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Date: -- (:)
From: Jon Harrop <jon@j...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] 'a Set?
On Tuesday 25 January 2005 23:54, Mike Hamburg wrote:
> Is there a clean way to do this without removing the code from set.ml
> and modifying it?

I do not believe so. I have also had to do this.

Compared to a flat set of functions, the functor approach has the advantage of 
enforcing a consistently used compare function. The same effect can be 
achieved with "elt = 'a" by writing a higher-order function which returns a 
record containing the Set.* functions using the given function argument as 
the compare function. Something equivalent to this:

  type 'a t = 'a list
  type 'a set =
    { empty : 'a t;
      is_empty : 'a t -> bool;
      add : 'a -> 'a t -> 'a t;
      mem : 'a -> 'a t -> bool }

  let rec add compare e = function
    [] -> [e]
  | h :: t -> match compare h e with
      -1 -> e :: h :: t
    | 0 -> e :: t
    | _ -> h :: add compare e t
  let rec mem compare e = function
    [] -> false
  | h :: t -> match compare h e with
      -1 -> false
    | 0 -> true
    | _ -> mem compare e t

  let make ?(compare=compare) () =
    { empty = [];
      is_empty = (fun s -> s=[]);
      add = add compare;
      mem = mem compare }

Possible issues with this are that building closures (i.e. in "make") is 
expensive and that the resulting type is monomorphic ('_a). You can probably 
get a polymorphic type most easily by putting the definitions of "add" etc. 
in the record definition, rather than partially applying their arguments.

Cheers,
Jon.