With the -fglasgow-exts flag, GHC lets you declare a data type with no constructors. For example:
data S -- S :: * data T a -- T :: * -> * |
Syntactically, the declaration lacks the "= constrs" part. The type can be parameterised over types of any kind, but if the kind is not * then an explicit kind annotation must be used (see Section 7.3.3).
Such data types have only one value, namely bottom. Nevertheless, they can be useful when defining "phantom types".
GHC allows type constructors to be operators, and to be written infix, very much like expressions. More specifically:
A type constructor can be an operator, beginning with a colon; e.g. :*:. The lexical syntax is the same as that for data constructors.
Types can be written infix. For example Int :*: Bool.
Back-quotes work as for expressions, both for type constructors and type variables; e.g. Int `Either` Bool, or Int `a` Bool. Similarly, parentheses work the same; e.g. (:*:) Int Bool.
Fixities may be declared for type constructors just as for data constructors. However, one cannot distinguish between the two in a fixity declaration; a fixity declaration sets the fixity for a data constructor and the corresponding type constructor. For example:
infixl 7 T, :*: |
Function arrow is infixr with fixity 0. (This might change; I'm not sure what it should be.)
Data type and type-synonym declarations can be written infix. E.g.
data a :*: b = Foo a b type a :+: b = Either a b |
The only thing that differs between operators in types and operators in expressions is that ordinary non-constructor operators, such as + and * are not allowed in types. Reason: the uniform thing to do would be to make them type variables, but that's not very useful. A less uniform but more useful thing would be to allow them to be type constructors. But that gives trouble in export lists. So for now we just exclude them.
Haskell infers the kind of each type variable. Sometimes it is nice to be able to give the kind explicitly as (machine-checked) documentation, just as it is nice to give a type signature for a function. On some occasions, it is essential to do so. For example, in his paper "Restricted Data Types in Haskell" (Haskell Workshop 1999) John Hughes had to define the data type:
data Set cxt a = Set [a] | Unused (cxt a -> ()) |
GHC now instead allows you to specify the kind of a type variable directly, wherever a type variable is explicitly bound. Namely:
data declarations:
data Set (cxt :: * -> *) a = Set [a] |
type declarations:
type T (f :: * -> *) = f Int |
class declarations:
class (Eq a) => C (f :: * -> *) a where ... |
forall's in type signatures:
f :: forall (cxt :: * -> *). Set cxt Int |
The parentheses are required. Some of the spaces are required too, to separate the lexemes. If you write (f::*->*) you will get a parse error, because "::*->*" is a single lexeme in Haskell.
As part of the same extension, you can put kind annotations in types as well. Thus:
f :: (Int :: *) -> Int g :: forall a. a -> (a :: *) |
atype ::= '(' ctype '::' kind ') |
Haskell 98 prohibits class method types to mention constraints on the class type variable, thus:
class Seq s a where fromList :: [a] -> s a elem :: Eq a => a -> s a -> Bool |
With the -fglasgow-exts GHC lifts this restriction.
This section documents GHC's implementation of multi-parameter type classes. There's lots of background in the paper Type classes: exploring the design space (Simon Peyton Jones, Mark Jones, Erik Meijer).
I'd like to thank people who reported shorcomings in the GHC 3.02 implementation. Our default decisions were all conservative ones, and the experience of these heroic pioneers has given useful concrete examples to support several generalisations. (These appear below as design choices not implemented in 3.02.)
I've discussed these notes with Mark Jones, and I believe that Hugs will migrate towards the same design choices as I outline here. Thanks to him, and to many others who have offered very useful feedback.
There are the following restrictions on the form of a qualified type:
forall tv1..tvn (c1, ...,cn) => type |
(Here, I write the "foralls" explicitly, although the Haskell source language omits them; in Haskell 1.4, all the free type variables of an explicit source-language type signature are universally quantified, except for the class type variables in a class declaration. However, in GHC, you can give the foralls if you want. See Section 7.3.9).
Each universally quantified type variable tvi must be mentioned (i.e. appear free) in type. The reason for this is that a value with a type that does not obey this restriction could not be used without introducing ambiguity. Here, for example, is an illegal type:
forall a. Eq a => Int |
Every constraint ci must mention at least one of the universally quantified type variables tvi. For example, this type is OK because C a b mentions the universally quantified type variable b:
forall a. C a b => burble |
forall a. Eq b => burble |
These restrictions apply to all types, whether declared in a type signature or inferred.
