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Write functions in tacit (pointless) style using Applicative and De Bruijn index notation.


  • \f x y -> f x == f y = lurryA @N3 ((==) <$> (_1 <*> _2) (_1 <*> _3)) - \f g x -> f x (g x) = lurryA @N3 ((_1 <*> _3) <*> (_2 <*> _3))
  • \a b -> b = lurryA @N2 _2

This module is intended to be used with Control.Applicative but does not export it.

Opposite to De Bruijn indices, this module orders the arguments from the outside-in, rather than the inside-out (or left-to-right instead of right-to-left). For example, the conventional λλλ3 1 (2 1) is instead λλλ1 3 (2 3).

The first argument is z, the second argument z.s, the third argument z.s.s, and so on. For the first few arguments convenient names have been defined, such as _1, _2, _3, and so on.

To export a function use lurryA. You must specify the arity of the function, which is intended to be done with TypeApplications (new in GHC 8.0). lurryA @(S Z) f says the arity of @[email protected] is one, lurryA @(S (S Z)) f says the arity is two, and so on. For convenience the first few Peano numbers have been given aliases, such as N1, N2, N3, and so on.

You can write all functions with <*> and <$> from Applicative — should be able to, yet unproven.

There is a type inference problem with functions where the highest index does not match the function arity, such as const. To resolve this ambiguity you must give an explicit signature. For example: lurryA @N2 (_1 :: (a, (b, c)) -> a).


  • Construction rules for rewriting functions into this tacit form. More precise than just examples. Would demonstrate that any function can be written in this tacit form.
  • An inverse for lurry, unlurry. Type inference seems difficult.
  • Inference problem when the highest index does not match the function arity.


  • The implementation would be simpler and less prone to inference problems if GHC had closed classes. Given a type family F, a corresponding value-level implementation may exist for x -> F x. This implementation can be given by a class and an instance corresponding to each case in the type family. However, if the type family is closed and we only have open classes, we cannot always define corresponding instances which are unambiguous. An example of this correspondence is Lurried/Lurry.