[Haskell-cafe] Comments from OCaml Hacker Brian Hurt

Andrew Coppin andrewcoppin at btinternet.com
Sat Jan 17 06:07:03 EST 2009

Anton van Straaten wrote:
> Niklas Broberg wrote:
>>> I still think existential quantification is a step too far though. :-P
>> Seriously, existential quantification is a REALLY simple concept, that
>> you would learn week two (or maybe three) in any introductory course
>> on logic. In fact, I would argue that far more people probably know
>> what existential quantification is than that know what a monoid is.
>> :-)
> Andrew's core objection here seems reasonable to me.  It was this:
> > {-# LANGUAGE ExistentialQuantification #-} is an absurd name and
> > should be changed to something that, at a minimum, tells you it's
> > something to do with the type system.
> But I suspect I part company from Andrew in thinking that something 
> like ExistentiallyQuantifiedTypes would be a perfectly fine alternative.

I would suggest that ExistentiallyQuantifiedTypeVariables would be an 
improvement on just ExistentialQuantification - but I'd still prefer the 
less cryptic HiddenTypeVariables. (Since, after all, that's all this 
actually does.)

Either way, nobody is going to change the name, so why worry?

PS. There exist courses on logic? That could be potentially interesting...

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