Binary IO

David Brown haskell at
Fri Apr 22 11:30:27 EDT 2005

On Fri, 22 Apr 2005 08:09:27 -0700, Peter Simons <simons at> wrote:

>> And hGet/PutWord8 are fast enough for most situations.
> Are you certain? Which interesting applications do you know
> that read and write one byte at a time? I can't speak for
> "most" situations, but in those situations where I needed
> binary I/O this API would have been impracticable.

I'm going to chime in agreement with the disagreement.

I have one application which uses single character binary I/O.  Because it  
works on small files, it borders on usefuleness.  As time goes on, the  
size of these inputs grows, and now the tool has become nearly worthless.

I seem to run into this kind of thing a lot with Haskell.  Dominic's ASN  
library is useful to me, however I'm finding I'll probably just have to  
use it as a template for new code.  It works fine for what designed for,  
parsing keys and such, but I'm looking to use it to represent gigabytes of  
data.  Processing data like that one Word8 at a time isn't practical.


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