[ghc-steering-committee] #216: Qualified Do again, recommendation: accept the alternative

Tom Harding tomjharding at live.co.uk
Mon May 4 12:00:12 UTC 2020

I’ve been quiet so far because I think both outcomes are perfectly sensible, and I don’t think I have anything to add that hasn’t already been covered.

If really pushed, I’d perhaps have a slight bias towards the record-based approach, but really only because of the future possibility of dynamically constructing builders. However, I don’t think that preference is strong enough to be worth counting - I’m happy to abstain.


> On 2 May 2020, at 10:54, Cale Gibbard <cgibbard at gmail.com> wrote:
> I greatly prefer the earlier module-based version of this where the
> definitions of the relevant functions are simply obtained from the
> qualified module and we don't have to talk about fully-settled types
> to explain how expressions are going to desugar. Even if it's not
> quite true in the case of GHC's internals that desugaring comes
> entirely before typechecking, I think it's really very helpful in both
> understanding the language ourselves and in explaining it to beginners
> if we can at least think about it that way. The more that the
> translation from surface syntax to core factors into a bunch of
> individually comprehensible translations, the better.
> On Sat, 2 May 2020 at 05:39, Joachim Breitner <mail at joachim-breitner.de> wrote:
>> Dear Committee,
>> it seems discussion has ebbed down. Are there any new arguments that
>> can be brought forward? Did anyone have a change of mind which would
>> bring us closer to (or farther away from) consensus? Or should we vote?
>> Simon Marlow, Chris, Cale, Tom:
>> You have not stated an opinion. Do you have one?
>> Cheers,
>> Joachim
>> Am Mittwoch, den 22.04.2020, 12:26 +0200 schrieb Joachim Breitner:
>>> Dear Committe,
>>> trying to summarize the discussion here.
>>> The main decision seems to be: Record based or module based.
>>>   Record based is preferred by:
>>>   Arnaud (one of the authors), SPJ
>>>   Module based is preferred by:
>>>   Richard (after changing his mind), Eric, Iavor, Vitaly, Alejandro,
>>>   me
>>> This is not a vote, merely a summary of sentimenss. But it seems that
>>> maybe the onus to make stronger arguments for the record-based approach
>>> is on Simon and Arnaud?
>>> Related to the  module based variant, there was some discussion about
>>> whether the
>>> * desugaring should go to a “qualified name”, that is then resolved
>>>   like any manually written name
>>>   (i.e. could conceptually be done in the parser)
>>> * or if it should go directly a suitable “original name” of a suitable
>>>   function, even if not explicitly imported
>>>   (i.e. could conceptually be done in the renamer, but not the parser)
>>> I initially advocated for the latter, arguing with a “you shall not
>>> have to import stuff you do not write explicitly” rule.
>>> But Simon’s recent argument that
>>>    import qualified Monad as M
>>> (i.e. _with_ qualification, but _without_ an import list) will give the
>>> developer a good user experience, and if they try to do things like
>>>    import Monad as M (runMonad)
>>>    … M.do …
>>> then, well, they shouldn’t. So I am happy to advocate for the module
>>> based approach with the “must be in scope” rule. But maybe we should
>>> keep the focus more on the fundamental question above.
>>> We could keep in mind that eventually, people will ask for M.if; M.[
>>> and other “qualified syntax”. But it seems that that will work equally
>>> well with either choice here.
>>> Cheers,
>>> Joachim
>> --
>> Joachim Breitner
>>  mail at joachim-breitner.de
>>  http://www.joachim-breitner.de/
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