[Haskell-cafe] Re: Paralelism and Distribution in Haskell

Mathew de Detrich deteego at gmail.com
Mon Sep 6 21:07:39 EDT 2010

Before Haskell took off with parallelism, it was assumed that Haskell would
be trivial to run concurrently on cores because majority of Haskell programs
were pure, so you could simply run different functions on different cores
and string the results together when your done

It turned out that using such a naive method created massive overhead (to
the point where it wasn't worth it), and so different concurrent paradigms
were introduced into Haskell to provide parallelism (nested data structures,
parallel strategies, collections, STM). In I believe almost every case for
these algorithms, there is a compromise between ease of implementation vs
performance gains.

Haskell is still by far one of the best languages to deal with
concurrency/parallelism. In most other conventional languages used today
(with are imperative or multi-paradigm), parallelism breaks
modularity/abstraction (which is one of the main reasons why most desktop
applications/games are still single core, and the few exceptions
use parallelism in very trivial cases). This is of course mainly to to deal
with state (semaphores/mutex). Although it is possible to program in other
languages using 'pure' code, its often very ugly (and in that case you may
as well use Haskell)

On Tue, Sep 7, 2010 at 8:37 AM, Johannes Waldmann <
waldmann at imn.htwk-leipzig.de> wrote:

> Don Stewart <dons <at> galois.com> writes:
> > Note that DPH is a programming model, but the implementation currently
> > targets shared memory multicores (and to some extent GPUs), not
> > distributed systems.
> Yes. I understand that's only part of what the original poster wanted,
> but I'd sure want to use ghc-generated code on a (non-distributed) GPU.
> I keep telling students and colleagues that functional/declarative code
> "automatically" parallelizes, with basically "no extra effort"
> from the programmer (because it's all in the compiler) - but I would
> feel better with some real code and benchmarks to back that up.
> GPU computing via ghc  could be a huge marketing opportunity  -
> if it works, it should be all over the front page of haskell.org?
> J.W.
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