Disabling deprecated functions

David Feuer david.feuer at gmail.com
Wed Feb 14 05:43:47 UTC 2018

I just realized I can do the same thing with older GHC versions,
except with much uglier error messages. So I think I'm going to try
this out as an experiment and see what people think of it in practice.

On Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 11:06 PM, David Feuer <david.feuer at gmail.com> wrote:
> The time has come to remove some deprecated functions from containers.
> As many know, lots of people ignore deprecation warnings. That means
> there are probably plenty of people still using the deprecated
> functions.
> Right now, the functions work, and give deprecation warnings telling
> users what alternatives to use. If I simply remove the functions,
> users will suddenly have to *actually* do something to fix their code,
> but they *won't* be given any useful information about how to do it.
> Ideally, GHC would add a REMOVED pragma, but I don't see any sign that
> that's happening.
> Pondering that conundrum today, I came up with something that seems to
> *mostly* solve the problem:
> -- We need this class to defer the type error to the call site, rather
> -- than getting it at the definition site. I think it basically takes advantage
> -- of the delayed resolution GHC uses to support overlapping instances,
> -- which is kind of gross.
> class Error (e :: ErrorMessage)
> instance TypeError e => Error e
> insertWith' :: Error ('Text "Data.IntMap.insertWith' is gone. Use
> Data.IntMap.Strict.insertWith.")
>             => (a -> a -> a) -> Key -> a -> IntMap a -> IntMap a
> insertWith' _ _ _ _ = undefined
> Now if someone is still using Data.IntMap.insertWith', they'll get an
> error message, but a useful one. Great! But there are two downsides:
> 1. An unqualified, unrestricted import of the module will still use up
> a perfectly good name for as long as the export is still there.
> 2. User-defined type errors have only existed since GHC 8.0. So for
> earlier versions, I'd probably need to just remove the functions, in
> which case the exports depend on the GHC version, which is
> unfortunate.
> In these *particular* cases, I suspect the benefits of this hack
> outweigh the downsides, because unqualified and unrestricted imports
> of Data.Map and Data.IntMap are fairly rare.
> What are others' thoughts on the matter?
> David

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