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Programming language: Haskell
License: LicenseRef-PublicDomain
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surjective alternatives and similar packages

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README

Surjective

Build Status

Here is a parsing function which is missing a case:

parseBool :: String -> Maybe Bool
parseBool = \case
  "true" -> Just True
  _      -> Nothing

And here is how to annotate the function using surjective so the compiler warns us about that missing case:

-- Warning: Pattern match(es) are non-exhaustive
-- In a case alternative: Patterns not matched: (Just False)
parseBool :: String -> Maybe Bool
parseBool = $$(surjective
  [||\covers -> \case
    "true" -> covers $ \(Just True) -> Just True
    _      -> covers $ \Nothing     -> Nothing
  ||])

Since the check is entirely syntactic, surjective can be used to check other kinds of coverage conditions, not just surjectivity. For example, here we attempt to list all the values of type Maybe Bool, but we are missing a case:

listMaybeBools :: [Maybe Bool]
listMaybeBools = [Just True, Nothing]

Here is how to annotate the list using surjective so the compiler warns us about that missing case:

-- Warning: Pattern match(es) are non-exhaustive
-- In a case alternative: Patterns not matched: (Just False)
listMaybeBools :: [Maybe Bool]
listMaybeBools = $$(surjective
  [||\covers -> [ covers $ \(Just True) -> Just True
                , covers $ \Nothing     -> Nothing
                ]
  ||])

Alternatives

  • The exhaustive package uses a different approach. Instead of a syntactic check, it provides you with higher-order functions which are guaranteed to cover all the constructors of your datatype because the type of those higher-order functions expects one input function per constructor.

    Compared to surjective, exhaustive:

    • Accepts fewer incorrect programs. A higher-order function from the exhaustive package tells you exactly what it will do with the constructor-specific functions you are giving it, so the guarantee that you are indeed giving it one function per constructor has a very precise meaning. surjective's syntactic check, on the other hand, only makes sure that your program mentions covers with patterns which cover all the cases, which is only indirectly related to surjectivity.
    • Accepts fewer correct programs. If exhaustive doesn't have a higher-order function corresponding to what you want to do, you're out of luck. With surjective, you can write your own function and then annotate it with calls to covers.
    • Fails with a type error instead of a warning.
    • Doesn't support nested patterns such as Just (Left _). With exhaustive, you would have to use one higher-order function for the Maybe, and then in the Just case, use another higher-order function for the Either. With surjective, you don't have to nest the two Either cases inside the Just case, you could handle Just (Left _), then Nothing, then Just (Right _).

    Both use Template Haskell.