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Re: [Caml-list] Infix function composition operator
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Date: -- (:)
From: mark@p...
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Infix function composition operator
Fascinating!  I do use parser combinators myself, and find myself having to
use the eta-expanded form, like you say.  Thanks for that explanation.

Mark.


on 10/11/10 2:20 PM, Jon Harrop <jonathandeanharrop@googlemail.com> wrote:

> In OCaml, the value restriction leads to non-generalized type variables
('_a
> etc.) if you try to define functions like:
>
> # let ( << ) f g x = f(g x);;
> val ( << ) : ('a -> 'b) -> ('c -> 'a) -> 'c -> 'b = <fun>
>
> # let cons h t = h::t;;
> val cons : 'a -> 'a list -> 'a list = <fun>
>
> # cons << cons;;
> - : '_a -> ('_a list -> '_a list) list -> ('_a list -> '_a list) list =
> <fun>
>
> This is a silly example but you are most likely to hit this problem in
> practice in the context of parser combinators. Due to JIT compilation, F#
> cannot relax the value restriction so that does not even compile.
>
> In MLs, you usually want the eta-expanded form:
>
> # let cons2 x = (cons << cons) x;;
> val cons2 : 'a -> ('a list -> 'a list) list -> ('a list -> 'a list) list =
> <fun>
>
> But a pipeline is prettier:
>
> # let ( |> ) x f = f x;;
> val ( |> ) : 'a -> ('a -> 'b) -> 'b = <fun>
>
> # let cons2 x = x |> cons |> cons;;
> val cons2 : 'a -> ('a list -> 'a list) list -> ('a list -> 'a list) list =
> <fun>
>
> This is one advantage of Haskell over OCaml/F#. However, I don't see it as
a
> useful advantage in practice because parser combinators are so tedious
> during development (they require constant attention as types evolve): you
> want code generation like ocamlyacc or camlp4. OCaml is a very strong
> contender here, of course.
>
> Cheers,
> Jon.
>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: mark@proof-technologies.com [mailto:mark@proof-technologies.com]
>> Sent: 10 November 2010 13:44
>> To: jonathandeanharrop@googlemail.com; yminsky@gmail.com;
>> arlen@noblesamurai.com
>> Cc: caml-list@inria.fr
>> Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Infix function composition operator
>>
>> So how does value restriction affect things here?  (excuse my lack of
>> knowledge)
>>
>> One thing about using a pipeline like this is that it relies on '|>'
>> being
>> left-associative (which it is due to OCaml's convention on operators
>> that
>> start with "|").
>>
>> Mark.