Re: "What Color is Your Function?"

(For context, the blog post "What Color is Your Function?" by Bob Nystrom is highly recommended reading.)

Unfortunately, introducing the blocking procedure type variant has the effect of "coloring" all functions that transitively reach a blocking procedure. This ends up being a problem for any code that provides some generic functionality over first-class procedure arguments that we would ideally like to be able to reuse and call from any context, whether blocking or not.

Take, for example, Functional Programming's common filter function with the following signature:

Fig 1:

function filter<T>(l: [T], pred: function<T -> boolean>) -> [T];

As currently defined, the filter function with the above signature could only be used over non-blocking pred function args. You'd need to write a duplicate function explicitly accepting a blocking pred function in its signature if you wanted to filter lists using a pred function that makes use of blocking operations:

Fig 2:

blocking function filterBlocking<T>(l: [T], pred: blocking function<T -> boolean>) -> [T];

This duplication would be pervasive throughout functional-style code, and would discourage using functional-style at all. Both of which are very undesirable outcomes. So, Claro handles this using one more form of generics inspired by Rust's Keyword Generics Initiative, "Blocking Generics".