[Haskell-cafe] Re: Processing of large files

John Meacham john at repetae.net
Tue Nov 2 17:44:23 EST 2004

On Tue, Nov 02, 2004 at 11:53:52AM +0300, Alexander Kogan wrote:
> Where should I add `seq` to make FiniteMap strict?
> I tried 
> merge' a x = let r = addToFM_C (+) a x 1 in r `seq` r
> but it doesn't help.

== an anecdote

A quick note, 
x `seq` x 
is always exactly equivalant to x. the reason being that your seq would
never be called to force x unless x was needed anyway.

I only mention it because for some reason this realization did not hit
me for a long time and once it did a zen-like understanding of seq
(relative to the random placement and guessing method I had used
previously) suddenly was bestowed upon me.

== an opinion

I find the most useful seq idioms are  to force an argument to a
function to be evaluated like
f $! x
this ensures that f is always passed an evaluated argument. 

or to do it from the other side, (inside the function)

f x y | x `seq` False = undefined
f x y = .... 

that first line ensures that f is strict in its first argument and can
easily be added after the fact if you see a function is not strict


John Meacham - ⑆repetae.net⑆john⑈ 

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