[Haskell-cafe] Best practices for Arrows?

Ertugrul Söylemez es at ertes.de
Sat Jun 22 15:36:15 CEST 2013

Tom Ellis <tom-lists-haskell-cafe-2013 at jaguarpaw.co.uk> wrote:

> Are there any best-practices I should be aware of with Arrows?  Or is
> it just a case of getting on with it?

The best practice is probably to avoid them.  If your type is a monad,
there is little reason to use the awkward arrow interface.  In some
cases the arrow interface can improve the asymptotic performance though,
for example in the case of `Auto` (which is actually a monad, but the
monadic interface introduces a space leak).

In most cases when you expose an `Arrow` interface you can also expose a
`Category`+`Applicative` interface, which is pretty much equivalent
(except for a few extra laws):

    proc x -> do
        y1 <- a1 -< x
        y2 <- a2 -< x
        id -< x + y1 + y2^2

Is equivalent to:

    liftA3 (\x y1 y2 -> x + y1 + y2^2) id a1 a2

All arrows give rise to a [Profunctor] instance, so instead of `arr` you
can use `lmap` and `rmap`/`fmap`:

    arr f . c = fmap f c
    c . arr f = lmap f c

If the interface is not under your control, make yourself comfortable
with the complete arrow syntax, most notably how it handles operators,
combinators and the `(| banana bracket notation |)`.  This is very
valuable information.

Try to separate individual computations as much as possible and compose
using `(.)` (or `(<<<)`/`(>>>)` if you prefer).  This makes your code
much more readable:

    c = a . b . c
        a = {- ... -}
        b = {- ... -}
        c = {- ... -}

There is one case where the arrow notation is really indispensable:
value recursion via `ArrowLoop`:

    proc _ -> do
        rec v <- integral -< x + 1
            x <- integral -< v
        id -< (x, v)

Here the position x is the integral of the velocity, which is itself the
integral of the position + 1.  This is awkward to express in terms of
`loop`, so arrow notation is really a big helper here.

[Profunctor]: http://hackage.haskell.org/package/profunctors


Not to be or to be and (not to be or to be and (not to be or to be and
(not to be or to be and ... that is the list monad.
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: signature.asc
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 836 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://www.haskell.org/pipermail/haskell-cafe/attachments/20130622/40215599/attachment.pgp>

More information about the Haskell-Cafe mailing list