[Haskell-cafe] Re: Abstraction leak

Donald Bruce Stewart dons at cse.unsw.edu.au
Wed Jul 4 07:02:15 EDT 2007

> On Sun, Jul 01, 2007 at 06:07:13PM +0100, Andrew Coppin wrote:
> >I haven't actually tried, but presumably a TCP connection is represented 
> >in the same way as a file, and so has the same problems.
> >
> >Basically doing binary I/O seems to be one of those things that in Haskell 
> >falls into the class of "it's possibly but annoyingly messy"...
> In an ideal world there would be a 'deriving Serializable[1]' you

derive Binary
    (use an external tool for this)

> could do on datatypes which would get this right. In a really ideal
> world, you could specify the data layout somehow[2][2a], which would

Directly in Haskell data type decls -- see the ICFP 05 paper on the
House OS, which added packing annotations, and bit syntax. In current
Haskell, you specify the layout in instances Storable or Binary.

> make integrating Haskell code into a wider distributed network of
> processes exchanging binary data a cinch. In a super really ideal

Definitely. See things like the zlib or iconv
Data.Binary/Data.ByteString bindings, for prototypes. The 'tar'
reader/writer on hackage.haskell.org is also a good example.

> world, you could operate on the packets in place in Haskell where
> possible and save the deserialization overhead...

Data.ByteString.* for this.
> Anyone trying to do any of this?

Yeah, its a bit of a hot topic currently. :)
Gotta chase Erlang for hacking network data.

-- Don

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