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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • by ziggy (25) on 2009.04.04 18:05 (#68017) Journal

    Dichotomies can be categorized into exactly two types: true dichotomies and false dichotomies. :-)

    This, my friend, is a false dichotomy.

    Modern haskell believes strongly in the second option. It's all about making and reusing the best abstractions, and hoping the compiler can figure it out. Most don't, ghc often does, but not always.

    The new fad in the haskell community is stream fusion, or writing your code in a pipelined manner that allows a stack of maps and filters to be condensed into a single traversal over an aggregate data type. Switching out linked lists of characters in favor of C-like "bytestrings" is another popular theme.

    What allows a compiler like ghc get C-like performance out of code like this is a liberal sprinkling of compiler hints and writing high level modules that do care about byte level operations.

    All compilers (save one[*]) are dumb programs that need a lot of help to figure out how to make performant code. The question is where, when, how and if its exposes the ability to do bit-level and byte-level tweaks.

    *: Any compiler that supports COME FROM cannot be deemed a "dumb" program. :-)

    • If the "sufficiently smart compiler" is True Amber and C is "The Courts of Chaos", GHC approaches Avalon. Now I wonder if Zelazny wrote more about programming than the Kabbalah.

      (For everyone not versed in expert-but-pop SF, I agree that GHC trends toward my second pole, but it certainly hasn't arrived.)