Unlike Haskell 1.4, constraints in types do not have to be of the form (class type-variables). Thus, these type signatures are perfectly OK
f :: Eq (m a) => [m a] -> [m a] g :: Eq [a] => ... |
This choice recovers principal types, a property that Haskell 1.4 does not have.
Multi-parameter type classes are permitted. For example:
class Collection c a where union :: c a -> c a -> c a ...etc. |
The class hierarchy must be acyclic. However, the definition of "acyclic" involves only the superclass relationships. For example, this is OK:
class C a where { op :: D b => a -> b -> b } class C a => D a where { ... } |
There are no restrictions on the context in a class declaration (which introduces superclasses), except that the class hierarchy must be acyclic. So these class declarations are OK:
class Functor (m k) => FiniteMap m k where ... class (Monad m, Monad (t m)) => Transform t m where lift :: m a -> (t m) a |
In the signature of a class operation, every constraint must mention at least one type variable that is not a class type variable. Thus:
class Collection c a where mapC :: Collection c b => (a->b) -> c a -> c b |
class C a where op :: Eq a => (a,b) -> (a,b) |
class Eq a => C a where op ::(a,b) -> (a,b) |
The type of each class operation must mention all of the class type variables. For example:
class Coll s a where empty :: s insert :: s -> a -> s |
class Coll s a where empty :: s a insert :: s a -> a -> s a |
class CollE s where empty :: s class CollE s => Coll s a where insert :: s -> a -> s |
Instance declarations may not overlap. The two instance declarations
instance context1 => C type1 where ... instance context2 => C type2 where ... |
EITHER type1 and type2 do not unify
OR type2 is a substitution instance of type1 (but not identical to type1), or vice versa.
make it clear which instance decl to use (pick the most specific one that matches)
do not mention the contexts context1, context2 Reason: you can pick which instance decl "matches" based on the type.
instance C (Int,a) where ... instance C (a,Bool) where ... |
GHC is also conservative about committing to an overlapping instance. For example:
class C a where { op :: a -> a } instance C [Int] where ... instance C a => C [a] where ... f :: C b => [b] -> [b] f x = op x |
Regrettably, GHC doesn't guarantee to detect overlapping instance declarations if they appear in different modules. GHC can "see" the instance declarations in the transitive closure of all the modules imported by the one being compiled, so it can "see" all instance decls when it is compiling Main. However, it currently chooses not to look at ones that can't possibly be of use in the module currently being compiled, in the interests of efficiency. (Perhaps we should change that decision, at least for Main.)
There are no restrictions on the type in an instance head, except that at least one must not be a type variable. The instance "head" is the bit after the "=>" in an instance decl. For example, these are OK:
instance C Int a where ... instance D (Int, Int) where ... instance E [[a]] where ... |
instance Stateful (ST s) (MutVar s) where ... |
instance C a => C a where ... |
instance C a where op = ... -- Default |
class (C1 a, C2 a, C3 a) => C a where { } instance (C1 a, C2 a, C3 a) => C a where { } |
f :: C a => ... |
f :: (C1 a, C2 a, C3 a) => ... |
Unlike Haskell 1.4, instance heads may use type synonyms. As always, using a type synonym is just shorthand for writing the RHS of the type synonym definition. For example:
type Point = (Int,Int) instance C Point where ... instance C [Point] where ... |
instance C (Int,Int) where ... |
type P a = [[a]] instance Monad P where ... |
The types in an instance-declaration context must all be type variables. Thus
instance C a b => Eq (a,b) where ... |
instance C Int b => Foo b where ... |
Implicit paramters are implemented as described in "Implicit parameters: dynamic scoping with static types", J Lewis, MB Shields, E Meijer, J Launchbury, 27th ACM Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages (POPL'00), Boston, Jan 2000.
(Most of the following, stil rather incomplete, documentation is due to Jeff Lewis.)
