# Extensible effects ()

*Implement effectful computations in a modular way!*

The main monad of this package is `Eff`

from `Control.Eff`

.
`Eff r a`

is parameterized by the effect-list `r`

and the monadic-result type
`a`

similar to other monads.
It is the intention that all other monadic computations can be replaced by the
use of `Eff`

.

In case you know monad transformers or `mtl`

:
This library provides only one monad that includes all your effects instead of
layering different transformers.
It is not necessary to lift the computations through a monad stack.
Also, it is not required to lift every `Monad*`

typeclass (like `MonadError`

)
though all transformers.

## Quickstart

To experiment with this library, it is suggested to write some lines within
`ghci`

.

Recommended Procedure:

- get
`extensible-effects`

by doing one of the following:
- add
`extensible-effects`

as a dependency to a existing cabal or stack project
`git clone https://github.com/suhailshergill/extensible-effects.git`

- start
`stack ghci`

or `cabal repl`

inside the project
- import
`Control.Eff`

and `Control.Eff.QuickStart`

- start with the examples provided in the documentation of the
`Control.Eff.QuickStart`

module

## Tour through Extensible Effects

This section explains the basic concepts of this library.

### The Effect List

```
import Control.Eff
```

The effect list `r`

in the type `Eff r a`

is a central concept in this library.
It is a type-level list containing effect types.

If `r`

is the empty list, then the computation `Eff r`

(or `Eff '[]`

) does not
contain any effects to be handled and therefore is a pure computation.
In this case, the result value can be retrieved by `run :: Eff '[] a -> a`

For programming within the `Eff r`

monad, it is almost never necessary to list
all effects that can appear.
It suffices to state what types of effects are at least required.
This is done via the `Member t r`

typeclass. It describes that the type `t`

occurs inside the list `r`

.
If you really want, you can still list all Effects and their order in which
they are used (e.g. `Eff '[Reader r, State s] a`

).

### Handling Effects

Functions containing something like `Eff (x ': r) a -> Eff r a`

handle effects.

The transition from the longer list of effects `(x ': r)`

to just `r`

is a type-level indicator that the effect `x`

has been handled.
Depending on the effect, some additional input might be required or some
different output than just `a`

is produced.

The handler functions typically are called `run*`

, `eval*`

or `exec*`

.

### Most common Effects

The most common effects used are `Writer`

, `Reader`

, `Exception`

and `State`

.

`Writer`

, `Reader`

and `State`

all provide lazy and strict variants. Each has
its own module that exposes a common interface. Importing one or the other
controls whether the effect is strict or lazy in its inputs and outputs. It's
recommended that you use the lazy variants by default unless you know you need
strictness.

In this section, only the core functions associated with an effect are
presented.
Have a look at the modules for additional details.

#### The Exception Effect

```
import Control.Eff.Exception
```

The exception effect adds the possibility to exit a computation preemptively
with an exception.
Note that the exceptions from this library are handled by the programmer and
have nothing to do with exceptions thrown inside the Haskell run-time.

```
throwError :: Member (Exc e) r => e -> Eff r a
runError :: Eff (Exc e ': r) a -> Eff r (Either e a)
```

An exception can be thrown using the `throwError`

function.
Its return type is `Eff r a`

with an arbitrary type `a`

.
When handling the effect, the result-type changes to `Either e a`

instead of
just `a`

.
This indicates how the effect is handled: The returned value is either the
thrown exception or the value returned from a successful computation.

#### The State Effect

```
import Control.Eff.State.{Lazy | Strict}
```

The state effect provides readable and writable state during a computation.

```
get :: Member (State s) r => Eff r s
put :: Member (State s) r => s -> Eff r ()
modify :: Member (State s) r => (s -> s) -> Eff r ()
runState :: s -> Eff (State s ': r) a -> Eff r (a, s)
```

The `get`

function fetches the current state and makes it available within
subsequent computation. The `put`

function sets the state to a given value.
`modify`

updates the state using a mapping function by combining `get`

and
`put`

.

The state-effect is handled using the `runState`

function.
It takes the initial state as an argument and returns the final state and
effect-result.

#### The Reader Effect

```
import Control.Eff.Reader.{Strict | Lazy}
```

The reader effect provides an environment that can be read.
Sometimes it is considered as read-only state.

```
ask :: Member (Reader e) r => e -> Eff r e
runReader :: e -> Eff (Reader e ': r) a -> Eff r a
```

`ask`

can be used to retrieve the environment provided to `runReader`

from
within a computation which has the `Reader`

effect.

