# Multiplate

## Making a Multiplate instance

The easiest way to understand how to use Multiplate is to look at a simple example.

> import Data.Generics.Multiplate

Suppose you defined the follow set of mutually recursive data types for a simple language.

> data Expr = Con Int > | Add Expr Expr > | Mul Expr Expr > | EVar Var > | Let Decl Expr > deriving (Eq, Show) > > data Decl = Var := Expr > | Seq Decl Decl > deriving (Eq, Show) > > type Var = String

The first thing we are going to define is a 'plate' for this language.

> data Plate f = Plate > { expr :: Expr -> f Expr > , decl :: Decl -> f Decl > }

A plate is a record type that is parametrized by a functor `f`

. There is one field for each type in the mutually recursive structure we want to write generic functions for. Each field has type `A -> f A`

where `A`

is one of the data types.

To use the Multiplate library we have to make `Plate`

and instance of the `Multiplate`

class. The instance requires that we write two functions: `multiplate`

and `mkPlate`

. Let's define each of these functions in turn.

> instance Multiplate Plate where

We have to write one piece of boilerplate code for `multiplate`

. However, once this is implemented, no further boilerplate code need be written.
`multiplate`

takes a `Plate`

as a parameter. The idea is that for each expression in our language we will call this a function from this `Plate`

parameter on the children of our expression and then combine the results.

> multiplate plate = Plate buildExpr buildDecl > where > buildExpr (Add e1 e2) = Add <$> expr plate e1 <*> expr plate e2 > buildExpr (Mul e1 e2) = Mul <$> expr plate e1 <*> expr plate e2 > buildExpr (Let d e) = Let <$> decl plate d <*> expr plate e > buildExpr e = pure e > buildDecl (v := e) = (:=) <$> pure v <*> expr plate e > buildDecl (Seq d1 d2) = Seq <$> decl plate d1 <*> decl plate d2

Notice that when an expression has no children, as in the case of `v`

in `v := e`

, we simply use `pure v`

.
`pure`

is used to handle the default case in `buildExpr`

, also have no subexpressions.

Next we have to define `mkPlate`

. `mkPlate`

is a function that builds a `Plate`

given a generic builder function that produces values of type `a -> f a`

. However these generic builder functions require a bit of help. The need to know what the projection function for the field that they are building is, so we pass that as a parameter to them.

> mkPlate build = Plate (build expr) (build decl)

That's it. Now we are ready to use out generic library to process our mutually recursive data structure without using any more boilerplate

## Generic Programing with Multiplate

Coming Soon.