# GHC/Kinds

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Haskell defines [[Kind|kinds]] as <code>κ ::= * | κ -> κ</code>. Nowadays, programmers use type-level computation more often using [[GADT|GADTs]] and [[GHC/Type families|type families]]. The need of a well-kinded type-level computation has become bigger. This extension provides a simple mechanism called ''promotion'' to populate the kind level. |
Haskell defines [[Kind|kinds]] as <code>κ ::= * | κ -> κ</code>. Nowadays, programmers use type-level computation more often using [[GADT|GADTs]] and [[GHC/Type families|type families]]. The need of a well-kinded type-level computation has become bigger. This extension provides a simple mechanism called ''promotion'' to populate the kind level. |
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− | Each time the user defines a ''promotable'' data type at the term level, he will be able to use it at the type level too. For instance, the user can write the following example: |
+ | Each time the user defines a ''promotable'' data type at the term level they are able to use it at the type level too. For instance, the user can write the following example: |

<haskell> |
<haskell> |
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== How do I use it? == |
== How do I use it? == |
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− | You first need to [http://hackage.haskell.org/trac/ghc/wiki/Building get the sources] and checkout the branch: |
+ | Simply [http://hackage.haskell.org/trac/ghc/wiki/Building build GHC HEAD]. |

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− | $ git clone http://darcs.haskell.org/ghc.git ghc-kinds |
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− | $ cd ghc-kinds |
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− | $ ./sync-all --testsuite get |
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− | $ git checkout ghc-kinds |
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− | $ pushd utils/haddock |
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− | $ git checkout ghc-kinds |
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− | $ popd |
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− | $ pushd testsuite |
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− | $ git checkout ghc-kinds |
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− | $ popd |
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− | You may also need to apply a patch to hoopl if you want to run the testsuite: |
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− | $ pushd libraries/hoopl |
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− | $ wget -q http://ia0.fr/j/ghc/0001-kind-annotation-for-Graph.patch -O - | git am |
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− | $ popd |
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− | You then need to edit your <code>mk/build.mk</code> copying the <code>mk/build.mk.sample</code> file and uncommenting the line stating: |
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− | #BuildFlavour = quick |
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− | You can now build the compiler: |
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− | $ perl boot |
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− | $ ./configure |
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− | $ make |
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− | Or run the testsuite: |
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− | $ ./validate |
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− | In both cases the resulting compiler will be located at <code>inplace/bin/ghc-stage2</code>. |
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== Which data types are promotable? == |
== Which data types are promotable? == |
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− | A data type is promotable if its type constructor and data constructors are. A type constructor is promotable if it is of the form <hask>* -> .. * -> *</hask> which is a first-order Haskell98 type constructor. All Haskell98 data constructors of a first-order Haskell98 data type are promotable. More details can be found in [http://gallium.inria.fr/~jcretin/ghc/theory.pdf the theory paper]. |
+ | A data type is promotable if its type constructor and data constructors are. A type constructor is promotable if it is of the form <hask>* -> .. * -> *</hask> which is a first-order Haskell98 type constructor. All Haskell98 data constructors of a first-order Haskell98 data type are promotable. More details can be found in [http://dreixel.net/research/pdf/ghp.pdf this paper]. |

− | An simple way to decide if your data type is promotable is to see if you can write without the where-clause like this: |
+ | A simple way to decide if your data type is promotable is to see if you can write without the where-clause like this: |

<haskell> |
<haskell> |
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data T (a::*) (b::*) (c::*) = A a | B Int b | C (Either a c) [b] |
data T (a::*) (b::*) (c::*) = A a | B Int b | C (Either a c) [b] |

## Latest revision as of 16:02, 28 February 2014

Kinds (this is not the definitive name) will be a language extension adding a kind level and some kind polymorphic support to Haskell.

## [edit] 1 What does this extension do?

Haskell defines kinds as `κ ::= * | κ -> κ`

. Nowadays, programmers use type-level computation more often using GADTs and type families. The need of a well-kinded type-level computation has become bigger. This extension provides a simple mechanism called *promotion* to populate the kind level.

Each time the user defines a *promotable* data type at the term level they are able to use it at the type level too. For instance, the user can write the following example:

data Nat = Zero | Succ Nat data Vector :: * -> Nat -> * where VNil :: Vector a Zero VCons :: a -> Vector a n -> Vector a (Succ n) data List a = Nil | Cons a (List a) data HList :: List * -> * where HNil :: HList Nil HCons :: a -> HList as -> HList (Cons a as)

## [edit] 2 How do I use it?

Simply build GHC HEAD.

## [edit] 3 Which data types are promotable?

A data type is promotable if its type constructor and data constructors are. A type constructor is promotable if it is of the form* -> .. * -> *

A simple way to decide if your data type is promotable is to see if you can write without the where-clause like this:

data T (a::*) (b::*) (c::*) = A a | B Int b | C (Either a c) [b]