Specific denotations for pure types
conal at conal.net
Fri Mar 20 18:38:24 EDT 2009
What I want is a specific, simple language-defined denotation for Haskell's
pure types and for pure expressions having those types.
I guess currently the denotation of Int is something like 'MachineInfo -> Z
+ bottom' rather than the Z+bottom I thought it was. Or, to remove the
junk values, some kind of dependent type 'Pi info :: WadOfMachineInfo -> Int
info + bottom', vs a type like Z32+bottom. Similarly for other pure (not as
pure as I thought) types. Even the denotation of Bool & () are influenced
by the denotation of Int, since Bool & () expressions can contain Int
expressions. Does the (denotational) semantics of every Haskell type indeed
include 'MachineInfo ->' ?
On Fri, Mar 20, 2009 at 3:17 PM, Achim Schneider <barsoap at web.de> wrote:
> Conal Elliott <conal at conal.net> wrote:
> > I'd always assumed that pure (non-imperative) types have
> > specific denotational models, so that for instance the denotation of
> > something of type Int is either bottom or a (smallish) integer.
> IIRC, Ints provide signed modulo at-least-31 bits arithmetic, which is a
> clearly defined, but still utterly under-specified semantic. The idea
> is that if you want to be safe, you can just use Integer and only be
> bounded by the implementation's address width and swap space (I heard
> that Integers break at MAX_INT^MAX_INT). The other idea is that Int is
> a number type small enough to be as fast as possible, which, in
> practise, means "fits into a register, together with some tag", which
> excuses Int's existence where Int32 and Int64 are around.
> I'm all for defaulting to Integer and providing Natural (as an
> potentially-unbounded alternative to Nat, which'd be one bit wider than
> Int)... the (usually meagre) performance gains you can get by choosing
> Int over Integer are worth an explicit type annotation, and with
> Integer, you get non-modulo semantics, by default. Is that what you
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