Labra Labra - 2 months ago 3x
Scala Question

Using abstract types with type classes in Scala

I want to use an abstract type

constrained to belong to the type class
from cats.

My first attempt would be something like:

package examples
import cats._
import cats.implicits._

class UsingShow1 {
type Value <: Show[Value] // Not sure if this declaration is right

def showValues(vs: List[Value]): String =[Show[Value]].show(_)).mkString // Error line


But the compiler doesn't find the implicit parameter

I know that I can define the previous example as:

class UsingShow2[Value: Show] {
def showValues(vs: List[Value]): String =[Show[Value]].show(_)).mkString

However, I wanted to know if it is possible to use abstract types instead of type parameters.


Simply add an implicit parameter of type Show[Value], at use site, as usual:

class UsingShow1 {
  type Value
  def showValues(values: List[Value])(implicit showValue: Show[Value]): String =

But a more direct translation of your UsingShow2 class would be the following:

class UsingShow1 {
  type Value
  implicit def showValue: Show[Value]

  def showValues(values: List[Value]): String =

Basically, since you’ve traded your type parameter Value for an abstract type member, you also have to trade your implicit parameter for an implicit abstract member (showValue in my example).