Liquid Haskell is a preprocessor for GHC (the primary Haskell compiler) that allows the programmer to equip a program with more sophisticated type annotations. An automatic external theorem prover such as Z3 is then used to prove the program type-correct with respect to these extra annotations.
The language of types supported by Liquid Haskell is based on refinement types, and allows types to be restricted to certain values or properties of their values. For example, we can define the type of integers between 0 and 10, or the type of lists that have a particular length. We can establish pre- and postconditions of functions using refinement types, potentially proving rather sophisticated properties.
In this tutorial, I will introduce Liquid Haskell, explain how it works, and what can (and cannot) be expected of it. We will look at a number of examples and see how they can be equipped with more precise types than Haskell would normally allow.
Familiarity with basic Haskell will be very helpful. But the Haskell code we will look at in the tutorial will all be very straight-forward.
In particular, the tutorial does not expect any previous knowledge of:
It is not necessary to install Liquid Haskell in order to follow the tutorial. Just bring your computer. There will be a website that you can point your browser to that will allow you to work on the tutorial exercises interactively.
That being said, you are of course welcome to also install a version of Liquid Haskell locally on your machine.
If you want to reproduce my environment as closely as possible: I will be using ghc-8.2.2 and liquidhaskell-0.8.2.3. Liquid Haskell needs a theorem prover to function properly, preferably z3. I’m using z3-4.6.0, but I don’t think that the z3 version is particularly critical.
Andres Löh is a Haskell consultant and co-owner of Well-Typed LLP. He is based in Regensburg, Germany. He started using Haskell in 1997, when being an undergraduate student of mathematics in Konstanz, and has been an enthusiastic functional programmer ever since. Andres obtained a PhD in Computer Science from Utrecht University in 2004, on extending the Haskell language with capabilities for datatype-generic programming. After having been a university lecturer for several years, he joined Well-Typed in 2010.
Andres is very interested in applying functional programming to real-world problems, and in particular in datatype-generic programming, domain-specific languages, (dependent) type systems, parallel and concurrent programming, and the theory of version control.