[Haskell-cafe] Re: Lists vs. Monads

Jonathan Cast jcast at ou.edu
Sun Jul 17 14:49:24 EDT 2005

oleg at pobox.com wrote:
> Jonathan Cast wrote:


> > No.   You can't  define most  initial models  without  recursive (or
> > inductive) data types in general, because initial models are defined
> > inductively.


> > You can't define head, tail,  or foldr using the MonadPlus signature
> > (how would you define them  for e.g.  a backtracking parser?), which
> > is why you do need recursive types for []
> However surprising  might it  seem, you _can_  define head,  tail, and
> foldr for an  implementation of a backtracking transformer  that it is
> not a list and uses no  recursive (or inductive) types. In fact, it is
> possible to define list final algebra (complete with head and tail) in
> a  language without  recursive  datatypes, only  with the  higher-rank
> one. The  msplit contraption of  the LogicT paper was  `null', `head',
> and `tail' all in one. The paper specifically made a point that msplit
> can  be defined  without help  from recursive  data types.   The brief
> summary  of that  derivation  is  a note  `How  to take  a  TAIL of  a
> functional stream'
> 	http://pobox.com/~oleg/ftp/Computation/Continuations.html#cdr-fstream
> The  higher-rank  type  is  needed  only to  express  the  polymorphic
> answertype.

OK.  Right.  I forgot about the Church encoding.  Bad jcast, no cookie.

Jon Cast

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