[Haskell-cafe] Re: proposal: HaBench, a Haskell Benchmark Suite

David Roundy droundy at darcs.net
Fri Jan 26 10:23:26 EST 2007

On Fri, Jan 26, 2007 at 10:17:28AM -0500, Al Falloon wrote:
> Kenneth Hoste wrote:
> >The idea is to gather a bunch of programs written in Haskell, and which 
> >are representative for the Haskell community (i.e. apps, libraries, 
> >...).
> A While ago I tried to write a Haskell version of John Harrops 
> ray-tracer benchmark 
> (http://www.ffconsultancy.com/free/ray_tracer/languages.html) but the 
> performance was not very good (the OCaml version I based it on was at 
> least 10x faster).
> I would be happy to contribute my code to the benchmark suite if you are 
> interested. Perhaps someone can point out obvious speed-ups that I 
> missed while trying to improve the performance.

I would think that what we'd want to benchmark would be clean, optimized
actually-used code.  I.e. things like Data.Bytestring, so that we could see
how compilers differed on important code, or how the code generated on
different architectures differed.  e.g. if jhc beats ghc on amd64, the ghc
developers would probably be very curious as to why, and how to fix it.

Code that's not been properly optimized with respect to strictness, etc,
would fail to focus the tests on important optimizations of the compiler.
But of course, the benchmark code should also be clean, since we want to
ensure that our compilers are good enough that we can write useful
beautiful code that is also fast.

Just my $0.02.
David Roundy

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