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Records are a special kind of data type. Each data constructor within a record has named type arguments. This feature is reminiscent of declaring a structure in languages such as C++ or Java, or akin to defining a record in a database system.

Syntax and Semantics

In the context of record types, a field is a named type argument that is intrinsically associated with a data constructor. The field's name functions as an identifier or a key, enabling access to the value that is bound to the term of the record type.

The standard syntax for declaring a record type is as follows:

type <record name> <type parameters> :=
    | <type-constructor1> {
        <field1-1> : <type-1-1>;
        <field1-n> : <type-1-n>
    | ...
    | <type-constructor-n> {
        <fieldn-1> : <type-n-1>;
        <fieldn-n> : <type-n-n>

In this syntax:

  • <record name> is a unique identifier for the declared record type. This name should be unique within its scope and it is case sensitive.

  • <type parameters> are optional and represent the generic parameters that the record type may take, see data types for more information. They allow for greater flexibility and reusability of the record type.

  • <type-constructor> represents the different constructors that the record type can have. Each constructor can have a different set of fields.

  • <field1-1>, <field1-n>, <fieldn-1>, <fieldn-n> are the names of the fields in each constructor. These names should be unique within their constructor.

  • <type-1-n>, <type-n-1>, <type-n-n> represent the type of the corresponding field.


One thing to note is that the field names are qualified by the type
name. This means that the field names are prefixed by the type name when
accessing them. If this is not desired, the `open` keyword can be used
to bring the field names into scope followed by the type name.


Records function similarly to other data types. They can be defined locally, exported from a module, and utilized in pattern matching.

For example, here we declare the newType record type with the mkNewtype type constructor and one field named f.

type T := constructT : T;

type newtype := mkNewtype {f : T};

Records with multiple constructors can also be defined. Consider the Pair record type that models pairs of values. The Pair type has a single mkPair type constructor that takes two arguments, named fst and snd, of type parameters A and B, respectively.

type Pair (A B : Type) :=
  mkPair {
    fst : A;
    snd : B

To utilize this type, create a Pair type term (a pair) using the mkPair type constructor and provide values for each field.

p1 : Pair T T := mkPair (fst := constructT; snd := constructT);

Field names allow access to their corresponding values. For example, another pair equivalent to the one defined above can be declared using values retrieved via the field names.

p1' : Pair T T := mkPair (fst := Pair.fst p1; snd := Pair.snd p1);

One variant of the record term creation is as follows:

p1'' : Pair T T :=
    fst := Pair.fst p1;
    snd := Pair.snd p1

By default, the fields of a record type are qualified by the type name. To access the fields without specifying the type name, use the open keyword to bring these names into scope.

open Pair;

flipP : Pair T T := mkPair (fst := snd p1; snd := fst p1);

Finally, consider the declaration of a record with multiple constructors.

type EnumRecord :=
  | C1 {
      c1a : T;
      c1b : T
  | C2 {
      c2a : T;
      c2b : T

p2 : Pair EnumRecord EnumRecord :=
    (fst := C1 (c1a := constructT; c1b := constructT);
    snd := C2 (c2a := constructT; c2b := constructT));