Partibles for composing monads
Having praised monads to the hilt, let me level one criticism. Monads tend to be
an all-or-nothing proposition. If you discover that you need interaction deep within
your program, you must rewrite that segment to use a monad. If you discover
that you need two sorts of interaction, you tend to make a single monad support
both sorts. It seems to me that instead we should be able to move smoothly from
no monads (no interactions) to one monad (a single form of interaction) to many
monads (several independent forms of interactions). How to achieve this remains a
challenge for the future.
- How to Declare an Imperative, Philip Wadler.
Some sample definitions:
class Partible a where part :: a -> (a, a) parts :: a -> [a] -- Minimal complete definition: part or parts part u = case parts u of u1:u2:_ -> (u1, u2) parts u = case part u of (u1, u2) -> u1 : parts u2 instance Partible a => Monad ((->) a) where return x = \ u -> part u `seq` x m >>= k = \ u -> case part u of (u1, u2) -> (\ x -> x `seq` k x u2) (m u1) m >> w = \ u -> case part u of (u1, u2) -> m u1 `seq` w u2 fail s = \ u -> part u `seq` error s data OI -- abstract primPartOI :: OI -> (OI, OI) -- primitive -- type IO a = OI -> a instance Partible OI where part = primPartOI -- more primitives primGetChar :: OI -> Char primPutChar :: Char -> OI -> () -- copy 'n' paste from Wadler's paper type Dialogue = [Response] -> [Request] data Request = Getq | Putq Char data Response = Getp Char | Putp respond :: Request -> OI -> Response respond Getq = primGetChar >>= return . Getp respond (Putq c) = primPutChar c >> return Putp runDialogue :: Dialogue -> OI -> () runDialogue d = \ u -> foldr seq () (yet (\ l -> zipWith respond (d l) (parts u))) instance Partible a => MonadFix ((->) a) where mfix m = \ u -> yet (\ x -> m x u) -- to be made into an abstract data type... data Fresh a = Fresh (OI -> a) OI afresh :: (OI -> a) -> OI -> Fresh a afresh g u = Fresh g u instance Partible (Fresh a) where parts (Fresh g u) = [ Fresh g v | v <- parts u ] fresh :: Fresh a -> [a] fresh (Fresh g u) = [ g v | v <- parts u ] instance Functor Fresh where fmap f (Fresh g u) = Fresh (f . g) u -- another primitive primGensym :: OI -> Int supplyInts :: OI -> Fresh Int supplyInts = \ u -> afresh primGensym u -- another abstract data type data Throw e curb :: (Throw e -> a) -> (e -> OI -> a) -> OI -> a catch :: (Throw e -> a) -> (e -> Throw e -> a) -> Throw e -> a throw :: e -> Throw e -> a partThrow :: Throw e -> (Throw e, Throw e) instance Partible (Throw e) where part = partThrow instance (Partible a, Partible b) => Partible (a, b) where parts (u, v) = zipWith (,) (parts u) (parts v) instance (Partible a, Partible b) => Partible (Either a b) where parts (Left u) = map Left (parts u) parts (Right v) = map Right (parts v) data Some a = Only a | More a (Some a) instance Partible a => Partible (Some a) where parts (Only u) = map Only (parts u) parts (More u us) = zipWith More (parts u) (parts us) type M1 a = (Fresh Int, OI) -> a type M2 a = Either (Fresh a) OI -> a type M3 a = Some (Either (Fresh Char) (Fresh Int)) -> a type M4 a = (Throw IOException, Some (Either Float OI)) -> a -- ...whatever suits the purpose class (Monad m1, Monad m2) => MonadCommute m1 m2 where mcommute :: m1 (m2 a) -> m2 (m1 a) instance (Partible a, Partible b) => MonadCommute ((->) a) ((->) b) where mcommute m = \ v u -> m u v
So what qualifies as being partible?
A partible value can be used only once to generate new values that can be used for the same purpose. Think of a very large sheet of paper - new sheets can be made from it, other sheets can be made from those, etc, with the original sheet no longer in existence. Unlike paper sheets, partible values are intended to have no limits e.g. the result of applying
If its violation causes a runtime error, the use-once property of partible values can help to maintain referential transparency in the effectful segments of a program; using another example from Wadler's paper minimally rewritten in Haskell syntax using
\ u -> let x = (primPutChar 'h' u `seq` primPutChar 'a' u) in x `seq` x
would trigger the error; the working version being:
let x = (\ v -> case part v of (v1, v2) -> primPutChar 'h' v1 `seq` primPutChar 'a' v2) in \ u -> case part u of (u1, u2) -> x u1 `seq` x u2
...rather tedious, if it weren't for Haskell's standard monadic methods:
let x = primPutChar 'h' >> primPutChar 'a' in x >> x
Higher-order functions allows the manipulation of control e.g.
Prelude.until in Haskell. As the definition of
runDialogue shows, monadic types with visible definitions based on types of partible values may also allow the manipulation of control in ways beyond what the standard monadic methods provide.
Other references and articles:
- An alternative approach to I/O, Maarten Fokkinga and Jan Kuper.
- Functional Pearl: On generating unique names, Lennart Augustsson, Mikael Rittri and Dan Synek.
- Reflections on leaving Haskell, Alson Kemp.
- Haskell Sucks!, Paul Bone.
- Non-Imperative Functional Programming, Nobuo Yamashita.
- Witnessing Side Effects, Tachio Terauchi and Alex Aiken.
- Assignments for Applicative Languages, Vipin Swarup, Uday S. Reddy and Evan Ireland.
- Lambda Calculus For Engineers, Pieter H. Hartel and Willem G. Vree.
- Call-by-Need Is Clairvoyant Call-by-Value, Jennifer Hackett and Graham Hutton.
- MTL style for free, Tom Ellis.
- On Zero-Side-Effect Interactive Programming, Actors, and FSMs, Sergey Ignatchenko.
- Functional I/O Using System Tokens, Lennart Augustsson.
- I/O Trees and Interactive Lazy Functional Programming, Samuel A. Rebelsky.
- Arborescent data structures and lazy evaluation: A new approach to numerical problems, Manuel Carcenac.
Thank you to those who commented on early drafts of this document.
Atravers 04:31, 10 April 2018 (UTC)