[Haskell-cafe] Adding a builder to the "bytestring" package?

Michael Snoyman michael at snoyman.com
Wed Jan 19 20:37:11 CET 2011

On Wed, Jan 19, 2011 at 9:32 PM, Johan Tibell <johan.tibell at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 19, 2011 at 6:51 PM, John Millikin <jmillikin at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Most people who work with binary data have had to construct
>> bytestrings at some point. The most common solution is to use a
>> "Builder", a monoid representing how to construct a bytestring. There
>> are currently three packages (that I know of) which include builder
>> implementations: binary, cereal, and blaze-builder.
>> However, all of these libraries have additional dependencies beyond
>> just "bytestring". All three depend on "array" and "containers", and
>> blaze-builder additionally depends on "text" (and thus "deepseq").
>> Since the current implementation of GHC uses static linking, every
>> additional dependency adds to the final size of a binary.
>> Obviously the "Builder" concept is very useful, as it has been
>> implemented at least three times. How about adding it to the
>> "bytestring" package itself? We could have a module
>> Data.ByteString.Builder, with functions (at minimum):
>> toByteString :: Builder -> Data.ByteString.ByteString
>> toLazyByteString :: Builder -> Data.ByteString.Lazy.ByteString
>> fromByteString :: Data.ByteString.ByteString -> Builder
>> fromLazyByteString :: Data.ByteString.Lazy.ByteString -> Builder
>> empty :: Builder
>> append :: Builder -> Builder -> Builder
>> Plus whatever implementation details might be useful to expose.
>> Existing libraries could then add their extra features (word ->
>> builder for binary and cereal, UTF/HTTP for blaze-builder) on top of
>> the existing types.
>> Is this something the community is interested in? Is there any work
>> currently aimed at this goal?
> I think both Duncan and I agree that we should move
> Data.Binary.Builder (which doesn't have any extra dependencies) to
> bytestring. I've already added Data.Text.Lazy.Builder to text.
> Johan
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Isn't Simon Meier working on migrating his code from blaze-builder
into binary? I agree with John that it would make more sense to go in
bytestring. Assuming that happens, would the builder from text end up
being based on it?


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