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Tracking issue for existential lifetimes #60670

alexreg opened this issue May 9, 2019 · 0 comments


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commented May 9, 2019

This is a tracking issue for existential lifetimes.


Allow hiding a type (via impl Trait) that is invariant over some lifetime without explicitly mentioning the invariant lifetime.

Consider the following:

impl Trait<'b> for Cell<&'a u32> { }

fn foo(x: Cell<&'x u32>) -> impl Trait<'y> where 'x: 'y { x }

There is no reason this cannot be legal, although it is not permitted at present. We would want to translate the function signature internally into something like:

fn foo(x: Cell<&'x u32>) -> impl exists<'x: 'y> Trait<'y> where 'x: 'y { x }

Although it be noted there is no need for user-facing exists<...> syntax; only HIR and ty representations probably. The concrete type corresponding to impl exists<'x: 'y> Trait<'y> can this be soundly checked by the compiler at use site.

Note, we still need to be careful to ban situations like those mentioned by @matthewjasper in #59402. By actually embedding the existential lifetime in the type rather than simply doing a check when resolving the opaque type, we should be able to resolve these issues, however. One can view this solution as a "compiler-internalised" version of the Captures marker trait solution, in some sense.


CC @Centril @nikomatsakis @matthewjasper @cramertj

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