# Contstuff

### From HaskellWiki

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=== ContT === | === ContT === | ||

− | The | + | The ''ContT'' monad transformer is the simplest of all CPS-based monads. It essentially gives you access to the current continuation, which means that it lets you label certain points of execution and reuse these points later in interesting ways. With ''ContT'' you get an elegant encoding of computations, which support: |

* abortion (premature termination), | * abortion (premature termination), | ||

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* etc. | * etc. | ||

− | All these features are effects of | + | All these features are effects of ''ContT''. If you don't use them, then ''ContT'' behaves like the identity monad. A computation of type <hask>ContT r m a</hask> is a CPS computation with an intermediate result of type <hask>a</hask> and a final result of type <hask>r</hask>. The <hask>r</hask> type can be polymorphic most of the time. You only need to specify it, if you use some of the CPS effects like <hask>abort</hask>. |

− | To run a | + | To run a ''ContT'' computation you can use <hask>runContT</hask> or the convenience function <hask>evalContT</hask>: |

<haskell> | <haskell> | ||

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</haskell> | </haskell> | ||

− | This example demonstrates the most basic feature of | + | This example demonstrates the most basic feature of ''ContT''. First of all, ''ContT'' is a monad transformer, so you can for example lift ''IO'' actions to a CPS computation. The <hask>io</hask> function is a handy tool, which corresponds to <hask>liftIO</hask> from other transformer libraries and to <hask>inBase</hask> from [[monadLib]], but is restricted to the ''IO'' monad. You can also use the more generic <hask>base</hask> function, which promotes a base monad computation to ''ContT''. |

− | Each | + | Each ''ContT'' subcomputation receives a continuation, which is a function, to which the subcomputation is supposed to pass the result. However, the subcomputation may choose not to call the continuation at all, in which case the entire computation finishes with a final result. The <hask>abort</hask> function does that. |

=== Resumption and branches === | === Resumption and branches === | ||

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The <hask>labelCC</hask> function establishes a label to jump to by capturing its own continuation. It returns both its argument and a label. The <hask>goto</hask> function takes a label and a new argument. The effect is jumping to the corresponding label, but returning the new argument. So when <hask>labelCC</hask> is reached the <hask>i</hask> variable becomes 0. Later <hask>goto</hask> jumps back to the same point, but gives <hask>i</hask> a new value 1, as if <hask>labelCC</hask> were originally called with 1 as the argument. | The <hask>labelCC</hask> function establishes a label to jump to by capturing its own continuation. It returns both its argument and a label. The <hask>goto</hask> function takes a label and a new argument. The effect is jumping to the corresponding label, but returning the new argument. So when <hask>labelCC</hask> is reached the <hask>i</hask> variable becomes 0. Later <hask>goto</hask> jumps back to the same point, but gives <hask>i</hask> a new value 1, as if <hask>labelCC</hask> were originally called with 1 as the argument. | ||

− | Labels are first class values in contstuff. This means you can carry them around. They are only limited in that they can't be carried outside of a | + | Labels are first class values in ''contstuff''. This means you can carry them around. They are only limited in that they can't be carried outside of a ''ContT'' computation. |

=== Lifting === | === Lifting === | ||

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</haskell> | </haskell> | ||

− | The <hask>lift</hask> function promotes a computation of the underlying monad. The <hask>base</hask> function promotes a computation of the base monad. It is a generalization of <hask>liftIO</hask> from other monad transformer libraries. Finally there is <hask>io</hask>, which is simply an alias for <hask>base</hask>, but restricted to | + | The <hask>lift</hask> function promotes a computation of the underlying monad. The <hask>base</hask> function promotes a computation of the base monad. It is a generalization of <hask>liftIO</hask> from other monad transformer libraries. Finally there is <hask>io</hask>, which is simply an alias for <hask>base</hask>, but restricted to ''IO''. |

=== Accumulating results === | === Accumulating results === | ||

− | + | ''ContT'' does not require the underlying functor to be a monad. Whenever the underlying functor is an <hask>Alternative</hask> functor, there is support for accumulating results using the <hask>(<|>)</hask> combinator. In other words, if <hask>m</hask> is an <hask>Alternative</hask>, then <hask>ContT r m</hask> is, too. Here is an example: | |

<haskell> | <haskell> |

## Revision as of 00:50, 30 September 2010

## Contents |

## 1 Introduction

The contstuff library implements a number of monad transformers and monads, which make heavy use of continuation passing style (CPS). This makes them both fast and flexible. Please note that this is neither a CPS tutorial nor a monad transformer tutorial. You should understand these concepts, before attempting to use *contstuff*.

## 2 Basics

### 2.1 ContT

The *ContT* monad transformer is the simplest of all CPS-based monads. It essentially gives you access to the current continuation, which means that it lets you label certain points of execution and reuse these points later in interesting ways. With *ContT* you get an elegant encoding of computations, which support:

- abortion (premature termination),
- resumption (start a computation at a certain spot),
- branches (aka
*goto*), - result accumulation,
- etc.

*ContT*. If you don't use them, then

*ContT*behaves like the identity monad. A computation of type

*ContT*computation you can use

runContT :: (a -> m r) -> ContT r m a -> m r evalContT :: Applicative m => ContT r m r -> m r

### 2.2 Abortion

Let's have a look at a small example:

testComp1 :: ContT () IO () testComp1 = forever $ do txt <- io getLine case txt of "info" -> io $ putStrLn "This is a test computation." "quit" -> abort () _ -> return ()

*ContT*. First of all,

*ContT*is a monad transformer, so you can for example lift

*IO*actions to a CPS computation. The

*IO*monad. You can also use the more generic

*ContT*. Each

*ContT*subcomputation receives a continuation, which is a function, to which the subcomputation is supposed to pass the result. However, the subcomputation may choose not to call the continuation at all, in which case the entire computation finishes with a final result. The

### 2.3 Resumption and branches

You can capture the current continuation using the commonlabelCC :: a -> ContT r m (a, Label (ContT r m) a) goto :: Label (ContT r m) a -> a -> ContT r m b

These slightly complicated looking functions are actually very simple to use:

testComp2 :: ContT r IO () testComp2 = do (i, again) <- labelCC 0 io (print i) when (i < 10) $ goto again (i+1) io (putStrLn $ "Final result: " ++ show i)

Labels are first class values in *contstuff*. This means you can carry them around. They are only limited in that they can't be carried outside of a *ContT* computation.

### 2.4 Lifting

As noted earlier there are three lifting functions, which you can use to access monads in lower layers of the transformer stack:

lift :: (Transformer t, Monad m) => m a -> t m a base :: (LiftBase m a) => Base m a -> m a io :: (Base m a ~ IO a, LiftBase m a) => Base m a -> m a

*IO*.

### 2.5 Accumulating results

*ContT*does not require the underlying functor to be a monad. Whenever the underlying functor is an

testComp3 :: Num a => ContT r [] (a, a) testComp3 = do x <- pure 10 <|> pure 20 y <- pure (x+1) <|> pure (x-1) return (x, y)

*contstuff*library implements a convenience function

listA :: (Alternative f) => [a] -> f a

testComp3' :: Num a => ContT r [] (a, a) testComp3' = do x <- listA [10, 20] y <- listA [x+1, x-1] return (x, y)

testComp4 :: Num a => ContT (a, a) [] (a, a) testComp4 = do x <- listA [10, 20] when (x == 10) (abort (10, 10)) y <- listA [x+1, x-1] return (x, y)