[Haskell-cafe] Re: Microsoft's Singularity Project and Haskell

David Leimbach leimy2k at gmail.com
Sat Jul 31 16:23:45 EDT 2010

Haskell's great and all but it does have a few warts when it comes to how
much real trust one  should put into the type system.

Some compromises still exist like unsafePerformIO that you can't detect
simply by looking at the types of functions.

In order to live up to the hype and the marketing around Haskell, really
things like unsafePerformIO should not be allowed at all.

The type of

unsafePerformIO $ fireTheMissles >> return 3 ::Int

is just Int after all.

Does Singularity also have such back doors?


On Sat, Jul 31, 2010 at 6:53 AM, Alberto G. Corona <agocorona at gmail.com>wrote:

> I guess that the house OS<http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&q=+house+OS+haskell&aq=f&aqi=g-sx7&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=>has no one of these problems that singularity tries to solve in the first
> place.
> The problem of general OSs is: we have unsafe code, so what we do to deal
> with it?. The usual option is the isolation trough virtual addresses so that
> every pointer address is virtual. This imposes cost in task switching and
> pointer handling.   The singularity alternative seems to be to check the
> managed code for pointer violations at installation time.
> In singularity they pretend to extend the reach of types, defined in .NET
> at the assembly level for inter program and inter language safety, to  the
> OS level for runtime safety. This goal is interesting, because a well
> defined type system, without unsafe operations permitted, managed at the OS
> level could permit pure code to run wildly in real memory very fast, for
> example. With effects defined in the type system the advantages may be
> greater.
> 2010/7/31 Tim Matthews <tim.matthews7 at gmail.com>
>> SPJ <http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/people/simonpj/default.aspx> and
>> probably many others are actually employed at Microsoft research centers. It
>> looks like Microsoft just hasn't been able to find a suitable spot to push
>> Haskell. Haskell influenced F# because they needed a functional language
>> that targeted CLR, and included OO and mutable data.
>> IMO Haskell is even better than their languages
>> Maybe so but singularity actually provides the whole os apis via clr
>> interfaces compared to mainstream windows os where the underlying apis are
>> all in C, C++ and COM. The common intermediate language is not tied to any
>> specific programming language such as C# or VB, it's more generic than that,
>> and has it's advantages. Safety is something they wish to achieve but afaik
>> their main goal is to write an OS in managed code.
>> Haskell does provide a safe runtime but afaik unlike the clr it's tied to
>> the haskell language. I think there has also been some attempts to write an
>> OS in haskell too though, but that's another story...
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