[Haskell] Haskell as a disruptive technology?

Davor Cubranic cubranic at gmail.com
Wed Mar 29 14:50:54 EST 2006

On 3/27/06, Robert Dockins <robdockins at fastmail.fm> wrote:
> I'd love to see Haskell on highly concurrent hardware becoming more
> of a reality: Haskell on the Cell is a great idea;

>From what I've heard, programmers of games for next-gen consoles (XBox
360 and PS3) are having a hard time using all available cores
effectively. Tim Sweeney (founder of Epic games, these days probably
best known for his work on the Unreal game engine) talked about some
of these issues in his POPL talk
There are some interesting details on the characteristics of code that
goes into modern games, and he thinks there is lots of room for (lazy)
functional programming. There are some nits that he doesn't like about
Haskell, but the overall direction of the language is the right one.

There is a long discussion of this talk on Lambda the Ultimate
(http://lambda-the-ultimate.org/node/1277) in which Sweeney took part.
One interesting quote from him: " do believe [garbage collecting
memory] is completely practical as the sole memory management
solution, even in a realtime application like a game."

It's true that games development does not fulfill all of the criteria
Paul set out as the ideal niche for Haskell to take and grow by
stealth to world domination: it is way too big and visible a market.
But it does seem like it would be worthwhile to push existing Haskell
compilers to support multicore CPUs and eventually to include more
extreme multicore cases like the Cell.


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