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Galois Tech Talk: The Constrained-Monad Problem

Galois, Inc
421 SW 6th Ave. Suite 300
Portland, OR 97204, US (map)



Presented by Neil Sculthorpe.

In Haskell, there are many data types that would form monads were it not for the presence of type-class constraints on the operations on that data type. This is a frustrating problem in practice, because there is a considerable amount of support and infrastructure for monads that these data types cannot use. This talk will demonstrate that a monadic computation can be restructured into a normal form such that the standard monad class can be used. The technique is not specific to monads --- it can also be applied to other structures, such as applicative functors. One significant use case for this technique is Domain Specific Languages, where it is often desirable to compile a deep embedding of a computation to some other language, which requires restricting the types that can appear in that computation.