[Haskell-cafe] Re: Fwd: Semantics of iteratees, enumerators, enumeratees?

Conrad Parker conrad at metadecks.org
Tue Aug 24 01:55:40 EDT 2010

On 24 August 2010 14:47, Jason Dagit <dagit at codersbase.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 23, 2010 at 10:37 PM, Conrad Parker <conrad at metadecks.org>
> wrote:
>> On 24 August 2010 14:14, Jason Dagit <dagit at codersbase.com> wrote:
>> > I'm not a semanticist, so I apologize right now if I say something
>> > stupid or
>> > incorrect.
>> >
>> > On Mon, Aug 23, 2010 at 9:57 PM, Conal Elliott <conal at conal.net> wrote:
>> >>>
>> >>> So perhaps this could be a reasonable semantics?
>> >>>
>> >>> Iteratee a = [Char] -> Maybe (a, [Char])
>> >>
>> >> I've been tinkering with this model as well.
>> >>
>> >> However, it doesn't really correspond to the iteratee interfaces I've
>> >> seen, since those interfaces allow an iteratee to notice size and
>> >> number of
>> >> chunks.  I suspect this ability is an accidental abstraction leak,
>> >> which
>> >> raises the question of how to patch the leak.
>> >
>> > From a purely practical viewpoint I feel that treating the chunking as
>> > an
>> > abstraction leak might be missing the point.  If you said, you wanted
>> > the
>> > semantics to acknowledge the chunking but be invariant under the size or
>> > number of the chunks then I would be happier.
>> I think that's the point, ie. to specify what the invariants should
>> be. For example (to paraphrase, very poorly, something Conal wrote on
>> the whiteboard behind me):
>> run [concat [chunk]] == run [chunk]
>> ie. the (a, [Char]) you maybe get from running an iteratee over any
>> partitioning of chunks should be the same, ie. the same as from
>> running it over the concatenation of all chunks, which is the whole
>> input [Char].
> I find this notation foreign.  I get [Char], that's the Haskell String
> type, but what is [chunk]?  I doubt you mean a list of one element.

sorry, that was just my way of writing "the list of chunks" or perhaps
"the stream of chunks that represents the input".


>> > I use iteratees when I need to be explicit about chunking and when I
>> > don't
>> > want the resources to "leak outside" of the stream processing.  If you
>> > took
>> > those properties away, I wouldn't want to use it anymore because then it
>> > would just be an inelegant way to do things.
>> Then I suppose the model for Enumerators is different than that for
>> Iteratees; part of the point of an Enumerator is to control the size
>> of the chunks, so that needs to be part of the model. An Iteratee, on
>> the other hand, should not have to know the size of its chunks. So you
>> don't want to be able to know the length of a chunk (ie. a part of the
>> stream), but you do want to be able to, say, fold over it, and to be
>> able to stop the computation at any time (these being the main point
>> of iteratees ...).
> I think I agree with that.
> Jason

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