[Haskell-cafe] Wondering about c type in haskell.

Magicloud Magiclouds magicloud.magiclouds at gmail.com
Tue Jun 30 00:54:58 EDT 2009

That is true. But I think we could avoid (or resolve) the problem of
wrong type thing in other ways, or we just resolve one thing by typing
much more code.

On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 11:37 AM, Jason Dagit<dagit at codersbase.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 7:01 PM, Magicloud Magiclouds
> <magicloud.magiclouds at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi,
>>  There are times, when we need to make some system calls, or call C
>> library. So we have to deal with C data types.
>>  For example, CPid, which is an integer, actually. So we can do
>> "fromIntegral pid". Then why do not we define "type CPid = Integer",
>> and convert Haskell Integer with C Int internally. So the "user" does
>> not have to care about the type convert (everywhere, which is ugly).
>> And, specially, when doing something like serialisation, for Haskell
>> Integer, the user does not have to do things with precision. But for
>> CPid, without the fromIntegral, we have to specify its precision,
>> well, on different machine/OS, the precision may not be the same.
> If you use Int, Integer, Word, etc to represent all your discrete values you
> can *accidentally* reuse the values for different purposes.  So in Haskell
> we like to put a 'newtype' wrapper around the integral type so that it has a
> different identity to the type system even when the values are equal as
> numbers.  C is notorious for allowing this type of value reuse and the way
> that it leads to buggy programs is pretty well document at this point, I
> believe (although, I take it for granted and I haven't checked for said
> documentation).
> Also, in Haskell we don't like implicit, or even ambiguous, type conversions
> and that's just a preference shared by the majority of Haskell programmers.
> We like to believe that it saves us from ourselves in a sense.  So for these
> reasons, CPid isn't just an Int32 or Word32.  We want to be type safe.  The
> price we pay is that at key points in the program you have to explicitly
> state the transformation you want (fromIntegral).
> I hope that helps clarify the reasoning.
> Jason


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