The Extended Functor Family

The Extended Functor Family

In addition to the standard Functor class that you’ve used in this chapter, there are other type classes that are related to Functor but with somewhat different behaviors.


A Bifunctor is like a Functor but even moreso, because a Bifunctor let’s you map two different fields. The Bifunctor class is defined in Data.Bifunctor. Let’s take a look at a definition for it:

class Bifunctor f where
  bimap :: (a -> c) -> (b -> d) -> f a b -> f c d

  first :: (a -> c) -> f a b -> f c b
  first f = bimap f id

  second :: (b -> d) -> f a b -> f a d
  second f = bimap id f

Try to write an instance of Bifunctor for Either.

Contravariant Functors

The Contravariant class from Data.Functor.Contravariant in base defines a _contravariant_ functor. Although we don’t normally refer to them this way, the Functor class that you’ve been working with so far is a covariant functor. You don’t need to worry about the terminology too much though. You can think of this as a “backwards” functor. Let’s look at it’s definition:

class Contravariant f where
  contramap :: (b -> a) -> f a -> f b

Try to create a new version of the Function type that you defined earlier, and then write an instance of Contravariant for it. Can you also create an instance of Contravariant for your original definition of Function? Why or why not?


A Profunctor is a combination of a Bifunctor and a Contravariant functor. Profunctor isn’t defined in base, but you’ll see it defined by some other popular libraries. Like a Bifunctor it works on types with two arguments. Like Contravariant functors, the first argument to a Profunctor works “backwards”. Let’s take a look at a definition for Profunctor:

class Profunctor f where
  dimap :: (c -> a) -> (b -> d) -> f a b -> f c d

  lmap :: (c -> a) -> f a b -> f c b
  lmap f = dimap f id

  rmap :: (b -> d) -> f a b -> f a d
  rmap f = dimap id f

Try to create an instance of Profunctor for your original Function type. Can you write a valid instance? Why or why not? How does this differ from trying to create a instance of Contravariant for Function?

Hint 1

Some high level hint text

Hint 2

Some more detailed hint text

Hint 3

Even more detailed hint text


A complete solution for the exercise