A variable is called dynamically bound when it is bound by the calling context of a function and statically bound when bound by the callee's context. In Haskell, all variables are statically bound. Dynamic binding of variables is a notion that goes back to Lisp, but was later discarded in more modern incarnations, such as Scheme. Dynamic binding can be very confusing in an untyped language, and unfortunately, typed languages, in particular Hindley-Milner typed languages like Haskell, only support static scoping of variables.
However, by a simple extension to the type class system of Haskell, we can support dynamic binding. Basically, we express the use of a dynamically bound variable as a constraint on the type. These constraints lead to types of the form (?x::t') => t, which says "this function uses a dynamically-bound variable ?x of type t'". For example, the following expresses the type of a sort function, implicitly parameterized by a comparison function named cmp.
sort :: (?cmp :: a -> a -> Bool) => [a] -> [a] |
An implicit parameter is introduced by the special form ?x, where x is any valid identifier. Use if this construct also introduces new dynamic binding constraints. For example, the following definition shows how we can define an implicitly parameterized sort function in terms of an explicitly parameterized sortBy function:
sortBy :: (a -> a -> Bool) -> [a] -> [a] sort :: (?cmp :: a -> a -> Bool) => [a] -> [a] sort = sortBy ?cmp |
least :: (?cmp :: a -> a -> Bool) => [a] -> a least xs = fst (sort xs) |
An implicit parameter differs from other type class constraints in the following way: All uses of a particular implicit parameter must have the same type. This means that the type of (?x, ?x) is (?x::a) => (a,a), and not (?x::a, ?x::b) => (a, b), as would be the case for type class constraints.
An implicit parameter is bound using the standard let binding form, where the bindings must be a collection of simple bindings to implicit-style variables (no function-style bindings, and no type signatures); these bindings are neither polymorphic or recursive. This form binds the implicit parameters arising in the body, not the free variables as a let or where would do. For example, we define the min function by binding cmp.
min :: [a] -> a min = let ?cmp = (<=) in least |
Note the following additional constraints:
You can't have an implicit parameter in the context of a class or instance declaration. For example, both these declarations are illegal:
class (?x::Int) => C a where ... instance (?x::a) => Foo [a] where ... |
Linear implicit parameters are an idea developed by Koen Claessen, Mark Shields, and Simon PJ. They address the long-standing problem that monads seem over-kill for certain sorts of problem, notably:
distributing a supply of unique names
distributing a suppply of random numbers
distributing an oracle (as in QuickCheck)
Linear implicit parameters are just like ordinary implicit parameters, except that they are "linear" -- that is, they cannot be copied, and must be explicitly "split" instead. Linear implicit parameters are written '%x' instead of '?x'. (The '/' in the '%' suggests the split!)
For example:
import GHC.Exts( Splittable ) data NameSupply = ... splitNS :: NameSupply -> (NameSupply, NameSupply) newName :: NameSupply -> Name instance Splittable NameSupply where split = splitNS f :: (%ns :: NameSupply) => Env -> Expr -> Expr f env (Lam x e) = Lam x' (f env e) where x' = newName %ns env' = extend env x x' ...more equations for f... |
once by the call to newName
once by the recursive call to f
So the translation done by the type checker makes the parameter explicit:
f :: NameSupply -> Env -> Expr -> Expr f ns env (Lam x e) = Lam x' (f ns1 env e) where (ns1,ns2) = splitNS ns x' = newName ns2 env = extend env x x' |
class Splittable a where split :: a -> (a,a) |
g x = (x, %ns, %ns) |
g :: (Splittable a, %ns :: a) => b -> (b,a,a) |
Other points:
'?x' and '%x' are entirely distinct implicit parameters: you can use them together and they won't intefere with each other.
You can bind linear implicit parameters in 'with' clauses.
You cannot have implicit parameters (whether linear or not) in the context of a class or instance declaration.
The monomorphism restriction is even more important than usual. Consider the example above:
f :: (%ns :: NameSupply) => Env -> Expr -> Expr f env (Lam x e) = Lam x' (f env e) where x' = newName %ns env' = extend env x x' |
f :: (%ns :: NameSupply) => Env -> Expr -> Expr f env (Lam x e) = Lam (newName %ns) (f env e) where env' = extend env x (newName %ns) |
Well, this is an experimental change. With implicit parameters we have already lost beta reduction anyway, and (as John Launchbury puts it) we can't sensibly reason about Haskell programs without knowing their typing.
