Polymorphism¶

Disco includes support for parametric polymorphism, with syntax similar to Haskell. For example, here is how we could write a polymorphic list map function (although this is actually built in to Disco; see the next section on containers).

example/poly.disco
maplist : (a -> b) -> List(a) -> List(b)
maplist _ [] = []
maplist f (a :: as) = f a :: (maplist f as)


Disco can also infer polymorphic types. For example:

Disco> :type \x,y. x
λx, y. x : a1 → a → a1
Disco> :type maplist (\x.x)
maplist (λx. x) : List a → List a
Disco> :type maplist (\x.x) [1, 2, 3]
maplist(λx. x)([1, 2, 3]) : List ℕ


However, although Disco has an internal notion of type qualifiers (like Haskell type classes), these will never show up in inferred types. For example:

Disco> :type \x,y. x + y
λx, y. x + y : ℕ → ℕ → ℕ


Internally, Disco is happy to use \x,y. x + y at any type which supports addition, but when forced to infer a concrete type for it, it simply picks a suitable monomorphic instantiation. However, the following example shows that it can in fact be used on, say, rational numbers:

Disco> :type (\x,y. x + y) (3/2) (-5)
(λx, y. x + y)(3 / 2)(-5) : ℚ