[Camllist] Odd Type Checking Problem
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Date:  20020208 (01:33) 
From:  Jacques Garrigue <garrigue@k...> 
Subject:  Re: [Camllist] Type variables (was: Odd Type Checking Problem) 
From: Markus Mottl <markus@oefai.at> > On Thu, 07 Feb 2002, Alain Frisch wrote: > > Actually, I feel myself somewhat confused with implicit introduction and > > scoping of type variables. > > > > These one are refused: > > > > let f (x : 'a) = let module M = struct exception X of 'a end in ();; > > let f (x : 'a) = let module M = struct type t = 'a end in ();; > [snip] > > Is there a way to use a type variable such as the 'a above to define > > types in a local structure ? > > This issue has already popped up in the past. See, for example: > > http://caml.inria.fr/archives/200107/msg00223.html > > There is unfortunately no way (yet) to use type variables in the way > shown above. When there is a type variable in a type definition, the type > checker will look for a binding at the level of the type definition, > not any further (I hope this explanation comes close to what is really > happening). This is actually worse than that: the interaction between let module and type annotations in an expression is not well defined. Here is an example of that: # let f x (y : 'a) = (x : 'a);; val f : 'a > 'a > 'a = <fun> # let f x (y : 'a) = let module M = struct let z = 1 end in (x : 'a);; val f : 'a > 'b > 'a = <fun> Basically, what happens is that you forget all type annotations everytime you type anything inside a module. So what you believed to be a related use of 'a is actually a completely different type variable. This should probably be corrected: at least restore original binding of type variables when exiting a module. > Are there any plans to lift this restriction? This would e.g. allow using > polymorphic types in functor arguments that expect monomorphic instances, > because the free variable could be bound in an outer scope. For instance, > one could create "polymorphic" sets of elements with the already existing > Setimplementation. Interesting point. It looks like it could work locally. Notice however that you wouldn't be able to to return such a set from the scope of the let module. So basically you've not not earned a lot: just the capacity to hide the fact you're calling a functor inside your function. Currently you would have to make your function into a functor. Jacques Garrigue  Bug reports: http://caml.inria.fr/bin/camlbugs FAQ: http://caml.inria.fr/FAQ/ To unsubscribe, mail camllistrequest@inria.fr Archives: http://caml.inria.fr