Lennart Augustsson lennart at augustsson.net
Tue Mar 3 02:52:14 EST 2009

```I often hide the Prelude and import my own Prelude which reexports the
old Prelude, but with these changes.
It's still not ideal, by far.

-- Lennart

class Boolean b where
false, true :: b
(&&), (||) :: b -> b -> b
not :: b -> b

instance Boolean Bool where
false = False
true = True
(&&) = (P.&&)
(||) = (P.||)
not = P.not

class (Boolean b) => Eq a b where
(==), (/=) :: a -> a -> b
x /= y  =  not (x == y)

instance (P.Eq a) => Eq a Bool where
(==) = (P.==)
(/=) = (P./=)

class (Eq a b) => Ord a b where
(<), (<=), (>), (>=) :: a -> a -> b

instance (P.Ord a) => Ord a Bool where
(<)  = (P.<)
(<=) = (P.<=)
(>)  = (P.>)
(>=) = (P.>=)

class (Boolean b) => Conditional a b where
(?) :: b -> (a, a) -> a

instance Conditional a Bool where
c ? (t, e) = if c then t else e

On Tue, Mar 3, 2009 at 4:13 AM, Andrew Hunter <ahunter at cs.hmc.edu> wrote:
> Several times now I've had to define an EDSL for working with
> (vaguely) numeric expressions.  For stuff like 2*X+Y, this is easy,
> looking pretty much like:
>
>> data Expr = Const Integer | Plus Expr Expr | Times Expr Expr
>>
>> instance Num Expr where
>> fromInterger = Const
>> (+) = Plus
>> (*) = Times
>
> &c.  This lets me get a perfectly nice AST, which is what I want.
> When I want to be able to express and work with inequalities and
> equalities, this breaks.  Suppose I want to write 2*X + Y < 3.  I
> either have to:
>
> a) Hide Prelude.(<) and define a simple < that builds the AST term I want.
> b) Come up with a new symbol for it that doesn't look totally awful.
>
> Neither of these work decently well.  Hiding Eq and Ord operators,
> which is what I effectively have to do for a), is pretty much a
> nonstarter--we'll have to use them too much for that to be practical.
>
> On the other hand, b) works...but is about as ugly as it gets.  We
> have lots and lots of symbols that are already taken for important
> purposes that are syntactically "near" <,<=,==, and the like: << and
>>> and >>= for monads, >>> for arrows, etc.  There...are not good
> choices that I know of for the symbols that don't defeat the purpose
> of making a nice clean EDSL for expressions; I might as well use 3*X +
> Y `lessthan` 3, which is just not cool.
>
> Does anyone know of a good solution, here?  Are there good
> substitutions for all the six operators that are important
> (<,>,>=,<=,==,/=), that are close enough to be pretty-looking but not
> used for other important modules?
>
> Better yet, though a little harder, is there a nice type trick I'm not
> thinking of?  This works for Num methods but not for Ord methods
> because:
>
> (+) :: (Num a) => a -> a -> a
> (<) :: (Ord a) => a -> a -> Bool
>
> i.e. the return type of comparisons is totally fixed.  I don't suppose
> there's a good way to...well, I don't know what the *right* answer is,
> but maybe define a new typeclass with a more flexible type for < that
> lets both standard types return Bool and my expressions return Expr?
> Any good solution would be appreciated.
>
> Thanks,
> AHH
> _______________________________________________