bignums, gmp, bytestring, .. ?

Claus Reinke claus.reinke at
Fri Nov 17 19:24:30 EST 2006

it seems that haskell versions of bignums is pretty much gone from 
more recent discussions of gmp replacements. now, I assume that
there are lots of optimizations that keep gmp popular that one wouldn't
want to have to reproduce, so that a haskell variant might not be
competitive even if one had an efficient representation, but

- do all those who want to distribute binaries, but not dynamically
    linked, need bignums?
- it would be nice to know just how far off a good haskell version
    would be performance-wise..
- what would be a killer for numerical programming, might still be
    quite acceptable for a substantial part of haskell uses?

of course, the real gmp replacement project might be going so well
that a haskell version would be obsolete rather sooner than later, and
i certainly don't want to interfere with that effort.

all that being said, it occurred to me that the representations and
fusions described in the nice "rewriting haskell strings" paper would 
be a good foundation for a haskell bignum project, wouldn't they?

has anyone been looking into this option?

just another thought,

ps. while I'm at it: claiming that "array fusion .. has received 
    comparatively little attention" sounds a bit dangerous to me,
    and the references are all too limited - even if you meant 
    "in the Haskell world" (and PADL is no Haskell event).

    you might want to try searching with some other search terms,
    keeping in mind that most of the work will have been done for
    not so declarative languages: it isn't my area, but "loop fusion" 
    and "with-loop folding" come to mind, and I'm sure that all those 
    array language and numerical programming folks would be 
    rather, well, disappointed?, to see their efforts ignored like that.

More information about the Glasgow-haskell-users mailing list