[Haskell-cafe] ANNOUNCE: Sun Microsystems and Haskell.org joint project on OpenSPARC

Duncan Coutts duncan.coutts at worc.ox.ac.uk
Thu Jul 24 18:55:31 EDT 2008

On Thu, 2008-07-24 at 14:38 -0700, John Meacham wrote:
> Neat stuff. I used to work at Sun in the solaris kernel group, the SPARC
> architecture is quite elegant. I wonder if we can find an interesting
> use for the register windows in a haskell compiler. Many compilers for
> non c-like languages (such as boquist's one that jhc is based on (in
> spirit, if not code)) just ignore the windows and treat the architecture
> as having a flat 32 register file.

Right. GHC on SPARC has also always disabled the register window when
running Haskell code (at least for registerised builds) and only uses it
when using the C stack and calling C functions.

We should discuss this with our project adviser from the SPARC compiler

The problem of course is recursion and deeply nested call stacks which
don't make good use of register windows because they keep having to
interrupt to spill them to the save area.

I vaguely wondered if they might be useful for leaf calls or more
generally where we can see statically that the call depth is small (and
we can see all callers of said function, since it'd change the calling

But now you mention it, I wonder if there is anything even more cunning
we could do, perhaps with lightweight threads or something. Or perhaps
an area to quickly save registers at GC safe points.


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