[Haskell-cafe] serialized data structures (Was: Generalized, named, and exportable default declarations)

Mario blamario at rogers.com
Tue Apr 13 14:58:33 UTC 2021

On 2021-04-13 5:20 a.m., Henning Thielemann wrote:
> We have seen a lot of effort of better integrating Text into Haskell 
> programming. The only purpose of doing so is to replace String by 
> something more space and time efficient. What would happen if we 
> invest equally much time into making String as efficient as Text? At 
> ICFP 2019 I attended a talk about Gibbon:
>    https://github.com/iu-parfunc/gibbon
> The idea of the project is to serialize (Haskell's) tree data 
> structures in memory as much as possible. Wouldn't this enable us to 
> use String instead of Text, again, maybe even lists instead of 
> Vectors? No more Text integration efforts, no more external library 
> with GHC-specific manual optimizations. Unfortunately, the project is 
> still in an early stage. So far, it only supports strict data structures.

I don't want to be unfair to the project without investigating it 
closer, but my feeling is that it goes against the spirit of the times. 
There's been some disillusionment with the shortcut fusion, rule-based 
rewriting, and similar advanced techniques. It's probably been 
inevitable that, as GHC slowly shifts from research and teaching to 
industrial use, the community would get jaded with amazing but flukey 
research results and put more value on boring predictability instead. 
Unless Gibbon can make String perform *consistently* as efficient as 
Text, I don't see the project gaining adoption.

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