Today I Learned

Some of the things I've learned every day since Oct 10, 2016

212: fromIntegral (Haskell)

In Haskell, fromIntegral is a handy function for getting ints and floats (or other Num types) to play nice together. (Ints can automatically be converted to floats in some cases, such as evaluating the expression 3 + 0.0 which returns the float 3.0, but this is not always the case.)

The type declaration of fromIntegral is

fromIntegral :: (Num b, Integral a) => a -> b.

That is, as long as a is an Integral type (a number that acts like an integer), it returns it as the equivalent Num object, the type of which the compiler infers from context. This enables you to safely evaluate expressions like fromIntegral (length [0, 1, 2]) + 0.0, which again returns the float 3.0.

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