[Haskell-cafe] nice simple problem for someone struggling....
David Menendez
dave at zednenem.com
Fri Dec 21 13:34:19 EST 2007
On Dec 21, 2007 12:47 PM, Nicholls, Mark <Nicholls.Mark at mtvne.com> wrote:
> Let me resend the code…as it stands….
>
>
>
> *module* Main *where*
>
>
>
> *data* SquareType numberType = Num numberType => SquareConstructor
> numberType
>
>
>
> *class* ShapeInterface shape *where*
>
> area :: Num numberType => shape*->*numberType
>
>
>
> *data* ShapeType = forall a. ShapeInterface a => ShapeType a
>
>
>
> *instance* (Num a) => ShapeInterface (SquareType a) *where*
>
> area (SquareConstructor side) = side * side
>
Part of the problem is that GHC's error messages have to account for a lot
of complex typing extensions you aren't using, so they aren't clear. I'll
try to explain what's going wrong.
If you look at the function,
area (SquareConstructor side) = side * side
in isolation (that is, not as part of the class instance), it has the type
"forall a. Num a => SquareConstructor a -> a".
The function in the class declaration has type "forall a b. (ShapeInterface
a, Num b) => a -> b". The problem is that a and b are independent variables,
but the instance declaration for SquareType a requires them to be related.
I'm not sure which way you were trying to parameterize things, but here are
some possibilities:
(1) If every shape type is parameteric, then you can make ShapeInterface a
class of type constructors.
class ShapeInterface shape where
area :: Num a => shape a -> a
instance ShapeInterface SquareType where
area (SquareConstructor side) = side * side
(2) If only some shape types are parametric, you can use a multi-parameter
type class to express a relationship between the shape type and the area
type:
class ShapeInterface shape area where
area :: shape -> area
instance (Num a) => ShapeInterface (SquareType a) a where
area (SquareConstructor side) = side * side
(3) If you only need to be parameteric over some subset of numeric types,
you can use conversion functions:
class ShapeIterface shape where
area :: shape -> Rational
class (Real a) => ShapeInterface (SquareType a) where
area (SquareConstructor side) = toRational (side * side)
(Equivalently, you can replace Rational and Real with Integer and Integral.)
It may be that none of these are what you want. There are other, more
complex possibilities, but I expect they're overkill.
--
Dave Menendez <dave at zednenem.com>
<http://www.eyrie.org/~zednenem/>
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