Assignment 4 – Generics

The GitHub Classrooms link for this assignment is here.

The deadline for the assignment is midnight March 20th, 2023.

Exercise 1 – Parsing with error messages (2 pts)

Instead of the backtracking parsers covered in the lectures and Talen & Compilers, we can also define the following parser type:

newtype ErrorMsg = ErrorMsg String

newtype Parser a = Parser (String -> Either ErrorMsg (a,String))

A parser consists of a function that reads from a String to produce either an error message or a result of type a and the remaining String that has not been parsed. This parser type does not allow backtracking and is less expressive than the list-based parsers.

Write the Functor, Applicative, Monad, and Alternative instances for the parser type above.

Exercise 2 – Generic parsing (8 pts)

Haskell’s Show and Read classes provide an easy way to display and parse user-defined data structures.

Use GHC Generics and the Parser type defined in Exercise 1, together with any auxiliary combinators that you need, to define a generic Parse class. You may want to have a look at Generic.Deriving.Show to see how a generic Show instance can be derived. You may want to have a look at the uuparsinglib, attoparsec or parsec libraries for some inspiration on useful auxiliary functions that you may want to define.

Writing a generic read for all possible constructs is not feasible, but try to cover as much of the language as you can. What cases cannot be handled without backtracking?


Out of the 8 points assigned to this exercise: