Type Functions: Syntax and Representation

Syntax of family and family instance declarations

A toplevel family declaration consists of a type declaration head using family as a special following the declaration keyword. It is optionally followed by a :: and a kind (which is by default * if not specified). In an associated family declaration, the family special is dropped. Toplevel family instance declarations, use the instance keyword after the main declaration keyword; associated instances don't use instance. We require for every instance declaration of a type family that a matching family declaration is in scope.

Representation of indexed types

Family declarations

HsDecls.TyClDecl has a new variant TyFamily to represent family declarations of both flavours (i.e., type family and data family). The new variant comprises the declaration's flavour, name, type parameters, and optionally a result kind signature. The type parameters can have kind signatures as usual. The predicate HsDecls.isFamilyDecl recognises family declarations.

Family instances

We represent insatances of type families and data/newtype families by generalising the AST for type synonym declarations (TySynonym) and data/newtype declarations (TyData), respectively. In both cases, the novelty is to admit type index patterns instead of just type variables as parameters. These index pattern go into the field tcdTyPats of type Maybe [LHsType name], used as follows:

  • If it is Nothing, we have a vanilla data type declaration or type synonym declaration and tcdVars contains the type parameters of the type constructor.
  • If it is Just pats, we have the definition of an a indexed type (toplevel or nested in an instance declarations). Then, pats are type patterns for the type-indexes of the type constructor and tcdVars are the variables in those patterns. Hence, the arity of the type constructor is length tcdPats and not length tcdVars.

In both cases (and as before we had indexed types), tcdVars collects all variables we need to quantify over.

Parsing and AST construction

The LALR parser allows arbitrary types as left-hand sides in data, newtype, and type declarations. The parsed type is, then, passed to RdHsSyn.checkTyClHdr for closer analysis (possibly via RdHsSyn.checkSynHdr). It decomposes the type and, among other things, yields the type arguments in their original form plus all type variables they contain. Subsequently, RdrHsSyn.checkTyVars is used to either enforce that all type arguments are variables (second argument is False) or to simply check whether the type arguments are variables (second argument True). If in enforcing mode, checkTyVars will raise an error if it encounters a non-variable (e.g., required for class declarations). If in checking mode, it yields the value placed in the tcdPats field described above; i.e., returns Nothing instead of the type arguments if these arguments are all only variables.

Representation of associated types

We add type declarations to class declarations and instance declarations by a new field, of type [LTyClDecl], to both TyClDecl.ClassDecl (known by the field name tcdATs) and TyClDecl.InstDecl. For classes, this new field contains values constructed from TyFamily and TySynonym (for synonym defaults), whereas for instances, we have TyData and TySynonym.

Representation of equational constraints

Equational constraints are parsed into a new variant of HsPred, called HsEqualP.

Type tags

To enable the listing of associated types in the sub-binder list of import/export items for classes, we extend the parser with a production that allows a constructor name (upper case or approppriate infix operator in parenthesis) to be prefixed by the keyword type.

NB: There is a cavet at the moment, in error messages the type prefix is not printed, as the ppr instance on HsImpExp.IE is polymorphic in the name (and hence, we cannot get at the name space in which a name is).

Last modified 12 years ago Last modified on May 14, 2007 12:19:32 PM