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Existential type

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'''Existential types''' in conjunction with type classes can be used to emulate the dynamic dispatch mechanism of object oriented programming languages. To illustrate this concept I show how a classic example from object oriented programming can be encoded in Haskell.
 
'''Existential types''' in conjunction with type classes can be used to emulate the dynamic dispatch mechanism of object oriented programming languages. To illustrate this concept I show how a classic example from object oriented programming can be encoded in Haskell.
   
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<haskell>
 
class Shape_ a where
 
class Shape_ a where
 
perimeter :: a -> Double
 
perimeter :: a -> Double
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shapes :: [Shape]
 
shapes :: [Shape]
 
shapes = [circle 2.4, rectangle 3.1 4.4, square 2.1]
 
shapes = [circle 2.4, rectangle 3.1 4.4, square 2.1]
  +
</haskell>
   
 
[[Category:Idioms]]
 
[[Category:Idioms]]

Revision as of 10:52, 2 May 2006

Existential types in conjunction with type classes can be used to emulate the dynamic dispatch mechanism of object oriented programming languages. To illustrate this concept I show how a classic example from object oriented programming can be encoded in Haskell.

 class Shape_ a where
   perimeter :: a -> Double
   area      :: a -> Double
 
 data Shape = forall a. Shape_ a => Shape a
 
 type Radius = Double
 type Side   = Double
 
 data Circle    = Circle    Radius
 data Rectangle = Rectangle Side Side
 data Square    = Square    Side
 
 
 instance Shape_ Circle where
   perimeter (Circle r) = 2 * pi * r
   area      (Circle r) = pi * r * r
 
 instance Shape_ Rectangle where
   perimeter (Rectangle x y) = 2*(x + y)
   area      (Rectangle x y) = x * y
 
 instance Shape_ Square where
   perimeter (Square s) = 4*s
   area      (Square s) = s*s
 
 instance Shape_ Shape where
   perimeter (Shape shape) = perimeter shape
   area      (Shape shape) = area      shape
 
 
 --
 -- Smart constructors
 --
 
 circle :: Radius -> Shape
 circle r = Shape (Circle r)
 
 rectangle :: Side -> Side -> Shape
 rectangle x y = Shape (Rectangle x y)
 
 square :: Side -> Shape
 square s = Shape (Square s)
 
 shapes :: [Shape]
 shapes = [circle 2.4, rectangle 3.1 4.4, square 2.1]