Deprecate First and Last in Data.Monoid

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Deprecate First and Last in Data.Monoid

Andrew Martin
I propose that the data types First and Last, provided by Data.Monoid, be marked deprecated in GHC 8.6 and removed in GHC 8.10. The Semigroup-Monoid Proposal (SMP) brought about changes that, I will argue, make these data types (1) unneeded and (2) confusing.

Why are they no longer needed? Data.Semigroup provides two identically named data types (First and Last). These have Semigroup instances matches what their names suggest. Additionally, SMP corrects the Monoid instance for Maybe so that it now lifts Semigroup instances instead of Monoid instances. What this means is that, assuming the following imports:

    import qualified Data.Monoid as M
    import qualified Data.Semigroup as S

We have the following equivalences:

    M.First a === Maybe (M.First a)
    M.Last a === Maybe (M.Last a)

When I say "equivalence", I mean that their Monoid instances have the same behavior. Their Show/Read instances are certainly different, and I’m not sure about their Ord instances.

Getting back to the second reason, removing these data types would eliminate confusion. It’s strange that Semigroup is a superclass of Monoid, yet they have Data types with conflicting names defined in their respective modules. When you see the data type First, you cannot tell what someone is talking additional context. In general, base strives to avoid duplicate identifiers. The only other exception to this rule I can think of is that Bifunctor and Arrow both use the identifiers first and second. But, the situation  with Data.Semigroup and Data.Monoid is higher impact since people are more likely to import these modules unqualified together.

(As an aside, and the confusion I’m talking about here isn’t entirely hypothetical. I got tripped up by this when I first started using the semigroups library. I had to train myself to stop importing Data.Monoid unqualified, because it kept stealing these identifiers)

Again, the two reasons are that these are no longer necessary and that they cause confusion. I would appreciate any feedback, including simple nods of agreement or disagreement. Thanks.

--
-Andrew Thaddeus Martin
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Re: Deprecate First and Last in Data.Monoid

Ivan Lazar Miljenovic
On 12 April 2018 at 09:46, Andrew Martin <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I propose that the data types First and Last, provided by Data.Monoid, be marked deprecated in GHC 8.6 and removed in GHC 8.10. The Semigroup-Monoid Proposal (SMP) brought about changes that, I will argue, make these data types (1) unneeded and (2) confusing.
>
> Why are they no longer needed? Data.Semigroup provides two identically named data types (First and Last). These have Semigroup instances matches what their names suggest. Additionally, SMP corrects the Monoid instance for Maybe so that it now lifts Semigroup instances instead of Monoid instances. What this means is that, assuming the following imports:
>
>     import qualified Data.Monoid as M
>     import qualified Data.Semigroup as S
>
> We have the following equivalences:
>
>     M.First a === Maybe (M.First a)
>     M.Last a === Maybe (M.Last a)

Do you mean `M.First a === Maybe (S.First a)` (and similarly for Last)?

I'm +0.5 on this (more because of potential code churn.)

Since base-4.11 the Maybe instances also use Semigroup rather than
Monoid; is there a plan to deprecate the Option type as well?

--
Ivan Lazar Miljenovic
[hidden email]
http://IvanMiljenovic.wordpress.com
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Re: Deprecate First and Last in Data.Monoid

Andrew Martin
Yes, I meant to say S.First and S.Last on the right-hand sides. I’m trying to get rid of Option on https://ghc.haskell.org/trac/ghc/ticket/15028. It will likely need to be discussed on the mailing list, but I figured I would just check on the trac first for that one since it’s more clear that Option is no longer useful. 

Sent from my iPhone

On Apr 11, 2018, at 8:17 PM, Ivan Lazar Miljenovic <[hidden email]> wrote:

On 12 April 2018 at 09:46, Andrew Martin <[hidden email]> wrote:
I propose that the data types First and Last, provided by Data.Monoid, be marked deprecated in GHC 8.6 and removed in GHC 8.10. The Semigroup-Monoid Proposal (SMP) brought about changes that, I will argue, make these data types (1) unneeded and (2) confusing.

Why are they no longer needed? Data.Semigroup provides two identically named data types (First and Last). These have Semigroup instances matches what their names suggest. Additionally, SMP corrects the Monoid instance for Maybe so that it now lifts Semigroup instances instead of Monoid instances. What this means is that, assuming the following imports:

   import qualified Data.Monoid as M
   import qualified Data.Semigroup as S

We have the following equivalences:

   M.First a === Maybe (M.First a)
   M.Last a === Maybe (M.Last a)

Do you mean `M.First a === Maybe (S.First a)` (and similarly for Last)?

I'm +0.5 on this (more because of potential code churn.)

Since base-4.11 the Maybe instances also use Semigroup rather than
Monoid; is there a plan to deprecate the Option type as well?

--
Ivan Lazar Miljenovic
[hidden email]
http://IvanMiljenovic.wordpress.com

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Re: Deprecate First and Last in Data.Monoid

Mario Blažević-3
In reply to this post by Andrew Martin
On 2018-04-11 07:46 PM, Andrew Martin wrote:
> I propose that the data types First and Last, provided by Data.Monoid, be marked deprecated in GHC 8.6 and removed in GHC 8.10. The Semigroup-Monoid Proposal (SMP) brought about changes that, I will argue, make these data types (1) unneeded and (2) confusing.

+1 from me.

