Coming From ZIO

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If you are coming to Effect from ZIO, there are a few differences to be aware of.

Environment

In Effect, we represent the environment required to run an Effect workflow as a union of services:

ts
import { Effect } from "effect"
 
// v---------v---- `R` is a union of Console | Logger
type Http = Effect.Effect<Response, IOError | HttpError, Console | Logger>
 
type Response = Record<string, string>
 
interface IOError {
readonly _tag: "IOError"
}
 
interface HttpError {
readonly _tag: "HttpError"
}
 
interface Console {
readonly log: (msg: string) => void
}
 
interface Logger {
readonly log: (msg: string) => void
}
ts
import { Effect } from "effect"
 
// v---------v---- `R` is a union of Console | Logger
type Http = Effect.Effect<Response, IOError | HttpError, Console | Logger>
 
type Response = Record<string, string>
 
interface IOError {
readonly _tag: "IOError"
}
 
interface HttpError {
readonly _tag: "HttpError"
}
 
interface Console {
readonly log: (msg: string) => void
}
 
interface Logger {
readonly log: (msg: string) => void
}

This may be confusing to folks coming from ZIO, where the environment is represented as an intersection of services:

scala
type Http = ZIO[Console with Logger, IOError, Response]
scala
type Http = ZIO[Console with Logger, IOError, Response]

Rationale

The rationale for using a union to represent the environment required by an Effect workflow boils down to our desire to remove Has as a wrapper for services in the environment (similar to what was achieved in ZIO 2.0).

To be able to remove Has from Effect, we had to think a bit more structurally given that TypeScript is a structural type system. In TypeScript, if you have a type A & B where there is a structural conflict between A and B, the type A & B will reduce to never.

ts
export interface A {
readonly prop: string
}
 
export interface B {
readonly prop: number
}
 
const ab: A & B = {
prop: ""
Type 'string' is not assignable to type 'never'.2322Type 'string' is not assignable to type 'never'.
}
ts
export interface A {
readonly prop: string
}
 
export interface B {
readonly prop: number
}
 
const ab: A & B = {
prop: ""
Type 'string' is not assignable to type 'never'.2322Type 'string' is not assignable to type 'never'.
}

In previous versions of Effect, intersections were used for representing an environment with multiple services. The problem with using intersections (i.e. A & B) is that there could be multiple services in the environment that have functions and properties named in the same way. To remedy this, we wrapped services in the Has type (similar to ZIO 1.0), so you would have Has<A> & Has<B> in your environment.

In ZIO 2.0, the contravariant R type parameter of the ZIO type (representing the environment) became fully phantom, thus allowing for removal of the Has type. This significantly improved the clarity of type signatures as well as removing another "stumbling block" for new users.

To faciliate removal of Has in Effect, we had to consider how types in the environment compose. By the rule of composition, contravariant parameters composed as an intersection (i.e. with &) are equivalent to covariant parameters composed together as a union (i.e. with |) for purposes of assignability. Based upon this fact, we decided to diverge from ZIO and make the R type parameter covariant given A | B does not reduce to never if A and B have conflicts.

From our example above:

ts
export interface A {
readonly prop: string
}
 
export interface B {
readonly prop: number
}
 
const ab: A | B = {
prop: ""
}
ts
export interface A {
readonly prop: string
}
 
export interface B {
readonly prop: number
}
 
const ab: A | B = {
prop: ""
}

Representing R as a covariant type parameter containing the union of services required by an Effect workflow allowed us to remove the requirement for Has.

Type Aliases

In Effect, there are no predefined type aliases such as UIO, URIO, RIO, Task, or IO like in ZIO.

The reason for this is that type aliases are lost as soon as you compose them, which renders them somewhat useless unless you maintain multiple signatures for every function. In Effect, we have chosen not to go down this path. Instead, we utilize the never type to indicate unused types.

It's worth mentioning that the perception of type aliases being quicker to understand is often just an illusion. In Effect, the explicit notation Effect<A> clearly communicates that only type A is being used. On the other hand, when using a type alias like RIO<R, A>, questions arise about the type E. Is it unknown? never? Remembering such details becomes challenging.