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The Other Prelude

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1 Call For Contribution

This fun project, called The Other Prelude, is a creative reconstruction of the standard Prelude. By disregarding history and compatibility, we get a clean sheet.

2 Committee

This project has no committee whatsoever. Issues are discussed on the talk page.

3 Naming Conventions

  • Function names should be easy for beginners to consume.
  • Specifically, The Other Prelude naming convention is to use
    • descriptive symbols for functions that are naturally infix (e.g.,
      is replaced by
    • whole English words and camelCase for functions (e.g.,
      but not

4 Design Philosophy

4.1 Taking Typeclasses Seriously

Following Not just Maybe, functions should be generalized whenever possible. Of course, efficiency might be a concern but this is a fun project anyway.

  • concat
    means the same thing as
    . We propose we don't use
    at all.
  • concatMap
    is just
    . That is, monadic functions are preferred over the same functions with different name.

4.2 The Hierarchy

Although, not Haskell98, hierarchical modules are already in Haskell2010. We take it for granted.

  • TheOtherPrelude
    - Minimalistic module.
  • TheOtherPrelude.Utilities
    - Convenient definitions. The reasoning behind its existence is that we want the Prelude to be very concise. It should not steal good names.
  • TheOtherPrelude.Legacy
    - providing as much backwards compatibility as possible

5 Open Issues

  • When the same function has an infix and a prefix implementation, should one of them be outside the class to enforce consistency?
  • Should Prelude functions use
    instead of
    ? Maybe
    Integral n => n
    Ix i => i
    in some cases?
  • Should
    be a class rather than a type synonym?
  • The current proposal lacks a well thought
    mechanism. Should it be integrated into
    , or have a class of his own, or remain in the

6 Reality

What we have here right now is not ready to be adopted by existing projects. The class system extension proposal might make a difference.

7 The Code

Currently, the code is in Wiki form. If people do agree that the collaborative decisions begot something pretty, we'll have a group of files in some time.

The imaginary Prelude as it stands:


{-# LANGUAGE NoImplicitPrelude #-}
module TheOtherPrelude where
import Prelude (id, const, flip, (.)) 
-- hide almost everything
-- in fact, we could do better, by just defining them here
-- The idea is to rename 'fmap'.
-- Both map :: (a -> b) -> [a] -> [b]           (in [])
-- and  (.) :: (a -> b) -> (e -> a) -> (e -> b) (in (->) e)
-- are good names, and are intuitively prefix and infix respectively.
-- 'map' is aliased as (.) below.
class Functor f where
  map :: (a -> b) -> f a -> f b
-- definitely a bad idea, sorry Cale!
-- (.) :: (Functor f) => (a -> b) -> f a -> f b
-- (.) = map
class (Functor p) => Applicative p where
  -- Minimal complete definition: return and (<@>).
  pure   :: a -> p a                 -- value lifting
                                     -- actually I think we should
                                     -- stick to return
                                     -- to make do notation work
  (<@>)  :: p (a -> b) -> p a -> p b -- lifted application
  (>>)   :: p a -> p b -> p b        -- when the second is independent of the first
  pa >> pb = (const id) . pa <@> pb
--map f pa = return f <@> pa -- see Class system extension proposal, below
apply :: (Applicative p) => p (a -> b) -> p a -> p b
apply = (<@>)
class (Applicative m) => Monad m where
  -- Minimal complete definition: one of join or (>>=).
  (>>=) :: m a -> (a -> m b) -> m b -- bind
  join  :: m (m a) -> m a           -- combining levels of structure
  ma >>= k  = join (map k ma)
  join mma  = mma >>= id
--mf <@> ma = mf >>= flip map ma -- see Class system extension proposal, below
--ma >> mb  = ma >>= const mb
--map f ma  = ma >>= return . f -- this depends on (.), which is map!  Be careful.
-- We copy from the MonadPlus reform proposal (link below) now.
-- 'zero' will be used when pattern matching against refutable patterns in
-- do-notation as well as to provide support for monad comprehensions.
class (Monad mz) => MonadZero mz where
  -- Should satisfy 'left zero': zero >>= f = zero
  zero :: mz a
class (MonadZero mp) => MonadPlus mp where
  -- Should satisfy 'monoid':
  --   zero ++ b = b;  b ++ zero = b
  --   (a ++ b) ++ c = a ++ (b ++ c)
  -- and 'left distribution':
  --   (a ++ b) >>= f = (a >>= f) ++ (b >>= f)
  (++) :: mp a -> mp a -> mp a
class (MonadZero mo) => MonadOr mo where
  -- Should satisfy 'monoid':
  --   zero `orElse` b = b;  b `orElse` zero = b
  --   (a `orElse` b) `orElse` c = a `orElse` (b `orElse` c)
  -- and 'left catch':
  --   (return a) `orElse` b = a
  orElse :: mo a -> mo a -> mo a
class (Monad m) => MonadFail m where
  fail :: String -> m a


module TheOtherPrelude.Utilities where
import Prelude () -- hide everything
-- this is the if-then-else proposal
-- the name has been chosen to reflect the magic of Church booleans!
-- the order of arguments matches that of maybe and either.
boolean x _ True = x
boolean _ y False = y

8 How To Use

-- ''The Other Prelude'' is an alternative, not a replacement.
-- So we need to hide everything from the Prelude
import Prelude ()
-- This is just an example assuming there is nothing to hide
import TheOtherPrelude
-- Hopefully, this module will contain lift,...
-- Standard convention is to use M.lift (instead of liftM)
import qualified TheOtherPrelude.Monad.Kleisli as M

9 See also