Scala compiler plugin which provides syntax for working with locally declared implicit values
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Local Implicits

This project contains a Scala compiler plugin which adds support for locally scoped implicit values.

For example:

imply("Hello, world!") { implicitly[String] }

expands to:

  implicit val implied$0 = "Hello, world!"

which at runtime, evaluates to "Hello, world!".

The imply method takes two parameter lists -- the first parameter list contains 1 or more values to declare in a local implicit scope, and the second parameter list contains a block to evaluate in context of the local implicit scope.


Defining implicits in local scope with vanilla Scala is problematic for a number of reasons.

  • In some cases, opening a new block requires either a semi-colon on the line before the start of the block, or an empty line before the start of the block.
  • Arbitrary names have to be assigned to each implicit.
  • The resulting code is rather verbose considering its function.

The imply method is particularly useful when working with type class instances that have multiple lawful implementations. For example, consider some monoid instances for Int:

2 |+| 3                              // 5
imply(intMultiplication) { 2 |+| 3 } // 6
imply(minMonoid) { 2 |+| 3 }         // 2
imply(maxMonoid) { 2 |+| 3 }         // 3


This plugin currently supports Scala 2.10 and 2.11.

To use this plugin with SBT, add the following to build.sbt:

addCompilerPlugin("com.github.mpilquist" %% "local-implicits" % "0.3.0")