# Hask

### From HaskellWiki

(Add a section on limits failing to match up with Haskell datatypes) |
m (→The seq problem: Format) |

## Revision as of 18:31, 7 February 2011

**Hask** is the name usually given to the category having Haskell types as objects and Haskell functions between them as morphisms.

A type-constructor that is an instance of the Functor class is an endofunctor on Hask.

A solution approach to the issue of partiality making many of the identities required by categorical constructions not literally true in Haskell:

## 1 The seq problem

The right identity law fails in**Hask**if we distinguish values which can be distinguished by

* Exception: Prelude.undefined

()

## 2 The limits problem

Even in the absence of seq, bottoms cause datatypes to not actually be instances of the expected categorical constructions. For instance, using some intuition from the category of sets, one might expect the following:

data Void -- no elements ; initial object data () = () -- terminal object data (a, b) = (a, b) -- product data Either a b = Left a | Right b -- coproduct

However, Void actually does contain an element, bottom, so for each `x :: T`

, `const x`

is a different function `Void -> T`

, meaning `Void`

isn't initial (it's actually terminal).

Similarly, `const undefined`

and `const ()`

are two distinct functions into `()`

. Consider:

t :: () -> Int t () = 5 t . const () = \x -> 5 t . const undefined = \x -> undefined

So, () is not terminal.

Similar issues occur with (co)products. Categorically:

\p -> (fst p, snd p) = id \s -> case s of Left x -> p (Left x) ; Right y -> p (Right y) = p

but in Haskell

id undefined = undefined /= (undefined, undefined) = (fst undefined, snd undefined) const 5 undefined = 5 /= undefined = case undefined of Left x -> const 5 (Left x) Right y -> const 5 (Right y)

*This article is a stub. You can help by expanding it.*