Inferring instance constraints with DeriveAnyClass

Simon Peyton Jones simonpj at
Fri Jun 17 11:43:24 UTC 2016

| My question is then: why does DeriveAnyClass take the bizarre approach
| of co-opting the DeriveFunctor algorithm? Andres, you originally
| proposed this in #7346 [2], but I don't quite understand why you
| wanted to do it this way. Couldn't we infer the context simply from
| the contexts of the default method type signatures? 

That last suggestion makes perfect sense to me.  After all, we are going to generate an instance looking like

instance .. => C (T a) where
  op1 = <default-op1>
  op2 = <default-op2>

so all we need in ".." is enough context to satisfy the needs of <default-op1> etc.   

Well, you need to take account of the class op type sig too:

class C a where
  op :: Eq a => a -> a
  default op :: (Eq a, Show a) => a -> a

We effectively define 
  default_op :: (Eq a, Show a) => a -> a

Now with DeriveAnyClass for lists, we effectively get

instance ... => C [a] where
   op = default_op

What is ..?  Well, we need (Eq [a], Show [a]); but we are given Eq [a] (because that's op's instantiated type.  So Show a is all we need in the end.


More information about the ghc-devs mailing list