ANNOUNCE: GHC 7.4.1 Release Candidate 1

Simon Marlow marlowsd at
Wed Jan 4 09:45:06 CET 2012

On 03/01/2012 16:54, Tristan Ravitch wrote:

> This might be the expected behavior but I'll ask anyway.  I have what
> seems to be a legitimate stack overflow (due to excessive recursion
> and not the evaluation of a big thunk).  The stack trace from -xc only
> shows about 13 calls on the stack (with each function that is called
> only appearing once).
> Is it by design that functions only appear once?

Yes, and this is the area where things might change.  We have to somehow 
make the stack finite, otherwise the data structure storing the stack 
would fill up the memory.  Here are a few options:

  A) On a recursive call, truncate the stack to the previous instance
     of the call

  B) On a recursive call, do not push anything on the stack

  C) On a recursive call, elide some previous entries in the stack
     (e.g. replacing them with "...")

Currently we're doing a variant of A, which is good for profiling 
because it means that the cost of a function call is always attributed 
to a stack with that function at the top.  However, A doesn't satisfy 
all the properties we need, so certain compiler transformations aren't 
valid.  The only option that has the right properties is B, but that 
isn't so useful for profiling.

C is more useful for stack traces, because there is more information 
towards the top of the stack - the last few calls are correct, but 
information deeper down the stack is lost.  This is what Tristan Allwood 
used in his "Finding the Needle" paper.  Unfortunately C doesn't have 
the right transformational properties either.


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