Discussion: Strict maps

Heinrich Apfelmus apfelmus at quantentunnel.de
Tue Dec 23 10:25:34 UTC 2014

Milan Straka wrote:
> Hi all,
> here is the discussion that initiated the Lazy and Strict versions:
> https://www.haskell.org/pipermail/libraries/2011-May/016362.html
> What follows is only my own interpretation of the discussion, please
> feel to reed it by yourselves. There were few people discussing, but
> I feel that avoiding the distinction on a type level was quite
> supported. I advocated the idea that strictness is not a property of the
> map itself, but a property of how you work with the map. The flexibility
> of one data type at the expense of some static checking was mentioned.

I may be somewhat late for the discussion, but I would advocate for the 
contrary point of view, that "strictness" *is* a property of the map. I 
would also say that "strictness" is not the right word (hence the 
quotes). Rather, the maps from `Data.Map.Strict` are characterized by 
the invariant that whenever such a map is in WHNF, then all its values 
are in WHNF, too. The type system seems like the right place to encode 
such invariants.

For a more detailed discussion of this approach, see also


I discuss an actual use case at the end.

Best regards,
Heinrich Apfelmus


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