[Haskell-cafe] Bool as type class to serve EDSLs.
ganesh.sittampalam at credit-suisse.com
Thu May 28 03:45:58 EDT 2009
There are multiple possible classes that you might want under different
circumstances (I think the most interesting issue is whether the class
(==), (>) etc is in has a fundep from the type of the thing being
compared to the type of the boolean), but if NoImplicitPrelude (or some
other extension) just desugars if-then-else into ifthenelse (with a
default implementation of ifthenelse somewhere) I think that would be
Of course once you've got ifthenelse you find yourself wanting explicit
desugaring of pattern matching (could view patterns help here?),
recursion (into an explicit use of fix), etc...
Simon Peyton-Jones wrote:
> You are absolutely right about the tantalising opportunity. I know
> that Lennart has thought quite a bit about this very point when
> designing his Paradise system. Likewise Conal for Pan.
> One difficulty is, I think, that it's easy to get ambiguity. Eg
> ifthenelse (a > b) e1 e2
> The (a>b) produces a boolean-thing, and ifthenelse consumes it; but
> which type of boolean? The Expr type? Real Bools? Or what?
> If there was a nice design, then GHC's existing -fno-implicit-prelude
> flag could be extended (again) to desugar if-then-else to the new
> thing. But the design is unclear, to me anyway.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: haskell-cafe-bounces at haskell.org
>> [mailto:haskell-cafe-bounces at haskell.org] On Behalf Of Sebastiaan
>> Visser Sent: 27 May 2009 13:32
>> To: Haskell Cafe
>> Subject: [Haskell-cafe] Bool as type class to serve EDSLs.
>> While playing with embedded domain specific languages in Haskell I
>> discovered the Num type class is a really neat tool. Take this simple
>> example embedded language that can embed primitives from the output
>> language and can do function application.
>> >data Expr :: * -> * where
>> > Prim :: String -> Expr a
>> > App :: Expr (a -> b) -> Expr a -> Expr b
>> Take these two dummy types to represent things in the output
>> >data MyNum
>> >data MyBool
>> Now it is very easy to create an Num instance for this language:
>> >primPlus :: Expr (MyNum -> MyNum -> MyNum) >primPlus = Prim
>> >instance Num (Epxr MyNum) where
>> > a + b = primPlus `App` a `App` b
>> > fromInteger = Prim . show
>> > ...
>> Which allows you to create very beautiful expression for your
>> language embedded inside Haskell. The Haskell expression `10 * 5 +
>> 2' produces a nice and well typed expression in your embedded domain.
>> But unfortunately, not everyone in the Prelude is as tolerant as the
>> Num instance. Take the Eq and the Ord type classes for example, they
>> require you to deliver real Haskell `Bool's. This makes it impossible
>> make your DSL an instance of these two, because there are no `Bool's
>> only `Expr Bool's.
>> Which brings me to the point that, for the sake of embedding other
>> languages, Haskell's Prelude (or an alternative) can greatly benefit
>> from (at least) a Boolean type class like this:
>> class Boolean a where
>> ifthenelse :: a -> b -> b -> b -- Not sure about this
>> representation. ...
>> And one instance:
>> >instance Boolean (Expr MyBool) where > ifthenelse c a b = Prim
>> "if-then-else" `App` c `App` a `App` b
>> Now we can change (for example) the Eq type class to this:
>> >class Eq a where
>> > (==) :: Boolean b => a -> a -> b
>> > (/=) :: Boolean b => a -> a -> b
>> For which we can give an implementation for our domain:
>> >primEq :: Epxr (a -> a -> MyBool)
>> >primEq = Prim "=="
>> >instance Eq (Expr a) where
>> > a == b = primEq `App` a `App` b
>> And now we get all functionality from the Prelude that is based on Eq
>> (like not, &&, ||, etc) for free in our domain specific language! Off
>> course there are many, many more examples of things from the standard
>> libraries that can be generalised in order to serve reuse in EDSLs.
>> Anyone already working on such a generalized Prelude? I can imagine
>> much more domains can benefit from this than my example above. Any
>> interesting thoughts or pointers related to this subject?
>> Sebastiaan Visser
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>> Haskell-Cafe at haskell.org
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