I'm getting surprising results trying to define an abstract polymorphic
type in Typed Racket. Could someone shed some light on this?
Consider the following definitions:
(struct addr ([ptr : Natural]))
(struct (α) store ([next-addr : addr]
[table : (Immutable-HashTable addr α)]))
(: empty-store (All (α) (-> (store α))))
(store (addr 0) (make-immutable-hash null)))
(: alloc (All (α) (store α) α -> (Values (store α) addr)))
(define (alloc st v)
(let ([a (store-next-addr st)])
(values (store (inc-addr a) (hash-set (store-table st) a v))
;; definitions of inc-addr & other store operations elided for brevity
I have two questions at this point, a big one and a small one.
Small question: it'd be nice to define empty-store to have type
(All (α) (store α)) -- i.e., without the eta expansion -- but I can't
figure out how to do this. In particular, the following doesn't work:
(: empty-store (All (α) (store α)))
(store (addr 0) ((inst make-immutable-hash addr α) null)))
I get an error that "type name `α' is unbound", referring to the use of α
in the use of `inst'. This surprises me, because section 4.8.3 (Lexically
Scoped Type Variables) of the Typed Racket Guide seems to say that α should
be in scope here. Does that only work for function definitions?
Is there another way to do this without the thunk?
* * * * *
Big question: with the original version of empty-store, I get some very
surprising behavior. Consider the following uses:
(: s (store String))
(define s ((inst empty-store String)))
(define-values (s1 addr) (alloc s 3))
This type-checks -- even the application of `alloc' in the last line.
What's going on here? In my understanding of parametric polymorphism, this
can't be well-typed: α cannot be both String and Positive-Byte in the same
type application. Did I overlook something in the Typed Racket manuals
that explains this?
After the final definition, `s1' has type (store (U Positive-Byte String)).
This does look sound to me, in that the values in the store are indeed
either Positive-Bytes or Strings. But this makes it difficult to use the
type system to prevent clients from adding non-strings to the store. Is it
possible to express that restriction in Typed Racket?
(Context: I only actually intend to use `store' with a single type, but I
want to define that type in a separate module. Since the type's definition
refers to `addr', I made `store' polymorphic to break the cyclical
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