n-ary-functor: An n-ary version of Functor

[ data, library, public-domain ] [ Propose Tags ]

A single typeclass for Functor, Bifunctor, Profunctor, etc.


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Versions [faq] 0.1.0.0, 1.0
Change log CHANGELOG.md
Dependencies base (>=4.9 && <5), natural-transformation (>=0.4), transformers [details]
License LicenseRef-PublicDomain
Author Samuel Gélineau
Maintainer gelisam+github@gmail.com
Category Data
Home page https://github.com/gelisam/n-ary-functor
Source repo head: git clone https://github.com/gelisam/n-ary-functor
this: git clone https://github.com/gelisam/n-ary-functor(tag v1.0)
Uploaded by gelisam at 2020-01-25T22:16:44Z
Distributions NixOS:1.0
Downloads 1014 total (15 in the last 30 days)
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Readme for n-ary-functor-1.0

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N-ary Functors Hackage Build Status

Using existing instances

Functor and Bifunctor are both in base, but what about Trifunctor? Quadrifunctor? There must be a better solution than creating an infinite tower of typeclasses. Here's the API I managed to implement:

> nmap <#> (+1) <#> (+2) $ (0, 0)
(1,2)

> nmap <#> (+1) <#> (+2) <#> (+3) $ (0, 0, 0)
(1,2,3)

> nmap <#> (+1) <#> (+2) <#> (+3) <#> (+4) $ (0, 0, 0, 0)
(1,2,3,4)

What about Contravariant and Profunctor? No need to define Bicontravariant nor Noobfunctor, the NFunctor typeclass supports contravariant type-parameters too!

> let intToInt       =                            succ
> let intToString    = nmap            <#> show $ succ
> let stringToString = nmap >#< length <#> show $ succ
> intToInt 3
4
> intToString 3
"4"
> stringToString "foo"
"4"

As the examples above demonstrate, n-ary-functor has an equivalent for both the Functor ((->) a) instance and the Profunctor (->) instance. Even better: when writing your own instance, you only need to define an NFunctor (->) instance, and the NFunctor ((->) a) instance will be derived for you. NFunctor ((->) a b) too, but that's less useful since that nmap is just the identity function.

That's not all! Consider a type like StateT s m a. The last type parameter is covariant, but what about the first two? Well, s -> m (a, s) has both positive and negative occurences of s, so you need both an s -> t and a t -> s function in order to turn a StateT s m a into a StateT t m a. And what about m? You need a natural transformation forall a. m a -> n a. Yes, n-ary-functor supports these too!

> let stateIntIdentityInt    = ((`div` 2) <$> get) >>= lift . Identity
> let stateStringMaybeString = nmap
                       <#>/>#< (flip replicate '.', length)  -- (s -> t, t -> s)
                          <##> NT (Just . runIdentity)       -- NT (forall a. m a -> n a)
                           <#> show                          -- a -> b
                             $ stateIntIdentityInt
> runStateT stateIntIdentityInt 4
Identity (2,4)
> runStateT stateStringMaybeString "four"
Just ("2","....")

Notice how even in such a complicated case, no type annotations are needed, as n-ary-functor is written with type inference in mind.

Defining your own instance

When defining an instance of NFunctor, you need to specify the variance of every type parameter using a "variance stack" ending with (->). Here is the instance for (,,), whose three type parameters are covariant:

instance NFunctor (,,) where
  type VarianceStack (,,) = CovariantT (CovariantT (CovariantT (->)))
  nmap = CovariantT $ \f1
      -> CovariantT $ \f2
      -> CovariantT $ \f3
      -> \(x1,x2,x3)
      -> (f1 x1, f2 x2, f3 x3)

Its nmap then receives 3 functions, which it applies to the 3 components of the 3-tuple.

Here is a more complicated instance, that of StateT:

instance NFunctor StateT where
  type VarianceStack StateT = InvariantT (Covariant1T (CovariantT (->)))
  nmap = InvariantT  $ \(f1, f1')
      -> Covariant1T $ \f2
      -> CovariantT  $ \f3
      -> \body
      -> StateT $ \s'
      -> fmap (f3 *** f1) $ unwrapNT f2 $ runStateT body $ f1' s'

The s type parameter is "invariant", a standard but confusing name which does not mean that the parameter cannot vary, but rather that we need both an s -> t and a t -> s. The m parameter is covariant, but for a type parameter of kind * -> *, so we follow the convention and add a 1 to the name of the variance transformer, hence Covariant1T.

Defining your own variance transformer

We've seen plenty of strange variances already and n-ary-functor provides stranger ones still (can you guess what the 👻#👻 operator does?), but if your type parameters vary in an even more unusual way, you can define your own variance transformer. Here's what the definition of CovariantT looks like:

newtype CovariantT to f g = CovariantT
  { (<#>) :: forall a b
           . (a -> b)
          -> f a `to` g b
  }

One thing which is unusual in that newtype definition is that instead of naming the eliminator unCovariantT, we give it the infix name (<#>). See this blog post for more details on that aspect.

Let's look at the type wrapped by the newtype. to is the rest of the variance stack, so in the simplest case, to is just (->), in which case the wrapped type is (a -> b) -> f a -> g b, which is really close to the type of fmap. The reason we produce a g b instead of an f b is because previous type parameters might already be mapped; for example, in nmap <#> show <#> show $ (0, 0), the overall transformation has type (,) Int Int -> (,) String String, so from the point of view of the second (<#>), f is (,) Int and g is (,) String.

One last thing is that variance transformers must implement the VarianceTransformer typeclass. It simply ensures that there exists a neutral argument, in this case id, which doesn't change the type parameter at all.

instance VarianceTransformer CovariantT a where
  t -#- () = t <#> id

Flavor example

A concrete situation in which you'd want to define your own variance transformer is if you have a DataKind type parameter which corresponds to a number of other types via type families.

import qualified Data.ByteString      as Strict
import qualified Data.ByteString.Lazy as Lazy
import qualified Data.Text            as Strict
import qualified Data.Text.Lazy       as Lazy

data Flavor
  = Strict
  | Lazy

type family ByteString (flavor :: Flavor) :: * where
  ByteString 'Lazy   = Lazy.ByteString
  ByteString 'Strict = Strict.ByteString

type family Text (flavor :: Flavor) :: * where
  Text 'Lazy   = Lazy.Text
  Text 'Strict = Strict.Text

data File (flavor :: Flavor) = File
  { name     :: Text flavor
  , size     :: Int
  , contents :: ByteString flavor
  }

In order to convert a File 'Lazy to a File 'Strict, we need to map both the underlying Text 'Lazy to a Text 'Strict and the underlying ByteString 'Lazy to a ByteString 'Strict. So those are exactly the two functions our custom variance transformer will ask for:

newtype FlavorvariantT to f g = FlavorvariantT
  { (😋#😋) :: forall flavor1 flavor2
           . ( ByteString flavor1 -> ByteString flavor2
             , Text       flavor1 -> Text       flavor2
             )
          -> f flavor1 `to` g flavor2
  }

instance VarianceTransformer FlavorvariantT a where
  t -#- () = t 😋#😋 (id, id)

We can now implement our NFunctor File instance by specifying that its flavor type parameter is flavorvariant.

instance NFunctor File where
  type VarianceStack File = FlavorvariantT (->)
  nmap = FlavorvariantT $ \(f, g)
      -> \(File n s c)
      -> File (g n) s (f c)