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But my previous reply is a little content-free, as what you're really asking for is how we solve the same problem that typeclasses solve in Haskell.

Very briefly, there's two ways of asking whether a caller can change the type of a parameter. The normal way is to say, are all the possible values of the caller's type in the set of nouns that the parameter defines? This is what I call "geometric polymorphism."

But there's also "generic polymorphism," in which we ask: will the Nock code that was generated for the parameter type, actually work with the type we're calling it with? A really stupid way to ask this is to recompile the function, with the parameters exchanged for the arguments. The Hoon approach is a little bit smarter than this but not much.

So, with these two approaches, you basically get variance and genericity, which is all of polymorphism.




It's difficult to have a conversation with someone using their own terms for well-established concepts.

If I understand you correctly, what you're calling "geometric polymorphism" is usually called structural typing or subtyping, and what you're calling "generic polymorphism" is usually called duck typing.

Duck typing isn't amenable to static typechecking, so it's not comparable to Haskell's typeclasses.

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Looks like I'm behind on my programming language theory research! Typed Racket and soon, Typed Clojure, are actually adding optional static typing to duck-typed languages. Are you doing something similar?

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