[Haskell-cafe] Are handles garbage-collected?

Ben Rudiak-Gould Benjamin.Rudiak-Gould at cl.cam.ac.uk
Tue Oct 26 06:42:23 EDT 2004

David Menendez wrote:

 >One of the goals of ReiserFS, if I recall correctly, is to create a
 >filesystem API that doesn't involve file handles. I wonder how far one
 >could get without explicitly dealing with file handles outside of the IO
 >library implementation.

I tried to do this last year with my File and Directory abstractions
[1], but the consensus was that it would be impossible to implement on
top of Posix or Win32. It might be possible on top of the native NT API,

For this to really work properly the whole OS needs to be designed
around it. Such OSes exist -- they're called "capability-based" -- but
like so many other good ideas this one hasn't generated much interest
in industry. I think we're stuck with explicit file handle management
for the next couple of decades.

-- Ben

[1] http://www.mail-archive.com/haskell@haskell.org/msg13071.html

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