Linear implicit parameters can be particularly tricky when you have a recursive function Consider
foo :: %x::T => Int -> [Int] foo 0 = [] foo n = %x : foo (n-1) |
Do you get a list of all the same T's or all different T's (assuming that split gives two distinct T's back)?
If you supply the type signature, taking advantage of polymorphic recursion, you get what you'd probably expect. Here's the translated term, where the implicit param is made explicit:
foo x 0 = [] foo x n = let (x1,x2) = split x in x1 : foo x2 (n-1) |
foo x = let foom 0 = [] foom n = x : foom (n-1) in foom |
You may say that this is a good reason to dislike linear implicit parameters and you'd be right. That is why they are an experimental feature.
Functional dependencies are implemented as described by Mark Jones in “Type Classes with Functional Dependencies”, Mark P. Jones, In Proceedings of the 9th European Symposium on Programming, ESOP 2000, Berlin, Germany, March 2000, Springer-Verlag LNCS 1782, .
There should be more documentation, but there isn't (yet). Yell if you need it.
Haskell type signatures are implicitly quantified. The new keyword forall allows us to say exactly what this means. For example:
g :: b -> b |
g :: forall b. (b -> b) |
However, GHC's type system supports arbitrary-rank explicit universal quantification in types. For example, all the following types are legal:
f1 :: forall a b. a -> b -> a g1 :: forall a b. (Ord a, Eq b) => a -> b -> a f2 :: (forall a. a->a) -> Int -> Int g2 :: (forall a. Eq a => [a] -> a -> Bool) -> Int -> Int f3 :: ((forall a. a->a) -> Int) -> Bool -> Bool |
The functions f2 and g2 have rank-2 types; the forall is on the left of a function arrrow. As g2 shows, the polymorphic type on the left of the function arrow can be overloaded.
The functions f3 and g3 have rank-3 types; they have rank-2 types on the left of a function arrow.
GHC allows types of arbitrary rank; you can nest foralls arbitrarily deep in function arrows. (GHC used to be restricted to rank 2, but that restriction has now been lifted.) In particular, a forall-type (also called a "type scheme"), including an operational type class context, is legal:
On the left of a function arrow
On the right of a function arrow (see Section 7.3.11)
As the argument of a constructor, or type of a field, in a data type declaration. For example, any of the f1,f2,f3,g1,g2,g3 above would be valid field type signatures.
As the type of an implicit parameter
In a pattern type signature (see Section 7.3.13)
x1 :: [forall a. a->a] x2 :: (forall a. a->a, Int) x3 :: Maybe (forall a. a->a) |
In a data or newtype declaration one can quantify the types of the constructor arguments. Here are several examples:
data T a = T1 (forall b. b -> b -> b) a data MonadT m = MkMonad { return :: forall a. a -> m a, bind :: forall a b. m a -> (a -> m b) -> m b } newtype Swizzle = MkSwizzle (Ord a => [a] -> [a]) |
The constructors have rank-2 types:
T1 :: forall a. (forall b. b -> b -> b) -> a -> T a MkMonad :: forall m. (forall a. a -> m a) -> (forall a b. m a -> (a -> m b) -> m b) -> MonadT m MkSwizzle :: (Ord a => [a] -> [a]) -> Swizzle |
Notice that you don't need to use a forall if there's an explicit context. For example in the first argument of the constructor MkSwizzle, an implicit "forall a." is prefixed to the argument type. The implicit forall quantifies all type variables that are not already in scope, and are mentioned in the type quantified over.
As for type signatures, implicit quantification happens for non-overloaded types too. So if you write this:
data T a = MkT (Either a b) (b -> b) |
data T a = MkT (forall b. Either a b) (forall b. b -> b) |
You construct values of types T1, MonadT, Swizzle by applying the constructor to suitable values, just as usual. For example,
a1 :: T Int a1 = T1 (\xy->x) 3 a2, a3 :: Swizzle a2 = MkSwizzle sort a3 = MkSwizzle reverse a4 :: MonadT Maybe a4 = let r x = Just x b m k = case m of Just y -> k y Nothing -> Nothing in MkMonad r b mkTs :: (forall b. b -> b -> b) -> a -> [T a] mkTs f x y = [T1 f x, T1 f y] |
The type of the argument can, as usual, be more general than the type required, as (MkSwizzle reverse) shows. (reverse does not need the Ord constraint.)
