[email protected]
[Top] [All Lists]

[Haskell-cafe] Re: [darcs-users] Iteratees, streams, and mmap

Subject: [Haskell-cafe] Re: [darcs-users] Iteratees, streams, and mmap
From: Johann Höchtl
Date: Sat, 12 Dec 2009 13:37:50 -0800 PST
On Dec 12, 7:13 pm, Jason Dagit <[email protected]> wrote:
> Hi Heinrich,
>
> On Sat, Dec 12, 2009 at 2:42 AM, Heinrich Apfelmus <
>
>
>
> [email protected]> wrote:
> > Jason Dagit wrote:
> > > My next experiment will be to find ways to express "take this operation
> > and
> > > apply it to a stream without letting the stream leak". One implication is
> > > that gzReadFilePS should not be used outside of a core set of modules
> > which
> > > have been auideted to be resource concious.  Another implication is that
> > we
> > > need to be really careful about wether or not we allow returning of
> > > sequences of patches.  Possibly, we need several foldl-like functions
> > that
> > > open the stream internally.  For example, to process the pending maybe we
> > > should have:
> > > withPending :: (a -> Patch -> a) ->  IO a
>
> > > And withPending would start the streaming and make sure that the stream
> > > cannot be visible as a data dependency outside of withPending.
>
> > Just a small comment on a potential flaw in this scheme and the
> > observation that even the rank-2 type trick from the  ST s  monad
> > wouldn't help.
>
> I would say it does help, but it doesn't make it perfect.
>
>
>
> > Namely,  withPending  does not guarantee that the stream does not leak,
> > it only makes it more natural/convenient to formulate one's code so that
> > it doesn't leak. In particular, using  (:)  as argument pretty much
> > defeats the whole purpose:
>
> Right.  And the iteratee library points out that your iteratees have to be
> well-behaved (I think there they say "bounded").  I'm well aware of this
> issue and thanks for pointing it out for others who are reading along.
>
>
>
>
>
> >   withPending (flip (:))
>
> > Fortunately, the type system can ensure that the patches don't leak.
>
> >   withPending :: (forall s. a -> Patch s -> a) -> IO a
>
> > Now,  a  may not mention  s  and the type checker will reject  flip (:)
> >  as argument. See also
>
> >  Oleg Kiselyov, Chung-chieh Shan.
> >  Lightweight Monadic Regions.
> >  http://www.cs.rutgers.edu/~ccshan/capability/region-io.pdf<http://www.cs.rutgers.edu/%7Eccshan/capability/region-io.pdf>
>
> > for an elaboration of this technique.
>
> I'm still on the fence as to whether this style of writing it will add value
> greater than the complexity it brings.  I am certainly considering it :)
> The darcs source does other things that are also fairly complex.
>
>
>
>
>
> > However, the line between leaking and not leaking is very thin here. As
> > soon as we are given for example a function
>
> >   name :: Patch s -> String
>
> > that discards the  s , its results can "leak", in the sense that we
> > could now build a list of names
>
> >   foo :: IO [String]
> >   foo = withPending . flip $ (:) . name
>
> > Even worse, any type  a  that doesn't have O(1) space usage will "leak"
>
> >   bar :: IO [()]
> >   bar = withPending . flip $ const (() :)
>
> > In other words, exporting only a  foldl' -like interface does not really
> > prevent us from writing functions that have O(n) instead of O(1) space
> > usage. But trying to rectify that with the  forall s  trick is a doomed
> > idea, too.
>
> I realize it's not perfect, but the problem we have now is that it's too
> easy to write things that have dismal space usage.  If we can't force proper
> space usage, how can we make it more natural to have bounded space?  Or at
> least a good approximation.
>
> It seems that:
>  * foldl'-style helps
>  * rank-n can help
>  * no approach I've seen *forces* the behavior we want
>  * existing code and bug reports demonstrate we need to improve the
> situation
>
> I'm open to suggestions on how to ensure the code has the space behavior I
> want.  Lazy IO* and streams of patches is more compositional and natural to
> Haskell programmers, but it seems that it's too hard to ensure the code has
> reasonable space usage.  At least where the darcs source is concerned.
> Therefore, I think the status quo demonstrates that in the darcs source it's
> worth experimenting with alternatives to lazy io and streams.  In other
> words, the human effort to make the code behave how we want is currently too
> high and that's the issue I want to address.  I don't know how we could make
> it impossible to have space leaks, although that would be interesting.
>

As a beginner to Haskell, I am only 1/3 through RWH, those lines scare
me in a sense to question my effort. I simply can not distinguish if
this discussion is somewhat pathological in a sense that every access
to the outside world imposes dangers and an additional exception
handler here and there and an additional if-statement to handle error
return codes will suffice.
Or lazy evaluation, IO monads and the whole story behind
unsafePerformIO was an additional layer of self-deception and
unpredictable effects from the outside world and lazy evaluation can
NEVER be satisfactory handled.

> (*) Note: Lazy IO itself is used in very few places in darcs these days
> because it has lead to serious bugs.  These days me point is more about big
> streams getting retained.  Finding where and why has proven difficult.
>
> Thanks,
> Jason
>
> _______________________________________________
> Haskell-Cafe mailing list
> [email protected]://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe
_______________________________________________
Haskell-Cafe mailing list
[email protected]
http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>