plu-ts functions

Functions can be transformed from the Typescript world to the plu-ts one just like any other value.

This can be done with two functions:

  • plam
  • pfn


Just like the lam type, plam only works for functions with one input; don't worry, pfn is more powerful, but plam will help us understand the basics.

The plam signature is:

function plam<A extends TermType, B extends TermType >( inputType: A, outputType: B )
    : ( termFunc : ( input: Term<ToPType<A>> ) => Term<ToPType<B>> ) => Term<PLam<ToPType<A>,ToPType<B>>>

If this seems familiar it's because it works on the same principle of pList we saw in the explanation of simple values.

plam first requires us to specify the plu-ts types we are working with and it gives back a function ad-hoc for those types.

const makeLambdaFromIntToBool: ( tellMeHow: ( int: Term<PInt> ) => Term<PBool> ): Term<PLam<PInt, PBool>> = plam( int, bool )

The function we get back expects a typescript function as input that describe how to "transform" the input to the output.

Since the tellMeHow function should return a Term; we need some way to "build" a new term.

In plu-ts you never need to write anything like new Term(...); rather you use plu-ts functions to build new plu-ts terms.

Wait what? Aren't plu-ts functions also Terms? How do I build new Terms if I need other Terms to build new Terms?

Fortunately for us there are some builtin functions that form the fundamentals of the language. We can use these to describe the body of our lambda.

const pintIsZero = makeLambdaFromIntToBool(
    someInt => peqInt.$( someInt ).$( pInt( 0 ) )

NOTE: is convention to name plu-ts functions starting with a lower case "p"; indicating that we are in the plu-ts world and not the typescript one

Here we used the peqInt builtin function; the $ method is a short form for the papp function and is how we pass arguments to a plu-ts function (we'll cover function application in the very next section).

What matters for now is that we succesfully transformed an int into a bool using only plu-ts; and we now have a new function that we can re-use when needed.

pintIsZero.$( pInt(42) ) // this is a Term<PBool> equivalent to `pBool( false )`


Now that we know how the plam machinery works let's look at the more useful pfn.

The signature (a bit simplified; this is not Typescript) is

function pfn<InputsTypes extends [ TermType, ...TermType[] ], OutputType extends TermType>( inputsTypes: InputsTypes, outputType: OutputType )
    : ( termFunction: ( ...inptus: PInputs ) => POutput ) => 
        Term<PFn<PInputs, POutput>>

and with the exception of an array of types as input rather than a single type we see it is doing the exact same thing as plam but with more inputs.

So if we want a function that builds a plu-ts level function for us of type int -> int -> list( int ) we just write

const makeListFromTwoInts = pfn( [ int, int ], list( int ) );

and just like the plam case, we use the function we just got to build a plu-ts one.

const pTwoIntegersList = makeListFromTwoInts(
    ( int1, int2 ) => pList([ int1, int2 ])