confusing type error
byorgey at gmail.com
Fri Dec 5 15:50:06 UTC 2014
I think Richard is referring to "The function ‘f2’ is applied to three
but its type ‘Int -> Float -> Char -> Bool’ has only three". Note
"applied to three ... but ... only three". Here n = three.
On Fri, Dec 5, 2014 at 9:55 AM, Dr. ÉRDI Gergő <gergo at erdi.hu> wrote:
> But it says `expected Char -> Bool, got Char -> m Bool', note the `m' type
> constructor in the second one. So it's not `n' vs. `n'.
> On Dec 5, 2014 10:50 PM, "Richard Eisenberg" <eir at cis.upenn.edu> wrote:
>> The reason I said "That's a bug!" so confidently is because of the
>> "expected n but got n" part. Even if everything else is OK, we need to fix
>> that one bit.
>> And I tend to agree about using heuristics to report better error
>> messages in the presence of instantiating a type variable with (->). I've
>> been caught and confused by that, too.
>> On Dec 4, 2014, at 4:23 PM, Evan Laforge <qdunkan at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > On Thu, Dec 4, 2014 at 12:59 PM, migmit <migmit at gmail.com> wrote:
>> >> It tries to get `m Bool` by applying f1 to three arguments: 0, 0, and
>> 'a'. Now, since `f2` has the type `Int -> Float -> n Bool`, where `n` is of
>> kind `* -> *` (and an instance of `Monad` class, but it's not yet the time
>> to look for instances), we have `f2 0 :: Float -> n Bool` and `f2 0 0 :: n
>> Bool`. Since that is applied to 'a', Haskell deduces that the last type
>> should be something like `Char -> Something` — or, equivalently, `(->) Char
>> Something`. Therefore, it can see that `n` is in fact `(->) Char` and
>> `Something` is `Bool`. Therefore, `f2 0 0 'a' :: Bool`. But it is expecting
>> `m Bool`, not `Bool` — which is exactly what an error message says.
>> > Right, that's what I suspected was happening. The confusion arrises
>> > because it guesses that 'm' should be (->), and that deduction then
>> > leads to a dead-end. But when it reports the problem, it uses its
>> > guessed 'm', rather that backing up to the declared value.
>> > But surely always backing up to the declared unspecialized value is no
>> > good either, because then you get vague errors. All the compiler
>> > knows is that when it simplifies as far as it can, it winds up with a
>> > /= b, it doesn't know that I would have been surprised by its path a
>> > few steps back.
>> > But arity errors are common, and intentionally instantiating a prefix
>> > type constructor like 'm a' as (->) is probably much less common. So
>> > perhaps there could be a heuristic that treats (->) specially and
>> > includes an extra clause in the error if it unified a type variable to
>> > (->)?
>> > I suspect the "expected n but got n" error is also due to the same
>> > thing, it counts arrows on one side but inferred arrows on the other?
>> > Or something? In any case, it seems like the two sides are counting
>> > inconsistently.
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