[Haskell-cafe] instance Enum Double considered not entirelygreat?

Donn Cave donn at avvanta.com
Tue Sep 20 22:22:28 CEST 2011

Quoth Chris Smith <cdsmith at gmail.com>,
> As for Enum, if someone were to want a type class to represent an
> enumeration of all the values of a type, then such a thing is reasonable
> to want.  Maybe you can even reasonably wish it were called Enum.  But
> it would be the *wrong* thing to use as a desugaring for list range
> notation.  List ranges are very unlikely to be useful or even meaningful
> for most such enumerations (what is [ Red, Green .. LightPurple]?); and
> conversely, as we've seen in this thread, list ranges *are* useful in
> situations where they are not a suitable way of enumerating all values
> of a type.

It isn't a life or death requirement, but I have dealt with enum values
that are ordered and that could usefully be represented in a range.
Even your example -- given a set of hues, it's sensible to order them
following the spectrum, so [Cyan .. YellowGreen] might represent the
hues in the set that are at all in the green range.

I'm frankly using Enum as an equivalent to C "enum", symbolic integers,
where the range is more or less implicit as by default the integer values
are [0..].  While I (vaguely) understand that Haskell's Enum is different,
the C idiom should at least testify that there's some practical value
in the notion of a range of Enum, or something like it.  Though not
with floating point values, of course.


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