[Haskell-cafe] Dynamic thread management?

Hugh Perkins hughperkins at gmail.com
Tue Aug 21 03:06:42 EDT 2007

On 8/11/07, Neil Bartlett <njbartlett at gmail.com> wrote:
> You're absolutely right that a dynamic/adaptive approach is the only
> one that will work when the tasks are of unknown size. Whether this
> approach is as easy as you think is open for you to prove. I look
> forward to testing your VM implementation,

Well... obviously migrating Haskell to use a VM is itself non-trivial
;-)  There are two obstacles:
- technical
- political

The technical obstacle means implementing it.  Given that high
performance VMs exist this is largely pure software engineering,
rather than research?

The political obstacle means: pursuading people to use it if it were
written.  If no-one uses it, it wont be maintained, and is basically
pretty useless.  The main reasons why it might not be used are:
- breaks the status quo / de facto standard
- provides no advantage in a single-core environment

Breaking the status quo is not an inconsiderable obstacle, but it
would be broken if there was a real advantage of using automatic
threading, which there is not right now because most machines are
single-cored.  Whilst it's the right time to think about how to
implement things, it's maybe a year or two early to actually implement
it and expect people to use it.

What I think is:
- automatic threading is not really that hard.  Once you've got a pure
FP running in a VM, the actual automatic threading bit is pretty easy
(largely software engineering, not research)
- when machines become multicored, Microsoft will just take F# (which
already runs in a VM I guess? but not sure if it's an FP-dedicated VM,
they might need to build one), and just slot in the automatic
threading bit.

> or at the very least
> reading your paper on the subject ;-)

Writing a paper would be fun.  I think I'm a little out of my depth to
be writing a paper ;-) but just on the off-chance, how does one go
about writing a paper and getting it published?  Does one have to be a
member of an accredited institution, or can one write one as a
"freelancer"?  If one has to be a member of an accredited institution,
what are the options?

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