# Difference between revisions of "Existential type"

From HaskellWiki

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data Shape = forall a. Shape_ a => Shape a |
data Shape = forall a. Shape_ a => Shape a |
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type Radius = Double |
type Radius = Double |
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type Side = Double |
type Side = Double |
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data Circle = Circle Radius |
data Circle = Circle Radius |
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data Rectangle = Rectangle Side Side |
data Rectangle = Rectangle Side Side |
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data Square = Square Side |
data Square = Square Side |
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instance Shape_ Circle where |
instance Shape_ Circle where |

## Revision as of 05:41, 22 February 2006

Existential types in conjunction with type classes can be used to emulate the dynamic dispatch mechanism of object oriented programming languages. To illustrate this concept I show how a classic example from object oriented programming can be encoded in Haskell.

class Shape_ a where perimeter :: a -> Double area :: a -> Double data Shape = forall a. Shape_ a => Shape a type Radius = Double type Side = Double data Circle = Circle Radius data Rectangle = Rectangle Side Side data Square = Square Side instance Shape_ Circle where perimeter (Circle r) = 2 * pi * r area (Circle r) = pi * r * r instance Shape_ Rectangle where perimeter (Rectangle x y) = 2*(x + y) area (Rectangle x y) = x * y instance Shape_ Square where perimeter (Square s) = 4*s area (Square s) = s*s instance Shape_ Shape where perimeter (Shape shape) = perimeter shape area (Shape shape) = area shape -- -- Smart constructors -- circle :: Radius -> Shape circle r = Shape (Circle r) rectangle :: Side -> Side -> Shape rectangle x y = Shape (Rectangle x y) square :: Side -> Shape square s = Shape (Square s) shapes :: [Shape] shapes = [circle 2.4, rectangle 3.1 4.4, square 2.1]