#### The Writer Effect

```
import Control.Eff.Writer.{Strict | Lazy}
```

The writer effect allows one to collect messages during a computation.
It is sometimes referred to as write-only state, which gets retrieved at the
end of the computation.

```
tell :: Member (Writer w) r => w -> Eff r ()
runWriter :: (w -> b -> b) -> b -> Eff (Writer w ': r) a -> Eff r (a, b)
runListWriter :: Eff (Writer w ': r) a -> Eff r (a, [w])
```

Running a writer can be done in several ways.
The most general function is `runWriter`

which folds over all written values.
However, if you only want to collect the values written, the `runListWriter`

function does that.

Note that compared to mtl, the value written has no Monoid constraint on it and
can be collected in any way.

### Using multiple Effects

The main benefit of this library is that multiple effects can be included
with ease.

If you need state and want to be able exit the computation with an exception,
the type of your effectful computation would be the one of `myComp`

below.
Then, both the state and exception effect-functions can be used.
To handle the effects, both the `runState`

and `runError`

functions have to be
provided.

```
myComp :: (Member (Exc e) r, Member (State s) r) => Eff r a
run1 :: (Either e a, s)
run1 = run . runState initalState . runError $ myComp
run2 :: Either e (a, s)
run2 = run . runError . runState initalState $ myComp
```

However, the order of the handlers does matter for the final result.
`run1`

and `run2`

show different executions of the same effectful computation.
In `run1`

, the returned state `s`

is the last state seen before an eventual
exception gets thrown (similar to the semantics in typical imperative
languages), while in `run2`

the final state is returned only if the whole
computation succeeded - transaction style.

### Tips and tricks

There are several constructs that make it easier to work with the effects.

If only a part of the result is necessary for further computation, have a
look at the `eval*`

and `exec*`

functions which exist for some effects.
The `exec*`

functions discard the result of the computation (the `a`

type).
The `eval*`

functions discard the final result of the effect.

Instead of writing
`(Member (Exc e) r, Member (State s) r) => ...`

it is
possible to use the type operator `<::`

and write
`[ Exc e, State s ] <:: r => ...`

, which has the same meaning.

It might be convenient to include the necessary language extensions and disable
class-constraint warnings in your project's `.cabal`

file (or `package.yaml`

if
you're using `stack`

).

*Explanation is a work in progress.*

## Other Effects

*Work in progress.*

## Integration with IO

`IO`

or any other monad can be used as a base type for the `Lift`

effect.
There may be at most one instance of the `Lift`

effect in the effects list, and it
must be handled last. `Control.Eff.Lift`

exports the `runLift`

handler and
`lift`

function which provide the ability to run arbitrary monadic actions.
Also, there are convenient type aliases that allow for shorter type constraints.

```
f :: IO ()
f = runLift $ do printHello
printWorld
-- These two functions' types are equivalent.
printHello :: SetMember Lift (Lift IO) r => Eff r ()
printHello = lift (putStr "Hello")
printWorld :: Lifted IO r => Eff r ()
printWorld = lift (putStrLn " world!")
```

Note that, since `Lift`

is a terminal effect, you do not need to use `run`

to
extract pure values. Instead, `runLift`

returns a value wrapped in whatever
monad you chose to use.

Additionally, the `Lift`

effect provides `MonadBase`

, `MonadBaseControl`

, and
`MonadIO`

instances that may be useful, especially with packages like
lifted-base,
lifted-async, and other
code that uses those typeclasses.

## Integration with Monad Transformers

*Work in progress.*

## Writing your own Effects and Handlers

*Work in progress.*

## Other packages

Some other packages may implement various effects. Here is a rather incomplete
list:

## Background

`extensible-effects`

is based on the work of
Extensible Effects: An Alternative to Monad Transformers.
The paper and
the followup freer paper
contain details. Additional explanation behind the approach can be found on Oleg's website.

## Limitations

### Ambiguity-Flexibility tradeoff

The extensibility of `Eff`

comes at the cost of some ambiguity. A useful
pattern to mitigate this ambiguity is to specialize calls to effect handlers
using
type application
or type annotation. Examples of this pattern can be seen in
Example/Test.hs.

Note, however, that the extensibility can also be traded back, but that detracts
from some of the advantages. For details see section 4.1 in the
paper.

Some examples where the cost of extensibility is apparent:

Common functions can't be grouped using typeclasses, e.g. the `ask`

and
`getState`

functions can't be grouped in the case of:

```
class Get t a where
ask :: Member (t a) r => Eff r a
```

`ask`

is inherently ambiguous, since the type signature only provides
a constraint on `t`

, and nothing more. To specify fully, a parameter
involving the type `t`

would need to be added, which would defeat the
point of having the grouping in the first place.

Code requires a greater number of type annotations. For details see
#31.

### Current implementation only supports GHC version 7.8 and above

This is not a fundamental limitation of the design or the approach, but there is
an overhead with making the code compatible across a large number of GHC
versions. If this is needed, patches are welcome :)