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README.md

Higher Kinded Type machinery for Java

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This project provides type-safety for the higher kinded type encoding demonstrated in https://github.com/highj/highj via a JSR269 annotation processor.

For some theorical explanation of the encoding you may refer to the Lightweight higher-kinded polymorphism paper.

Usage

Choose your HK encoding:

the two basic possibilities are:

class HkTest<A> implements __<HkTest<?>, A> {...}

and

class HkTest<A> implements __<HkTest.w, A> {
  enum w { // could be any name, also could be a static nested class.
  }
}

We say that __<HkTest.w, A> is the HK encoding of HkTest and call w the witness type of HkTest.

What about binary type constructors ? Ternary ? And more ?

@derive4j/hkt supplies interfaces __<f, A>, __2<f, A, B> up to __9<f, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I>.

For example, a disjoint union type commonly called "Either" could be declared this way :

class Either<A, B> implements __2<Either.µ, A, B> {
  enum µ {}
  ...
}

Obligatory Monad example:

The higher kinded polymorphism gained by the encoding allows us to express things that are normally inexpressible in Java. Eg.:

public interface Monad<m> {
  <A> __<m, A> pure(A a);

  <A, B> __<m, B> bind(__<m, A> ma, Function<A, __<m, B>> f);

  default <A, B> __<m, B> map(__<m, A> ma, Function<A, B> f) {
    return bind(ma, f.andThen(this::pure));
  }
}

Aliases interfaces

You may want to create aliases of derive4j hkt __* interfaces that better suit your naming preferences, maybe also adding some default methods. Eg.:

interface HigherKind1<TC extends HigherKind1<TC, ?>, T> extends __<TC, T> {
  default <R> R transform(Function<__<TC, T>, R> f) {
    return f.apply(this);
  }
}

And so your hk-encoded classes would look like:

class HkTest<A> implements HigherKind1<HkTest<?>, A> {...}

In any case, just try: if you do something wrong the annotation processor shall help you!

A note on safety : do not cast! Use the generated safe cast methods

By default the annotation processor will generate a Hkt class in each package that contains hk-encoded classes.

The generated class contains casting methods and factories of TypeEq that allow you to safely recover the original type from its hk-encoding.

Here is an example :

  • given the HKT types
class Maybe<A> implements __<Maybe.µ, A> {...}

and

class List<A> implements __<List.µ, A> {...}

both in package myorg.data

  • then the following class will be generated
package myorg.data;

final class Hkt {
  private Hkt() {}
  
  static <A> Maybe<A> asMaybe(final __<Maybe.µ, A> hkt) {
    return (Maybe<A>) hkt;
  }
  
  static <A> List<A> asList(final __<List.µ, A> hkt) {
    return (List<A>) hkt;
  }
}

Now you may ask : why is that safe ? I could implement __<Maybe.µ, A> in my Foo<A> class, pass an instance of it to Hkt.asMaybe and then boom !

And to this the answer is no, you can't. That's the whole point of the hkt processor : would you try to implement __<Maybe.µ, A> in any other class than Maybe, you'd get a compile time error.

The processor thus ensures that the only possible implementation of __<Maybe.µ, A> is Maybe<A> : hence the safety of the cast in the generated methods.

Configuration of code generation

Code generation can be customized by using the HktConfig annotation (on package-info or classes).

Consider the example of the previous section : we would like the generated methods to be called toX instead of asX. Easy ! Just declare, in the myorg.data package, a package-info file as such :

@HktConfig(coerceMethodName = "to{ClassName}")
package myorg.data;

Note that configuration is handled hierarchically through packages, classes and inner classes. That means that would you want to keep your toX methods and at the same time have the one for List generated in its own class, you could declare a package-info as afore mentionned and then annotate the List class this way:

@HktConfig(generateIn = "MyHktList")
class List<A> implements __<List.µ, A> {...}

As expected, the following two files would then be generated :

package myorg.data;

final class Hkt {
  private Hkt() {}
  
  static <A> Maybe<A> toMaybe(final __<Maybe.µ, A> hkt) {
    return (Maybe<A>) hkt;
  }
}

and

package myorg.data;

final class MyHktList {
  private MyHktList() {}
  
  static <A> List<A> toList(final __<List.µ, A> hkt) {
    return (List<A>) hkt;
  }
}

I want it !

Maven

<dependency>
  <groupId>org.derive4j.hkt</groupId>
  <artifactId>hkt</artifactId>
  <version>0.9.2</version>
</dependency>

Gradle

compile(group: 'org.derive4j.hkt', name: 'hkt', version: '0.9.2', ext: 'jar')