Type abbreviations

Some types are so commonly used in Ceylon that there are special abbreviations for them.


Here are some examples:

T?          // T|Null
{T*}        // Iterable<T,Null>
{T+}        // Iterable<T,Nothing>, has at least one element
[T*] or T[] // Sequential<T>
[]          // Empty
[T+]        // Sequence<T>
X->Y        // Entry<X,Y>

Certain abbreviations have a recursive definition, so we can't enumerate all the possibilities here.

There are abbreviations for tuple types:

[T]         // The 1-tuple Tuple<T, T, Empty>
[X,Y]       // The 2-tuple Tuple<X|Y, X, Tuple<Y, Y, Empty>>
            // whose first element is an X and whose 
            // second element is a Y
[X,Y*]      // The *-tuple Tuple<X|Y, X, Sequential<Y>>
            // whose first element is an X and 
            // which has zero or more further elements 
            // each of type Y
[X,Y+]      // The +-tuple Tuple<X|Y, X, Sequence<Y>>
            // whose first element is an X and 
            // which has one or more further elements 
            // each of type Y

And for function types:

R()         // Callable<R,[]>, function with no parameters
R(P1,P2)    // Callable<R,[P1,P2]>, function with two parameters
R(P1,P2=)   // Callable<R,[P1]|[P1,P2]>, function with defaulted param
R(P*)       // Callable<R,[P1*]>, variadic function
R(P+)       // Callable<R,[P1+]>, nonempty variadic function


The above abbreviations can be used anywhere a type is expected.


The type abbtreviation R(P1,P2) is the same as Callable<R,[P1,P2]>, which is the type of a function which takes parameters of types P1 and P2 and returns an R. R(P1,P2) may also be the type of the class R if its initializer takes parameters of types P1 and P2.

For higher order Callables, there is the potential for some confusion. Consider the following abbreviated Callable type:


This is the type of the function:

Bar higher(Foo)(String) {
    // ...

Notice how the String and Foo swapped places?

If you think about it, higher could be declared like this:

Bar(String) higher2(Foo) {
    // ...

And when you write it that way, it's not really surprising that higher2 itself has type Bar(String)(Foo).

Variadic parameters

Although not technically a type abbreviation, variadic parameters are declared using a syntax that looks similar to the Callable, Iterable, and Tuple abbreviations above:

T*        // a possibly empty variadic parameter
T+        // a non-empty variadic parameter

Of course, it's no coincidence that the function Float sum(Float+ floats) has the function type Float(Float+).

See Also