Inside 206-105

Existential Pontification and Generalized Abstract Digressions


The GHC scheduler

I’d like to talk about some nitty-gritty details of GHC’s thread scheduling, discovered over the course of working on stride scheduling for GHC. Most of these choices are merely implementation details and are not part of any specification. While these choices shouldn’t be relied upon, they are worth knowing, since many of these details were […]

Template project for GHC plugins

There is a bit of scaffolding involved with making Core-to-Core transforming GHC plugins, so I made a little project, based off of Max Bolingbroke’s examples, which is a nice, clean template project which you can use to create your own GHC plugins. In particular, it has documentation and pointers to the GHC source as well […]

In-program GC stats redux

Hac Phi was quite productive (since I managed to get two blog posts out of it!) On Saturday I committed a new module GHC.Stats to base which implemented a modified subset of the API I proposed previously. Here is the API; to use it you’ll need to compile GHC from Git. Please test and let […]


This post was adapted from a post I made to the glasgow-haskell-users list. According to Control.Exception, the BlockedIndefinitelyOnMVar exception (and related exception BlockedIndefinitelyOnSTM) is thrown when “the thread is blocked on an MVar, but there are no other references to the MVar so it can't ever continue.” The description is actually reasonably precise, but it […]

In-program GC stats for GHC

I’ll be at this year’s Hac Phi (coming up in a week and a half), and I am planning on working on in-program garbage collector statistics for GHC. There is nothing really technically difficult about this task (we just need to expose some functions in the RTS), but it’s not been done yet and I […]

Debugging compilers with optimization fuel

Today I would like to describe how I pin down compiler bugs, specifically, bugs tickled by optimizations, using a neat feature that Hoopl has called optimization fuel. Unfortunately, this isn’t a particularly Googleable term, so hopefully this post will get some Google juice too. Optimization fuel was originally introduced by David Whalley in 1994 in […]

Tracing the compilation of Hello Factorial!

It is often said that the factorial function is the “Hello World!” of the functional programming language world. Indeed, factorial is a singularly useful way of testing the pattern matching and recursive facilities of FP languages: we don’t bother with such “petty” concerns as input-output. In this blog post, we’re going to trace the compilation […]

Hoopl: Dataflow analysis

Once you’ve determined what dataflow facts you will be collecting, the next step is to write the transfer function that actually performs this analysis for you! Remember what your dataflow facts mean, and this step should be relatively easy: writing a transfer function usually involves going through every possible statement in your language and thinking […]

Hoopl: Dataflow lattices

The essence of dataflow optimization is analysis and transformation, and it should come as no surprise that once you’ve defined your intermediate representation, the majority of your work with Hoopl will involve defining analysis and transformations on your graph of basic blocks. Analysis itself can be further divided into the specification of the dataflow facts […]

Hoopl guided tour: Base system

Hoopl is a higher-order optimization library. We think it’s pretty cool! This series of blog post is meant to give a tutorial-like introduction to this library, supplementing the papers and the source code. I hope this series will also have something for people who aren’t interested in writing optimization passes with Hoopl, but are interested […]