 'umbrella)
      (when Raining) ) )

(de keepUmbrella (Raining)
   `(rv                                # Inverted syntax
      (on *KeepUmbrella)
      (println 'Still 'need 'an 'umbrella)
      (while Raining) ) )
: (pp 'needUmbrella)
(de needUmbrella (Raining)
   (when Raining                       # Traditional syntax
      (on *NeedUmbrella)
      (println 'Need 'an 'umbrella) ) )

: (pp 'keepUmbrella)
(de keepUmbrella (Raining)
   (while Raining                      # Traditional syntax
      (on *KeepUmbrella)
      (println 'Still 'need 'an 'umbrella) ) )


The PowerShell syntax for an 'if' statement is very normal:

if ((Get-Date 5/27/2016).DayOfWeek -eq "Friday") {"Thank God it's Friday!"}
Thank God it's Friday!

The order of the condition and expression can be easily reversed (with a slight change in syntax):

function Action ([scriptblock]$Expression, [Alias("if")][bool]$Test)
if ($Test) {&$Expression}
Set-Alias -Name say -Value Action
say {"Thank God it's Friday!"} -if (Get-Date 5/27/2016).DayOfWeek -eq "Friday"
Thank God it's Friday!


x = truevalue if condition else falsevalue
with open("file.txt") as f:


(define set-needumbrella
Raining -> (set needumbrella true) where (= true Raining)
Raining -> (set needumbrella false) where (= false Raining))
(define set-needumbrella
Raining -> (if (= true Raining)
(set needumbrella true)
(set needumbrella false)))
(define set-needumbrella
Raining -> (set needumbrella true) where Raining
Raining -> (set needumbrella false))
(define set-needumbrella
Raining -> (if Raining
(set needumbrella true)
(set needumbrella false)))
(define set-needumbrella
true -> (set needumbrella true)
false -> (set needumbrella false))
(define set-needumbrella
A -> (set needumbrella A))


This can be done with a simple function.

do.if <- function(expr, cond) if(cond) expr

Because R evaluates function arguments lazily, "expr" is never evaluated unless "cond" evaluates to true.

do.if(print("Wow! Lucky Guess!"), guess==6)

If you do not want to state "do.if" first, you can define an infix operator (any function whose name is bracketed in percent signs is treated as an infix operator), however custom infix operators have higher precedence than comparisons, so will usually require putting parentheses around the test.

`%if%` <- function(expr, cond) if(cond) expr
print("Wow! Lucky Guess!") %if% (guess==6)


Normally, all syntactic forms and functions are in prefix notation. However, two .s allow infix notation in some cases.

#lang racket
(when #t (displayln "true"))
((displayln "true") . when . #t)
(define a 6)
(set! a 5)
(a . set! . 6)


The closest thing that the REXX language has as far as inverted syntax would be the use of the special case of the   signal   instruction:

        SIGNAL   {ON|OFF}   someCondition   {name}
/*REXX program demonstrates a use of a special case of inverted syntax  (via SIGNAL ON).*/
signal on syntax
zz=444 / (7-a)
return zz
syntax: say '***error*** program is attempting to do division by zero,'
say 'the REXX statement number is: ' sigL " and the REXX source is:"
say sourceLine(sigL)
exit 13


***error***  program is attempting to do division by zero,
the REXX statement number is:  4  and the REXX source is:
zz=444 / (7-a)


Ruby takes, from Perl, the idea of a statement modifier. This looks like statement if condition and appends a condition to some statement. This example shows how to invert if, unless, while and until. These always check the condition before running the statement.

# Raise ArgumentError if n is negative.
if n < 0 then raise ArgumentError, "negative n" end
raise ArgumentError, "negative n" if n < 0
# Exit 1 unless we can call Process.fork.
unless Process.respond_to? :fork then exit 1 end
exit 1 unless Process.respond_to? :fork
# Empty an array, printing each element.
while ary.length > 0 do puts ary.shift end
puts ary.shift while ary.length > 0
# Another way to empty an array, printing each element.
until ary.empty? do puts ary.shift end
puts ary.shift until ary.empty?

One can also modify a compound statement, as in (warn "cannot fork"; exit 1) unless Process.respond_to? :fork.

