Crazy suggestion: ByteString -> Bytes

Carter Schonwald carter.schonwald at
Tue Jan 8 16:02:00 UTC 2019

yeah, if it were to be renamed, those would be good ideas.

On Mon, Jan 7, 2019 at 4:35 AM Vladislav Zavialov <vlad.z.4096 at>

> ByteString may not be the best way to represent a sequence of bytes, as it
> contributes to heap fragmentation by using pinned memory.
> Its primary use case should be FFI, and it's largely misused today.
> If we rename it, let's call it "PinnedBytes", and use the name "Bytes" for
> ShortByteString, ByteArray, or Array Word8
> All the best,
> Vlad
> On Mon, Jan 7, 2019, 12:25 Merijn Verstraaten <merijn at
> wrote:
>> Ok, so I think there is a fairly wide consensus that the name ByteString
>> is a pretty misleading historical naming mistake. On the other hand, I also
>> realise bytestring is at the very core of the Haskell ecosystem and any
>> breakage has to be avoided at all cost...
>> So I was just wondering on IRC what (if any?) problems we'd run into if
>> we released a "bytes" package that's just s/ByteString/Bytes of bytestring
>> (Data.Bytes, Bytes type, etc) then turn bytestring into a hollow shell that
>> just re-exports Data.Bytes as Data.ByteString, etc. and defines "type
>> ByteString = Bytes".
>> I realise there's no way we'll get rid of bytestring itself any time soon
>> (if ever), but at least we could point new code and beginners at a less
>> confusingly named type. Added bonus Bytes is considerably shorter to type!
>> Cheers,
>> Merijn
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