When you use pattern matching, the bound variables may now have polymorphic types. For example:
f :: T a -> a -> (a, Char) f (T1 w k) x = (w k x, w 'c' 'd') g :: (Ord a, Ord b) => Swizzle -> [a] -> (a -> b) -> [b] g (MkSwizzle s) xs f = s (map f (s xs)) h :: MonadT m -> [m a] -> m [a] h m [] = return m [] h m (x:xs) = bind m x $ \y -> bind m (h m xs) $ \ys -> return m (y:ys) |
In the function h we use the record selectors return and bind to extract the polymorphic bind and return functions from the MonadT data structure, rather than using pattern matching.
In general, type inference for arbitrary-rank types is undecideable. GHC uses an algorithm proposed by Odersky and Laufer ("Putting type annotations to work", POPL'96) to get a decidable algorithm by requiring some help from the programmer. We do not yet have a formal specification of "some help" but the rule is this:
For a lambda-bound or case-bound variable, x, either the programmer provides an explicit polymorphic type for x, or GHC's type inference will assume that x's type has no foralls in it.
What does it mean to "provide" an explicit type for x? You can do that by giving a type signature for x directly, using a pattern type signature (Section 7.3.13), thus:
\ f :: (forall a. a->a) -> (f True, f 'c') |
(\ f -> (f True, f 'c')) :: (forall a. a->a) -> (Bool,Char) |
h :: (forall a. a->a) -> (Bool,Char) h f = (f True, f 'c') |
f :: T a -> a -> (a, Char) f (T1 w k) x = (w k x, w 'c' 'd') |
GHC performs implicit quantification as follows. At the top level (only) of user-written types, if and only if there is no explicit forall, GHC finds all the type variables mentioned in the type that are not already in scope, and universally quantifies them. For example, the following pairs are equivalent:
f :: a -> a f :: forall a. a -> a g (x::a) = let h :: a -> b -> b h x y = y in ... g (x::a) = let h :: forall b. a -> b -> b h x y = y in ... |
Notice that GHC does not find the innermost possible quantification point. For example:
f :: (a -> a) -> Int -- MEANS f :: forall a. (a -> a) -> Int -- NOT f :: (forall a. a -> a) -> Int g :: (Ord a => a -> a) -> Int -- MEANS the illegal type g :: forall a. (Ord a => a -> a) -> Int -- NOT g :: (forall a. Ord a => a -> a) -> Int |
Type synonmys are like macros at the type level, and GHC does validity checking on types only after expanding type synonyms. That means that GHC can be very much more liberal about type synonyms than Haskell 98:
You can write a forall (including overloading) in a type synonym, thus:
type Discard a = forall b. Show b => a -> b -> (a, String) f :: Discard a f x y = (x, show y) g :: Discard Int -> (Int,Bool) -- A rank-2 type g f = f Int True |
You can write an unboxed tuple in a type synonym:
type Pr = (# Int, Int #) h :: Int -> Pr h x = (# x, x #) |
You can apply a type synonym to a forall type:
type Foo a = a -> a -> Bool f :: Foo (forall b. b->b) |
f :: (forall b. b->b) -> (forall b. b->b) -> Bool |
You can apply a type synonym to a partially applied type synonym:
type Generic i o = forall x. i x -> o x type Id x = x foo :: Generic Id [] |
foo :: forall x. x -> [x] |
GHC currently does kind checking before expanding synonyms (though even that could be changed.)
After expanding type synonyms, GHC does validity checking on types, looking for the following mal-formedness which isn't detected simply by kind checking:
Type constructor applied to a type involving for-alls.
Unboxed tuple on left of an arrow.