Beware: The forms begin ... end while ... and begin ... end until ... have a different meaning to Ruby. These forms check the condition after each iteration, so they run the loop at least once. Loops/Do-while#Ruby has more information.


object Main extends App {
val raining = true
val needUmbrella = raining
println(s"Do I need an umbrella? ${if (needUmbrella) "Yes" else "No"}")


# Inverted syntax with assignment
var raining = true;
[false]Β»(\var needumbrella);
# Inverted syntax with conditional expressions
if (raining==true) {needumbrella=true};
{needumbrella=true} -> if (raining==true);
(needumbrella=true) if (raining==true);


Inverted syntax can be done with custom operators

infix operator ~= {}
infix operator ! {}
func ~=(lhs:Int, inout rhs:Int) {
rhs = lhs
func !(lhs:(() -> Void), rhs:Bool) {
if (rhs) {
// Traditional assignment
var a = 0
// Inverted using a custom operator
20 ~= a
let raining = true
let tornado = true
var needUmbrella = false
var stayInside = false
// Traditional conditional expression
if raining {needUmbrella = true}
// Inverted using a custom operator
_ = {stayInside = true} ! tornado


Copied verbatim from do.tcl, a part of tcllib's control package.

# do.tcl --
# Tcl implementation of a "do ... while|until" loop.
# Originally written for the "Texas Tcl Shootout" programming contest
# at the 2000 Tcl Conference in Austin/Texas.
# Copyright (c) 2001 by Reinhard Max <[email protected]>
# See the file "license.terms" for information on usage and redistribution
# of this file, and for a DISCLAIMER OF ALL WARRANTIES.
# RCS: @(#) $Id: do.tcl,v 1.6 2004/01/15 06:36:12 andreas_kupries Exp $
namespace eval ::control {
proc do {body args} {
# Implements a "do body while|until test" loop
# It is almost as fast as builtin "while" command for loops with
# more than just a few iterations.
set len [llength $args]
if {$len !=2 && $len != 0} {
set proc [namespace current]::[lindex [info level 0] 0]
return -code error "wrong # args: should be \"$proc body\" or \"$proc body \[until|while\] test\""
set test 0
foreach {whileOrUntil test} $args {
switch -exact -- $whileOrUntil {
"while" {}
"until" { set test !($test) }
default {
return -code error \
"bad option \"$whileOrUntil\": must be until, or while"
# the first invocation of the body
set code [catch { uplevel 1 $body } result]
# decide what to do upon the return code:
# 0 - the body executed successfully
# 1 - the body raised an error
# 2 - the body invoked [return]
# 3 - the body invoked [break]
# 4 - the body invoked [continue]
# everything else - return and pass on the results
switch -exact -- $code {
0 {}
1 {
return -errorinfo [ErrorInfoAsCaller uplevel do] \
-errorcode $::errorCode -code error $result
3 {
# FRINK: nocheck
4 {}
default {
return -code $code $result
# the rest of the loop
set code [catch {uplevel 1 [list while $test $body]} result]
if {$code == 1} {
return -errorinfo [ErrorInfoAsCaller while do] \
-errorcode $::errorCode -code error $result
return -code $code $result
package require control
control::do {set i 0; puts "hello world"; incr i} until {$i > 0}

A more radical and probably ill-advised approach is to use the above and modify the default tcl unknown procedure along these lines:

rename unknown __unknown
proc unknown {args} {
if {3 == [llength $args]} {
package require control
return [control::do {*}$args]
} else {
return [__unknown {*}$args]
% {set i 0; puts "hello world"; incr i} until {$i > 0}
hello world


The ~ operator reverse the arguments of the next operator.

; a = expr
:a expr
; expr = a
~:expr a
; if cond expr
@if cond expr
; if expr cond
[email protected] expr cond


zkl is a OO language so the preferred style is object.method().method()... When a computation needs to be done first, the compose op (colon) can be used maintain the "noun/verb/verb" flow: f() : ... It is also useful to "unwind" computations so they are easier to read but not require any temp vars.

if (raining==True) needumbrella:=True;
(raining==True) : if (_) needumbrella:=True;
a := 6
6 : a:=_
key.sort(fcn(kv,kv2){kv[0] < kv2[0]}) : listUnzip(_) : 
D.SD((_).xplode()) : return(_);