Monadic encapsulation of effects: a revised approach (extended version)
Launchbury and Peyton Jones came up with an ingenious idea for embedding regions of imperative programming in a pure functional language like Haskell. The key idea was based on a simple modification of Hindley-Milner's type system. Our first contribution is to propose a more natural encapsulation construct exploiting higher-order kinds, which achieves the same encapsulation effect, but avoids the ad hoc type parameter of the original proposal. The second contribution is a type safety result for encapsulation of strict state using both the original encapsulation construct and the newly introduced one. We establish this result in a more expressive context than the original proposal, namely in the context of the higher-order lambda-calculus. The third contribution is a type safety result for encapsulation of lazy state in the higher-order lambda-calculus. This result resolves an outstanding open problem on which previous proof attempts failed. In all cases, we formalize the intended implementations as simple big-step operational semantics on untyped terms, which capture interesting implementation details not captured by the reduction semantics proposed previously.
1 Research partially supported by MURST and ESPRIT WG APPSEM.
2 Worked started at the University of Oregon. Supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. CCR-9733088.