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The functorial interface

TyXML provides a functorial interface to implement HTML and SVG on top of any XML implementations. This is used heavily by Eliom to implement the F and D modules, providing respectivelly a functionnal and a DOM version of the HTML implementation.

The Make functors

Those interfaces are available in the modules Html5_f and Svg_f. They provide a functor Make which takes a concrete implementation of Xml following Xml_sigs.T. A default implementation is provided by the Xml module. The functor Html5_f.Make also needs an Svg implementation that you can obtain, for example, with the functor Svg_f.Make. Due to typing constraints (see next section), The Xml implementation will always need to provide a wrap type answering this definition:

type 'a wrap = 'a

Wrapping up the nodes

Beside the Make functor. those two modules provide a MakeWrapped functor, which allows to wrap Xml elements in a monad. A good example of application is the R modules with reactive nodes in eliom. Here is the simplified signature of the div element:

R.div : 'a elt list signal -> div elt

signal will wrap the input of every Xml nodes and be integrated in the resulting node.

In order to do this, You need to provide an additional Wrap module to the functor, following the signature Xml_wrap.T. This implements operations over the type of nodes along with a special type for lists of nodes. The Xml implementation follow Xml_sigs.Wrapped, which is the same as Xml_sigs.T, but with arbitrary 'a wrap type.

An identity wrapper, Xml_wrap.NoWrap, is provided. The Make functor is only MakeWrapped partially applied to NoWrap.

Exporting the correct signature

In order to help export the correct signature after a functor application, four signature functors are provided: Svg_sigs.Make, Svg_sigs.MakeWrapped, Html5_sigs.Make and Html5_sigs.MakeWrapped.

As an example of use, let us look at the module Svg.M. Here is the definition of the module:

module M = Svg_f.Make(Xml)

In this case, the declaration in the interface file should look like this:

module M : Svg_sigs.Make(Xml).T

The signature functor Svg_sigs.Make contains only a signature T, which is equal to Svg_sigs.T, but export various equalities with the module Xml.

You should always use a signature functor to give the type of a module produced by a functor application. It will ensure that exactly the right type equalities are exported and will naturally keep track of changes in tyxml.

There are some important notes about theses signature functors:

  • module M : Svg_sigs.Make(Xml).T doesn't mean that M.Xml is a submodule of Xml. It only means that the types uri, event_handler, mouse_event_handler, keyboard_event_handler, attrib and elt are the same in both modules. In the same manner, Svg_sigs.MakeWrapped doesn't force the wrap type to be consistent between W and Xml (as opposed to Svg_f.MakeWrapped) and will just use the types from W. This is useful when not exporting the exact module that was used in the functor, but another (smaller and simpler) module. This is the case in Tyxml_js.R, for example.
  • Html5_f and Svg_f functors export two additional equalities, +'a elt = Xml.elt and +'a attrib = Xml.attrib. These equalities should never be exported in a public interface. Exporting them would break html typing by allowing to build invalid html trees. These equalities are useful internally, for example in eliom they are used to make F.elt, D.elt and R.elt equals.