Partially-applied type synonym.
type Pr = (# Int, Int #) h :: Pr -> Int h x = ... |
It is often convenient to use generalised type synonyms at the right hand end of an arrow, thus:
type Discard a = forall b. a -> b -> a g :: Int -> Discard Int g x y z = x+y |
g :: Int -> (forall b. Int -> b -> Int) |
g :: forall b. Int -> Int -> b -> Int |
type1 -> forall a1..an. context2 => type2 ==> forall a1..an. context2 => type1 -> type2 |
g :: Int -> Int -> forall b. b -> Int |
When doing this hoisting operation, GHC eliminates duplicate constraints. For example:
type Foo a = (?x::Int) => Bool -> a g :: Foo (Foo Int) |
g :: (?x::Int) => Bool -> Bool -> Int |
The idea of using existential quantification in data type declarations was suggested by Laufer (I believe, thought doubtless someone will correct me), and implemented in Hope+. It's been in Lennart Augustsson's hbc Haskell compiler for several years, and proved very useful. Here's the idea. Consider the declaration:
data Foo = forall a. MkFoo a (a -> Bool) | Nil |
The data type Foo has two constructors with types:
MkFoo :: forall a. a -> (a -> Bool) -> Foo Nil :: Foo |
Notice that the type variable a in the type of MkFoo does not appear in the data type itself, which is plain Foo. For example, the following expression is fine:
[MkFoo 3 even, MkFoo 'c' isUpper] :: [Foo] |
Here, (MkFoo 3 even) packages an integer with a function even that maps an integer to Bool; and MkFoo 'c' isUpper packages a character with a compatible function. These two things are each of type Foo and can be put in a list.
What can we do with a value of type Foo?. In particular, what happens when we pattern-match on MkFoo?
f (MkFoo val fn) = ??? |
Since all we know about val and fn is that they are compatible, the only (useful) thing we can do with them is to apply fn to val to get a boolean. For example:
f :: Foo -> Bool f (MkFoo val fn) = fn val |
What this allows us to do is to package heterogenous values together with a bunch of functions that manipulate them, and then treat that collection of packages in a uniform manner. You can express quite a bit of object-oriented-like programming this way.
What has this to do with existential quantification? Simply that MkFoo has the (nearly) isomorphic type
MkFoo :: (exists a . (a, a -> Bool)) -> Foo |
But Haskell programmers can safely think of the ordinary universally quantified type given above, thereby avoiding adding a new existential quantification construct.
An easy extension (implemented in hbc) is to allow arbitrary contexts before the constructor. For example:
data Baz = forall a. Eq a => Baz1 a a | forall b. Show b => Baz2 b (b -> b) |
The two constructors have the types you'd expect:
Baz1 :: forall a. Eq a => a -> a -> Baz Baz2 :: forall b. Show b => b -> (b -> b) -> Baz |
But when pattern matching on Baz1 the matched values can be compared for equality, and when pattern matching on Baz2 the first matched value can be converted to a string (as well as applying the function to it). So this program is legal:
f :: Baz -> String f (Baz1 p q) | p == q = "Yes" | otherwise = "No" f (Baz2 v fn) = show (fn v) |
Operationally, in a dictionary-passing implementation, the constructors Baz1 and Baz2 must store the dictionaries for Eq and Show respectively, and extract it on pattern matching.
Notice the way that the syntax fits smoothly with that used for universal quantification earlier.
There are several restrictions on the ways in which existentially-quantified constructors can be use.
When pattern matching, each pattern match introduces a new, distinct, type for each existential type variable. These types cannot be unified with any other type, nor can they escape from the scope of the pattern match. For example, these fragments are incorrect:
f1 (MkFoo a f) = a |
f1 :: Foo -> a -- Weird! |
f1 :: forall a. Foo -> a -- Wrong! |
f2 (Baz1 a b) (Baz1 p q) = a==q |
You can't pattern-match on an existentially quantified constructor in a let or where group of bindings. So this is illegal:
f3 x = a==b where { Baz1 a b = x } |
f3 x = case x of Baz1 a b -> a==b |
You can't use existential quantification for newtype declarations. So this is illegal:
newtype T = forall a. Ord a => MkT a |
You can't use deriving to define instances of a data type with existentially quantified data constructors. Reason: in most cases it would not make sense. For example:#
data T = forall a. MkT [a] deriving( Eq ) |
instance Eq T where (MkT a) == (MkT b) = ??? |
A pattern type signature can introduce a scoped type variable. For example
f (xs::[a]) = ys ++ ys where ys :: [a] ys = reverse xs |
The pattern (xs::[a]) includes a type signature for xs. This brings the type variable a into scope; it scopes over all the patterns and right hand sides for this equation for f. In particular, it is in scope at the type signature for y.
