Trivial Functional Dependencies (and downright nonsense) accepted
Summary
GHC accepts Functional Dependencies that are pointless and/or nonsensical.
(This ticket was originally posted as a possible 'feature'. But the allowed syntax is misleading: there's no useful behaviour. Commentary from SPJ & RAE retained below for ref.)
Steps to reproduce
These FunDeps are accepted
class C a  a > a where  not even MultiParam
cMeth :: a > String
class D a b  a b > b where
dMeth :: a > b > String
class D2 a b  a b a b > b a b a
Expected behavior
I expect these to be rejected, because they're pointless. The class behaves just as if there were no FunDep at all.
Environment
 GHC version used: 8.6.4
Optional:

Operating System: Windows

For comparison, the validation on FunDeps in Hugs static validation, search for "trivial" is, for each FunDep in the class decl:
 the tyvars to the right of each
>
must be nonempty;  no tyvar can appear both left and right of the same
>
;  no tyvar repeated left of each
>
;  no tyvar repeated right of each
>
.
 the tyvars to the right of each

In general, in database theory for functional dependencies, these are known as 'trivial'. (Neither the Jones 2000 paper introducing FunDeps; nor the JFP 2006 Sulzmann et al 'via CHRs paper' explicitly give these rules.)
/label bug
 as originally posted, for ref
Motivation
This isn't so much a feature request as: does anybody know GHC can do this?/Is there some reasoning behind it?/I can think of a possible use.
There's a longstanding ticket #8634 which got dubbed 'Dysfunctional Dependencies'. It seems GHC already supports something like it.
Proposal
Consider these FunDeps
class C a  a > a where  not even MultiParam
cMeth :: a > String
class D a b  a b > b where
dMeth :: a > b > String
This is accepted by GHC (8.6.4), and I can write and use instances for those classes. Those dependencies are what's called "trivial"  that is, the FunDep target also appears on LHS of the >
. FunDep theory (such as the 'via CHRs' paper) says they shouldn't be allowed, and indeed Hugs rejects those class decls.
But wait! Here's some useful instances
instance D Int Bool where
dMeth x p = show $ if p then x else x
instance D Int Char where  rejected if FunDep is bare a > b
dMeth x y = y : show x  because FunDep conflict between instances
instance (b1 ~ Int) => D Int (b1 > b1) where
dMeth x f = show $ f x
fi = dMeth (5 :: Int) ((\x > x + x) :: Num b2 => b2 > b2)
instance {# OVERLAPPABLE #} (b ~ String) => D Int b where
dMeth x _ = "String" ++ show x
(That last instance and the (b1 > b1)
would need UndecidableInstances
if just FunDep a > b
.)
OTOH I don't seem to be getting behaviour any different from just D
without a FunDep at all. For example
f :: D a b => a > a
f x = x
is rejected as ambiguous, as would be with no FunDep on D
.
From what I recall of 'Dysfunctional Dependencies' (by now the ticket is long and turgid), a FunDep a b > b
does represent what's happening: for some instances you can get from a
to b
by the coverage conditions; for some you can get from a
to b
via Constraints (and UndecidableInstances
); for some you need to also look at the combo of a, b
 in that case, the Wanted from the use site will give sufficient typing to select the instance and then fix b
. Just trust me that when the FunDep says ... > b
you'll be able to infer b
.