Abstract FilePath Proposal

Joachim Breitner mail at joachim-breitner.de
Sat Jun 27 08:05:02 UTC 2015


Am Freitag, den 26.06.2015, 18:08 +0200 schrieb Herbert Valerio Riedel:
> Why/How/When?
> =============
> For details (including motivation and a suggested transition scheme)
> please consult
>   https://ghc.haskell.org/trac/ghc/wiki/Proposal/AbstractFilePath

unless proven wrong, I assume that this breaks lots of code. So by
default, I am doubtful towards that proposal.

Also, the argument about inefficiency does not convince me. In a
Prelude where "type String = [Char]", this is – as bad as it may be –
consistent and expected. Just like you manually have to reach out for
dedicated string types if you want efficient Haskell, you can manually
reach out for dedicated FilePath libraries. I doubt that it is a good
idea to fix the String problem in small, isolated chunks.

However, the argument that, depending on the system, "type FilePath =
String" is simply wrong (because the semantics of file paths are not
unicode points), is one that I buy in. On such systems, the Prelude is,
in a moral sense, wrongly typed, and the situation is comparable to a
hypothetical "type String = [Word8]" – which is just wrong in a world
of unicode. So for me, the faithful representation of system filepaths
makes this proposal interesting. I like it when Haskell “gets it

So if the transition can be made somewhat smooth, I’m leaning towards
supporting it.


Joachim “nomeata” Breitner
  mail at joachim-breitner.dehttp://www.joachim-breitner.de/
  Jabber: nomeata at joachim-breitner.de  • GPG-Key: 0xF0FBF51F
  Debian Developer: nomeata at debian.org
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