Pattern type signatures are completely orthogonal to ordinary, separate type signatures. The two can be used independently or together. At ordinary type signatures, such as that for ys, any type variables mentioned in the type signature that are not in scope are implicitly universally quantified. (If there are no type variables in scope, all type variables mentioned in the signature are universally quantified, which is just as in Haskell 98.) In this case, since a is in scope, it is not universally quantified, so the type of ys is the same as that of xs. In Haskell 98 it is not possible to declare a type for ys; a major benefit of scoped type variables is that it becomes possible to do so.
Scoped type variables are implemented in both GHC and Hugs. Where the implementations differ from the specification below, those differences are noted.
So much for the basic idea. Here are the details.
A type variable brought into scope by a pattern type signature is simply the name for a type. The restriction they express is that all occurrences of the same name mean the same type. For example:
f :: [Int] -> Int -> Int f (xs::[a]) (y::a) = (head xs + y) :: a |
t (x::a) (y::a) = x+y*2 f (x::a) (y::b) = [x,y] -- a unifies with b g (x::a) = x + 1::Int -- a unifies with Int h x = let k (y::a) = [x,y] -- a is free in the in k x -- environment k (x::a) True = ... -- a unifies with Int k (x::Int) False = ... w :: [b] -> [b] w (x::a) = x -- a unifies with [b] |
All the type variables mentioned in a pattern, that are not already in scope, are brought into scope by the pattern. We describe this set as the type variables bound by the pattern. For example:
f (x::a) = let g (y::(a,b)) = fst y in g (x,True) |
The type variable(s) bound by the pattern have the same scope as the term variable(s) bound by the pattern. For example:
let f (x::a) = <...rhs of f...> (p::b, q::b) = (1,2) in <...body of let...> |
The type variables bound by the pattern may be mentioned in ordinary type signatures or pattern type signatures anywhere within their scope.
In ordinary type signatures, any type variable mentioned in the signature that is in scope is not universally quantified.
Ordinary type signatures do not bring any new type variables into scope (except in the type signature itself!). So this is illegal:
f :: a -> a f x = x::a |
The pattern type signature is a monotype:
A pattern type signature cannot contain any explicit forall quantification.
The type variables bound by a pattern type signature can only be instantiated to monotypes, not to type schemes.
There is no implicit universal quantification on pattern type signatures (in contrast to ordinary type signatures).
The type variables in the head of a class or instance declaration scope over the methods defined in the where part. For example:
class C a where op :: [a] -> a op xs = let ys::[a] ys = reverse xs in head ys |
The result type of a function can be given a signature, thus:
f (x::a) :: [a] = [x,x,x] |
f :: Int -> [a] -> [a] f n :: ([a] -> [a]) = let g (x::a, y::a) = (y,x) in \xs -> map g (reverse xs `zip` xs) |
Result type signatures are not yet implemented in Hugs.
A pattern type signature can occur in any pattern. For example:
A pattern type signature can be on an arbitrary sub-pattern, not ust on a variable:
f ((x,y)::(a,b)) = (y,x) :: (b,a) |
Pattern type signatures, including the result part, can be used in lambda abstractions:
(\ (x::a, y) :: a -> x) |
Pattern type signatures, including the result part, can be used in case expressions:
case e of { (x::a, y) :: a -> x } |
To avoid ambiguity, the type after the “::” in a result pattern signature on a lambda or case must be atomic (i.e. a single token or a parenthesised type of some sort). To see why, consider how one would parse this:
\ x :: a -> b -> x |
Pattern type signatures can bind existential type variables. For example:
data T = forall a. MkT [a] f :: T -> T f (MkT [t::a]) = MkT t3 where t3::[a] = [t,t,t] |
Pattern type signatures can be used in pattern bindings:
f x = let (y, z::a) = x in ... f1 x = let (y, z::Int) = x in ... f2 (x::(Int,a)) = let (y, z::a) = x in ... f3 :: (b->b) = \x -> x |
f4 :: b->b f4 = \x -> x |