[Haskell-cafe] opengl type confusion

Brandon Allbery allbery.b at gmail.com
Sun Jun 16 23:58:51 CEST 2013

On Sun, Jun 16, 2013 at 4:42 PM, <briand at aracnet.com> wrote:

> On Sun, 16 Jun 2013 16:15:25 -0400
> Brandon Allbery <allbery.b at gmail.com> wrote:
> > On Sun, Jun 16, 2013 at 4:03 PM, <briand at aracnet.com> wrote:
> > > Changing the declaration to GLdouble -> GLdouble -> GLdouble -> IO()
> and
> > > using
> > > (0.0::GLdouble) fixes it, and I'm not clear on why it's not automagic.
> > >  There are many times I see the
> >
> > I presume the reason the type specification for numeric literals is
> because
> > there is no defaulting (and probably can't be without introducing other
> > strange type issues) for GLdouble.
> What I was thinking about, using a very poor choice of words, was this :
> *Main> let a = 1
> *Main> :t a
> a :: Integer
> *Main> let a = 1::Double
> *Main> a
> 1.0
> *Main> :t a
> a :: Double
> *Main>
> so normally 1 would be interpreted as an int, but if I declare 'a' a
> Double then it gets "promoted" to a Double without me having to call a
> conversion routine explicitly.
> That seems automagic to me.

No magic involved, although some automation is. Take a look at the
`default` keyword in the Haskell Report (this is the "defaulting" I
mentioned earlier).


The "default `default`" is `default (Integer, Double)` which means that it
will try to resolve a numeric literal as type Integer, and if it gets a
type error it will try again with type Double.

You should use this same mechanism to make numeric literals work with
OpenGL code: neither Integer nor Double will produce a valid type for the
expression, but at the same time the compiler cannot infer a type because
there are two possibilities (GLfloat and GLdouble). You could therefore add
a declaration `default (Integer, Double, GLdouble)` so that it will try
GLdouble to resolve numeric literals when neither Integer nor Double will

> How can I simply declare 0.0 to be (0.0::GLdouble) and have the
functional call work.  Doesn't a conversion have to be happening, i.e.
shouldn't I really have to do (realToFrac 0.0) ?

The first part I just answered. As to the second, a conversion *is*
happening, implicitly as defined by the language; the question being, to
what type. A numeric literal has type (Num a => a), implemented by
inserting a call to `fromIntegral` for literals without decimal points and
`fromRational` for others. But the compiler can't always work out what `a`
is in (Num a => a) without some help (the aforementioned `default`

brandon s allbery kf8nh                               sine nomine associates
allbery.b at gmail.com                                  ballbery at sinenomine.net
unix, openafs, kerberos, infrastructure, xmonad        http://sinenomine.net
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