[Haskell-cafe] Non-advanced usage of Type classes
arnaud.oqube at gmail.com
Tue Jun 7 22:16:43 CEST 2011
In a recent thread, it has been asserted that defining type class is
something you seldom need when programming in Haskell.
There is one thing that as non-professional Haskell programmer I found
type-classes useful for: Testing. This is probably very OO and is pretty
much influenced by what I read in RWH but I find useful to define TC that
abstract away from low-level interactions with other code, possibly IO
related, in such a way that I can have one implementation for testing and
one implementation for real work that is wired in caller context. This is
what is called "mockist" TDD in some circles: Write code that expresses what
it needs in its own terms, then implement "glue" to the code that provide
the concrete behaviour.
For example, while designing some program (a game...) I defined a type class
> class (Monad io) => CommandIO io where
> readCommand :: io Command
> writeResult :: CommandResult -> io ()
Then I defined in a module Commands.IO :
> instance CommandIO IO where
> readCommand = do input <- getLine
> writeResult r = putStrLn $ show r
and for the purpose of testing I defined in some test module:
> instance CommandIO (S.State ([Command],[CommandResult])) where
> readCommand = do ((c:cs),rs) <- S.get
> writeResult r = do (cs,rs) <- S.get
Is this badly designed code that tries to mimic OO in a functional setting?
If the answer is yes, how could I achieve same result (eg. testing the code
that does command REPL) without defining type classes?
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