# What's the type of function "abs"?

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## What's the type of function "abs"?

 I'm a newbie, knowing a little about Haskell, and hope my question isn't very silly... ===================================================================== My absolute value function looks like this: abs2 :: Num a => a -> a abs2 n = if n >= 0 then n else 0 - n GHCi tells me that I should add Ord type class to its definition. Well, it's true. It has used relational operators and Num isn't a subclass of Ord. However, when I input ":t abs" in GHCi, the interpreter shows "abs :: Num a => a -> a". I read GHC/Num.lhs and find that abs is defined as "abs :: a -> a" and has no concrete content. So I think the abs function is written in C as a module to implement directly and the type of abs just follows its class GHC.Num. Is it right? Or there are any other reasons? Thanks, Hengruo -------------- next part -------------- An HTML attachment was scrubbed... URL:
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## What's the type of function "abs"?

 Hi, On 2015-03-11 14:21, Zhang Hengruo wrote: > My absolute value function looks like this: > > abs2 :: Num a => a -> a > abs2 n = if n >= 0 then n else 0 - n > > GHCi tells me that I should add Ord type class to its definition. Well, it's > true. It has used relational operators and Num isn't a subclass > of Ord. > However, when I input ":t abs" in GHCi, the interpreter shows "abs :: Num a > => a -> a". I read GHC/Num.lhs and find that abs is defined as > "abs :: a -> a" and has no concrete content. So I think the abs function is > written in C as a module to implement directly and the type of abs > just follows its class GHC.Num. Is it right? Or there are any other reasons? 'abs' is a function defined on the 'Num' class, i.e. any instance of 'Num' (such as 'Num Int') may define 'abs' as it pleases. See    http://hackage.haskell.org/package/base-4.7.0.2/docs/src/GHC-Num.html#absfor a few instantiations of the 'Num' class. In particular, concrete instances of the class know the actual type of 'a'. For instance, the definition of 'Num Int' could actually use '>=' because there's indeed an Ord instance for Int. In other cases, e.g. 'Num Word', 'abs' is just the identity function, i.e. 'abs x = x' since there are no non-positive Word values. -- Frerich Raabe - raabe at froglogic.com www.froglogic.com - Multi-Platform GUI Testing