# GHC/Kinds

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## Revision as of 16:28, 28 November 2011

Kinds (this is not the definitive name) will be a language extension adding a kind level and some kind polymorphic support to Haskell.

## 1 What does this extension do?

Haskell defines kinds as `κ ::= * | κ -> κ`

. Nowadays, programmers use type-level computation more often using GADTs and type families. The need of a well-kinded type-level computation has become bigger. This extension provides a simple mechanism called *promotion* to populate the kind level.

Each time the user defines a *promotable* data type at the term level, he will be able to use it at the type level too. For instance, the user can write the following example:

data Nat = Zero | Succ Nat data Vector :: * -> Nat -> * where VNil :: Vector a Zero VCons :: a -> Vector a n -> Vector a (Succ n) data List a = Nil | Cons a (List a) data HList :: List * -> * where HNil :: HList Nil HCons :: a -> HList as -> HList (Cons a as)

## 2 How do I use it?

Simply build GHC HEAD.

## 3 Which data types are promotable?

A data type is promotable if its type constructor and data constructors are. A type constructor is promotable if it is of the form* -> .. * -> *

A simple way to decide if your data type is promotable is to see if you can write without the where-clause like this:

data T (a::*) (b::*) (c::*) = A a | B Int b | C (Either a c) [b]