Go Interfaces Go Interfaces from a Mathematical Aspect


Example

In mathematics, especially Set Theory, we have a collection of things which is called set and we name those things as elements. We show a set with its name like A, B, C, ... or explicitly with putting its member on brace notation: {a, b, c, d, e}. Suppose we have an arbitrary element x and a set Z, The key question is: "How we can understand that x is member of Z or not?". Mathematician answer to this question with a concept: Characteristic Property of a set. Characteristic Property of a set is an expression which describe set completely. For example we have set of Natural Numbers which is {0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ...}. We can describe this set with this expression: {an | a0 = 0, an = an-1+1}. In last expression a0 = 0, an = an-1+1 is the characteristic property of set of natural numbers. If we have this expression, we can build this set completely. Let describe the set of even numbers in this manner. We know that this set is made by this numbers: {0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, ...}. With a glance we understand that all of this numbers are also a natural number, in other words if we add some extra conditions to characteristic property of natural numbers, we can build a new expression which describe this set. So we can describe with this expression: {n | n is a member of natural numbers and the reminder of n on 2 is zero}. Now we can create a filter which get the characteristic property of a set and filter some desired elements to return elements of our set. For example if we have a natural number filter, both of natural numbers and even numbers can pass this filter, but if we have a even number filter, then some elements like 3 and 137871 can't pass the filter.

Definition of interface in Go is like defining the characteristic property and mechanism of using interface as an argument of a function is like a filter which detect the element is a member of our desired set or not. Lets describe this aspect with code:

type Number interface {
    IsNumber() bool // the implementation filter "meysam" from 3.14, 2 and 3
}

type NaturalNumber interface {
    Number
    IsNaturalNumber() bool // the implementation filter 3.14 from 2 and 3
}

type EvenNumber interface {
    NaturalNumber
    IsEvenNumber() bool // the implementation filter 3 from 2
}

The characteristic property of Number is all structures that have IsNumber method, for NaturalNumber is all ones that have IsNumber and IsNaturalNumber methods and finally for EvenNumber is all types which have IsNumber, IsNaturalNumber and IsEvenNumber methods. Thanks to this interpretation of interface, easily we can understand that since interface{} doesn't have any characteristic property, accept all types (because it doesn't have any filter for distinguishing between values).