io-classes: Type classes for concurrency with STM, ST and timing

[ apache, control, library ] [ Propose Tags ]
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Dependencies array, async (>=2.1), base (>=4.9 && <4.21), bytestring, ghc-internal, mtl (>=2.2 && <2.4), primitive (>=0.7 && <0.11), stm (>=2.5 && <2.6), time (>=1.9.1 && <1.13) [details]
License Apache-2.0[multiple license files]
Copyright 2019-2024 Input Output Global Inc (IOG)
Author Alexander Vieth, Duncan Coutts, Marcin Szamotulski, Thomas Winant
Maintainer Duncan Coutts, Marcin Szamotulski
Category Control
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Source repo head: git clone
Uploaded by IOHK at 2024-05-17T10:34:53Z
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Reverse Dependencies 5 direct, 0 indirect [details]
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Status Docs available [build log]
Last success reported on 2024-05-17 [all 1 reports]

Readme for io-classes-

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IO Monad Class Hierarchy

This package provides a monad class hierarchy which is an interface for both the io-sim and IO monads. It was developed with the following constraints in mind:

  • be a drop-in replacement for IO monad;
  • IO instances do not alter its original semantics, providing a shallow bindings to async, base, stm, and exceptions packages as well as timer API;
  • provide zero-cost abstractions.

We provide also non-standard extensions of this API:

  • strict-stm: strict TVar's, and other mutable STM variables, with support of the nothunks library;
  • si-timers: timers api:
    • 32-bit safe API using DiffTime measured in seconds (rather than time in microseconds represented as Int as in base)
    • cancellable timeouts.

strict-stm and nothunks were successfully used in a large code base to eliminate space leaks and keep that property over long development cycles.

Exception Class Hierarchy

This package provides an alternative class hierarchy giving access to exceptions API. The [exception] package class hierarchy is also supported by io-sim, so you can also use either one.

The MonadThrow defined in this package allows working with exceptions without having explicit access to catch or mask. It only provides access to throwIO, bracket, bracket_, and finally. MonadCatch class provides API which allows working with exceptions, e.g. catch or bracketOnError, and MonadMask gives access to low-level mask and friends. This division makes code review process somewhat easier. Using only MonadThrow constraint, the reviewer can be sure that no low-level exception API is used, which usually requires more care. Still MonadThrow is general enough to do resource handling right.

Time and Timer APIs

The time and timer APIs of this package follows closely the API exposed by base and time packages. We separately packaged a more convenient API in si-timers (ref SI), which provides a monoidal action of DiffTime on monotonic time as well as exposes 32-bit safe timer API (on 32-bit systems time in microseconds represented as an Int can only hold timeouts of ~35 minutes).

Control.Monad.Class.MonadTimer.NonStandard.MonadTimeout provides a low-level timeout abstraction. On systems that support a native timer manager, it's used to implement its API, which is very efficient even for low-latency timeouts. On other platforms (e.g. Windows), it's good enough for subsecond timeouts but it's not good enough for fine-grained timeouts (e.g. sub milliseconds) as it relays on the GHC thread scheduler. We support MonadTimeout on Linux, MacOS, Windows, and IOSim (and unofficially on GHCJS).

MonadDelay and MonadTimer classes provide a well-established interface to delays & timers.

Software Transactional Memory API

We provide two interfaces to stm API: lazy, included in io-classes; and strict one provided by strict-stm.

Threads API

We draw a line between base API and async API. The former is provided by MonadFork the latter by MonadAsync. Both are shallow abstractions around APIs exposed by the base and async packages.

Some other APIs

Differences from base, async, or exceptions packages

Major differences

  • getMonotonicTime returns Time (a newtype wrapper around DiffTime)
  • Deadlock exceptions are not thrown to the main thread (see ref), so they cannot be caught. This was a design decision, which allows to catch all deadlocks which otherwise could be captured by a catch.

Minor differences

Some of the types have more general kind signatures, e.g.

type Async :: (Type -> Type) -> Type -> Type

The first type of kind Type -> Type describes the monad which could be instantiated to IO, IOSim or some other monad stacks built with monad transformers. The same applies to many other types, e.g. TVar, TMVar.

The following types although similar to the originals are not the same as the ones that come from base, async, or exceptions packages:

  • Handler (origin: base)
  • MaskingState (origin: base)
  • Concurrently (origin: async)
  • ExceptionInLinkedThread (origin: async): io-classes version does not store Async
  • ExitCase (origin: exceptions)

Debuging & Insepction

We provide quite extended debugging & inspection API. This proved to be extremely helpful when analysing complex deadlocks or livelocks or writing complex quickcheck properties of a highly concurrent system. Some of this is only possible because we can control the execution environment of io-sim.

  • labelThread as part of MonadThread (IO, io-sim, which is also part of GHC API, ref labelThread);
  • MonadLabelledSTM which allows to label of various STM mutable variables, e.g. TVar, MVar, etc. (io-sim, not provided by GHC);
  • MonadInspectSTM which allows inspecting values of STM mutable variables when they are committed. (io-sim, not provided by GHC).

Monad Transformers

We provide support for monad transformers (although at this stage it might have its limitations and so there might be some rough edges. PRs are welcomed, contributing).