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Re: Deprecate First and Last in Data.Monoid

Henning Thielemann
In reply to this post by Andrew Martin

On Wed, 11 Apr 2018, Andrew Martin wrote:

> (As an aside, and the confusion I’m talking about here isn’t entirely
> hypothetical. I got tripped up by this when I first started using the
> semigroups library. I had to train myself to stop importing Data.Monoid
> unqualified, because it kept stealing these identifiers)

Unqualified imports are not the problem - unqualified imports without
import list are the problem. People should not do that.
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Re: Deprecate First and Last in Data.Monoid

Andrew Martin
I agree somewhat. In the last two years, I've gotten more into the habit about being explicit with import lists for commonly-used modules like Control.Monad, Control.Applicative, and Data.Monoid. This is especially the case when I'm writing library code (that I expect that other people may read one day), although I'm more lax in application code. Still, it's nice to be able to fire up GHCi and do something like this without having to worry about conflicting identifiers:

    >>> :m Data.Monoid Data.Semigroup

But yes, in theory, people should avoid this. In practice, they often don't.

On Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 3:12 AM, Henning Thielemann <[hidden email]> wrote:

On Wed, 11 Apr 2018, Andrew Martin wrote:

(As an aside, and the confusion I’m talking about here isn’t entirely hypothetical. I got tripped up by this when I first started using the semigroups library. I had to train myself to stop importing Data.Monoid unqualified, because it kept stealing these identifiers)

Unqualified imports are not the problem - unqualified imports without import list are the problem. People should not do that.



--
-Andrew Thaddeus Martin

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Re: Deprecate First and Last in Data.Monoid

Elliot Cameron-2
+1 I've been bitten by this several times. This is especially confusing when you are using Monoid in one module and you import a different module that happens to use the Semigroup variants, and vice versa.

On Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 7:23 AM, Andrew Martin <[hidden email]> wrote:
I agree somewhat. In the last two years, I've gotten more into the habit about being explicit with import lists for commonly-used modules like Control.Monad, Control.Applicative, and Data.Monoid. This is especially the case when I'm writing library code (that I expect that other people may read one day), although I'm more lax in application code. Still, it's nice to be able to fire up GHCi and do something like this without having to worry about conflicting identifiers:

    >>> :m Data.Monoid Data.Semigroup

But yes, in theory, people should avoid this. In practice, they often don't.

On Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 3:12 AM, Henning Thielemann <[hidden email]> wrote:

On Wed, 11 Apr 2018, Andrew Martin wrote:

(As an aside, and the confusion I’m talking about here isn’t entirely hypothetical. I got tripped up by this when I first started using the semigroups library. I had to train myself to stop importing Data.Monoid unqualified, because it kept stealing these identifiers)

Unqualified imports are not the problem - unqualified imports without import list are the problem. People should not do that.



--
-Andrew Thaddeus Martin

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Re: Deprecate First and Last in Data.Monoid

Edward Kmett-2
In reply to this post by Andrew Martin
I'm +1 on doing this in general.

However, the timing may need to be adjusted slightly in light of the 3-release policy, with which one could argue would indicate that the deprecation warning shouldn't happen until 8.8, though the removal could still happen in 8.10.

The issue there comes from the fact that we're just now getting Semigroup as a superclass of Monoid, so if you want to write code compatible across 3 releases without warnings, for each range of 3 releases sliding over time, as of 8.6 there'd be a window where you couldn't necessarily use Semigroup.First/Last on 8.2 (the bottom edge of the window) in all situations, but the deprecation warning would be screaming at you anyways. An end-goal of being done with this by 8.10 fits nicely, though. Ironically the 3-release policy makes this a bit worse as it'd allow us to straight up remove it in 8.8 sans deprecation, but not warn in 8.6, so 8.10 with deprecation in 8.8 seems a sensible choice.

The Option type can go through the same deprecation timing. It only existed because of the old Monoid instance for Maybe.

-Edward

On Wed, Apr 11, 2018 at 7:46 PM, Andrew Martin <[hidden email]> wrote:
I propose that the data types First and Last, provided by Data.Monoid, be marked deprecated in GHC 8.6 and removed in GHC 8.10. The Semigroup-Monoid Proposal (SMP) brought about changes that, I will argue, make these data types (1) unneeded and (2) confusing.

Why are they no longer needed? Data.Semigroup provides two identically named data types (First and Last). These have Semigroup instances matches what their names suggest. Additionally, SMP corrects the Monoid instance for Maybe so that it now lifts Semigroup instances instead of Monoid instances. What this means is that, assuming the following imports:

    import qualified Data.Monoid as M
    import qualified Data.Semigroup as S

We have the following equivalences:

    M.First a === Maybe (M.First a)
    M.Last a === Maybe (M.Last a)

When I say "equivalence", I mean that their Monoid instances have the same behavior. Their Show/Read instances are certainly different, and I’m not sure about their Ord instances.

Getting back to the second reason, removing these data types would eliminate confusion. It’s strange that Semigroup is a superclass of Monoid, yet they have Data types with conflicting names defined in their respective modules. When you see the data type First, you cannot tell what someone is talking additional context. In general, base strives to avoid duplicate identifiers. The only other exception to this rule I can think of is that Bifunctor and Arrow both use the identifiers first and second. But, the situation  with Data.Semigroup and Data.Monoid is higher impact since people are more likely to import these modules unqualified together.

(As an aside, and the confusion I’m talking about here isn’t entirely hypothetical. I got tripped up by this when I first started using the semigroups library. I had to train myself to stop importing Data.Monoid unqualified, because it kept stealing these identifiers)

Again, the two reasons are that these are no longer necessary and that they cause confusion. I would appreciate any feedback, including simple nods of agreement or disagreement. Thanks.

--
-Andrew Thaddeus Martin
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