Issue 13 of the Monad.Reader, which includes a revised version of the Typeclassopedia, is out. This version of the Typeclassopedia contains many updates and revisions. There are also three other great articles in this issue of the Monad.Reader, I hope you’ll check it out!
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Pingback: The Typeclassopedia — request for feedback « blog :: Brent > [String]
I just read through (most) of the Typeclassopedia. As a newbie, I usually try to understand the syntax or monads in isolation. I liked how, not only did you provide a wonderful reference, but also intuitive descriptions and even pointed out where things are the way they are due to historical baggage. This was one of the more readable Monad.Readers (from a newbie’s perspective). Thanks!
Thanks! I’m very glad to hear you found it readable and useful.
I’ve read as far as the start of the section on Monoids, and what a gem it is; an indispensable guide. I appreciate your unifying perspective in particular, and the occasional references to category theory are helpful and generous.
I found your explanation of bind’s “commutativity” excellent, as I’ve always felt a horrible need to scrap my idea of what the cword means means. The lucid definition of a monad using fish (>=>) nearly brought tears to my eyes :)
The only thing which still throws me is the casual reference to (>). (Mind you I have only recently found out that (,) is a function (though I still wonder why its brackets are always required in infix form)). Anyway, “comma” at least lives in the world of normal expressions, but I’ve only ever seen (>) in type declarations; and :t (>) gives an error :)
Enough already: a brilliant article, and the references will keep me busy too. Thanks!
Hi Paul, glad you’ve enjoyed it!
Part of your confusion, I think, stems from the fact that there are *two different* things called (,) (just like there are two different things called []). Think of it like this:
data (,) a b = (,) a b
The (,) on the left is a *type* constructor which takes two types and creates a new type (a,b). This (,) lives in the world of types. The (,) on the right is a *data* constructor which takes two values and creates a pair value. This is why you can write :t (,) at a ghci prompt. However, you should also try typing :k (,) at a prompt—this will tell you the kind of the type constructor (,) (kinds are just types for types =). Now, (>), on the other hand, is only a type constructor. If you write :k (>) you will see that it has the same kind as (,) (well, except you should imagine that ?? and ? are just *, the question marks are some sort of internal ghc something or other). It can only be applied to types: (>) Int Bool is a type. But the data constructor for (>) doesn’t have the same name, like with (,). In fact, the data constructor for (>) is called… lambda. =)
A great article and source of references, very useful.
I have the similar confusion as Pual about (>), after reading the sources of Control.Monad.Instances, I found myself just can’t understand how instance of Monad ((>) r) works:
instance Monad ((>) r) where
return = const
f >>= k = \ r > k (f r) r
I guessed ‘return = const’ by type reference, but for (>>=) I can’t work it out this way…
BTW, a bug report:
In Listing 26: ‘instance Monoid a => …’ should be ‘instance Monoid e => …’
After treat lambda (abstraction) as data constructor of type constructor (>), I found I can understand definition of (>>=) in instance Monad ((>) r) by type inference:
(>>=) :: (Monad m) => m a > (a > m b) > m b
let m = (>) r, so f :: m a = (>) r a, k :: (>) a (m b) = (>) a ((>) r b) = a > r > b, and suppose f r = a, k a r = b, then I have
f >>= k = \r > k (f r) r
= \r > k a r
= \r > b
= (>) r b
= m b
Hem…a bit misuse of (>) and didn’t distinguish type variables and normal variables, but it works for me.
Nice! And thanks for the bug report.
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