[Haskell-cafe] In-place modification

Hugh Perkins hughperkins at gmail.com
Sun Jul 15 16:39:10 EDT 2007

On 7/15/07, Sebastian Sylvan <sebastian.sylvan at gmail.com> wrote:
[Lots of stuff]

Ok, Sebastian, there's such a thing as analysing products along multiple
orthogonal axes.

At no point have I claimed that C# is better at threading than Haskell, in
fact I'm pretty sure I've mostly suggested that Haskell might have answers
for this?

Nevertheless, threading is not the only point of interest when one analyses
a language.  One is also interested in things like:
- how easy is it to check function parameters for type (ok in Haskell) and
name (not ok)
- how fast does a pure computational function actually run.  It's fine
saying threading will multiple execution times by the number of cores, but
on a 256-core machine, if the underlying code runs 500 times slower, you're
actually going to run 50% slower overall ;-) and use up every processor on
that machine just for that one task
- how easy it to do things that are necessary for one's job. For me this
means things like:
   - is it easy to serialize arbitrary objects to/from xml (answer: didnt
used to be, but I managed to implement a good-enough solution)
   - create forms/web pages (answer: havent checked yet)
   - carry out network rpc (answer: doesnt exist yet, would need to write it
   - use opengl (not for my job, but I enjoy doing things outside of work
too ;-) )
- how easy is it for typical developers to use.  (answer: not easy; that
means developers will cost lots more money)

So... benchmarking comes into play to find out how fast a pure computational
function actually runs (point 2), and how well opengl runs (point 3.4).  I
didnt try opengl yet, I'm not holding my breath, but I'll give it a shot and
see what happens.

For the pure computation, FWIW my personal conclusions at the moment:
- Haskell can get up to C# speeds, by using imperative algorithms
- what does this say about lazy algorithms???
- intuitively written, maintainable Haskell algorithms run at far from C#

It's ok, I'm not planning on using Haskell today, I'm sure you guys will
sort this stuff out by the time Haskell becomes useful.

Or: the concepts from Haskell that work well will be imported into other
languages.  If you can run haskell in imperative-mode, I dont see why C#
cant run in pure mode.  In that case, knowing how haskell works will
probably make it easier to understand how C#-puremode works.
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