H98 Text IO

Jules Bean jules at jellybean.co.uk
Tue Feb 26 07:59:21 EST 2008

Ross Paterson wrote:
> On Tue, Feb 26, 2008 at 11:47:49AM +0000, Duncan Coutts wrote:
>> The major problem is with code that assumes GHC's Handles are
>> essentially Word8 and layer their own UTF8 or other decoding over the
>> top. The utf8-string package has this problem for example. Such code
>> should be using openBinaryFile because they are reading/writing binary
>> data, not String text.
> As I was saying on cabal-devel, I think this distinction ought to be in
> the types, i.e. we need, in base, a type distinct from Handle that offers
> a Word8 interface to binary I/O, as a foundation for various experiments
> with encodings (which need not all be in base).

I agree with a separate handle type, but Duncan's proposal is all about 
"fixing" the fact that the H98 library doesn't implement the H98 spec.

I think that proposal should pass independently.

I then think that a System.IO.Binary library, which provides a newtyped 
Handle for Word8 IO would be an excellent thing to propose next!


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