[Haskell-cafe] Re: Polyvariadic functions operating with a monoid
oleg at okmij.org
oleg at okmij.org
Sun Oct 10 20:39:37 EDT 2010
Sorry, I'm still catching up. I'm replying to first few messages.
> instance Show a => Monoidable a [String] where
> toMonoid a = [show a]
>
> main = putStrLn $ unwrap $ polyToMonoid [] True () (Just (5::Int))
> fails to compile.
The error message points to the first problem:
> No instances for (Monoidable Bool [a],
> Monoidable () [a],
> ...
The presence of the type variable 'a' means that the type checker
doesn't know list of what elements you want (in other words, the
context is not specific enough to instantiate the type variable
a). Thus, we need to explicitly tell that we wish a list of strings:
> test3 = putStrLn $ unwrap $polyToMonoid ([]::[String]) True () (Just (5::Int))
Now we get a different error, which points to the real problem this
time: the expression `unwrap ....' appears as an argument to
putStrLn. That means that we are required to produce a String as a
monoid. Yet we specified ([]::[String]) as mempty, which is unsuitable
as mempty for the String monoid. If we desire the [String] monoid as
the result, we need to change the context. For example,
> test3 = mapM_ putStrLn $ unwrap $
> polyToMonoid ([]::[String]) True () (Just (5::Int))
> Another example that also fails to compile (but I cannot see why):
> main = putStrLn $ show $ unwrap $ polyToMonoid (0::Int) (1::Int)
> (2::Int) (3::Int)
> No instance for (PolyVariadic Int (WMonoid m))
> arising from a use of `polyToMonoid'
The error message is informative, mentioning the type variable,
m. Whenever that happens, we know that we put a bounded polymorphic
expression in the context that is not specific enough. We need some
type annotations. In our case, the function 'show' can show values of
many types. The type checker does not know that we wish an Int monoid
specifically. So, we have to specialize the show function:
> test4 = putStrLn $ (show :: Int -> String) $
> unwrap $ polyToMonoid (0::Int) (1::Int) (2::Int) (3::Int)
At this point one may wonder if this is all worth it. There are too
many annotations. Fortunately, if you are not afraid of one more
extension, the annotations can be avoided. Your example would be
accepted as it was written, see test3 and test4 below.
> {-# LANGUAGE TypeSynonymInstances #-}
> {-# LANGUAGE MultiParamTypeClasses, FlexibleInstances, TypeFamilies #-}
>
> module M where
>
> import Data.Monoid
>
> newtype WMonoid m = WMonoid{unwrap :: m}
>
> class Monoid m => Monoidable a m where
> toMonoid :: a -> m
>
> class Monoid m => PolyVariadic m p where
> polyToMonoid :: m -> p
>
> instance (Monoid m', m' ~ m) => PolyVariadic m (WMonoid m') where
> polyToMonoid acc = WMonoid acc
>
> instance (Monoidable a m, PolyVariadic m r) => PolyVariadic m (a->r) where
> polyToMonoid acc = \a -> polyToMonoid (acc `mappend` toMonoid a)
>
> instance Show a => Monoidable a String where
> toMonoid = show
>
> instance Show a => Monoidable a [String] where
> toMonoid a = [show a]
>
> test2 = putStrLn $ unwrap $ polyToMonoid "" True () (Just (5::Int))
>
> test3 = mapM_ putStrLn $ unwrap $ polyToMonoid [] True () (Just (5::Int))
>
> instance Monoid Int where
> mappend = (+)
> mempty = 0
>
> instance Monoidable Int Int where
> toMonoid = id
>
> test4 = putStrLn $ show $
> unwrap $ polyToMonoid (0::Int) (1::Int) (2::Int) (3::Int)
P.S. Indeed, "polyToMonoid' = unwrap . polyToMonoid" does not do what
one wishes to. One should regard `unwrap' as a sort of terminator of
the argument list.
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