[Haskell-cafe] Performance of delete-and-return-last-element

Petr Pudlák petr.mvd at gmail.com
Sat Aug 31 14:35:49 CEST 2013

One solution would be to fold over a specific semigroup instead of a 
recursive function:

|import  Data.Semigroup
import  Data.Foldable(foldMap)
import  Data.Maybe(maybeToList)

data  Darle  a =Darle  {getInit  :: [a],getLast  ::a  }
   deriving  Show
instance  Semigroup  (Darle  a)where
     ~(Darle  xs1 l1) <> ~(Darle  xs2 l2) =Darle  (xs1 ++ [l1] ++ xs2) l2

darle  :: [a] ->Darle  a
darle  = foldr1 (<>) . map (Darle  [])|

It's somewhat more verbose, but the core idea is clearly expressed in 
the one line that defines |<>|, and IMHO it better shows /what/ are we 
doing rather than /how/. It's sufficiently lazy so that you can do 
something like |head . getInit $ darle [1..]|.

Best regards,

Dne 08/30/2013 08:18 PM, Lucas Paul napsal(a):

> Suppose I need to get an element from a data structure, and also
> modify the data structure. For example, I might need to get and delete
> the last element of a list:
> darle xs = ((last xs), (rmlast xs)) where
>    rmlast [_] = []
>    rmlast (y:ys) = y:(rmlast ys)
> There are probably other and better ways to write rmlast, but I want
> to focus on the fact that darle here, for lack of a better name off
> the top of my head, appears to traverse the list twice. Once to get
> the element, and once to remove it to produce a new list. This seems
> bad. Especially for large data structures, I don't want to be
> traversing twice to do what ought to be one operation. To fix it, I
> might be tempted to write something like:
> darle' [a] = (a, [])
> darle' (x:xs) = let (a, ys) = darle' xs in (a, (x:ys))
> But this version has lost its elegance. It was also kind of harder to
> come up with, and for more complex data structures (like the binary
> search tree) the simpler expression is really desirable. Can a really
> smart compiler transform/optimize the first definition into something
> that traverses the data structure only once? Can GHC?
> - Lucas
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> Haskell-Cafe at haskell.org
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