stable-maps-0.0.5: Heterogeneous maps keyed by StableNames

PortabilityGHC only
Safe HaskellNone



Dynamic stable names are a way of performing fast (O(1)), not-quite-exact comparison between objects.

Dynamic stable names solve the following problem: suppose you want to build a hash table with Haskell objects as keys, but you want to use pointer equality for comparison; maybe because the keys are large and hashing would be slow, or perhaps because the keys are infinite in size. We can't build a hash table using the address of the object as the key, because objects get moved around by the garbage collector, meaning a re-hash would be necessary after every garbage collection.



newtype DynamicStableName Source

An abstract name for an object, that supports equality and hashing.

Dynamic stable names have the following property:

  • If sn1 :: DynamicStableName and sn2 :: DynamicStableName and sn1 == sn2 then sn1 and sn2 were created by calls to makeStableName on the same object.

The reverse is not necessarily true: if two dynamic stable names are not equal, then the objects they name may still be equal. Note in particular that makeDynamicStableName may return a different DynamicStableName after an object is evaluated.

Dynamic Stable Names are similar to Stable Pointers (Foreign.StablePtr), but differ in the following ways:

  • There is no freeDynamicStableName operation, unlike Foreign.StablePtrs. Dynamic Stable Names are reclaimed by the runtime system when they are no longer needed.
  • There is no deRefDynamicStableName operation. You can't get back from a dynamic stable name to the original Haskell object. The reason for this is that the existence of a stable name for an object does not guarantee the existence of the object itself; it can still be garbage collected.

hashDynamicStableName :: DynamicStableName -> IntSource

Convert a DynamicStableName to an Int. The Int returned is not necessarily unique; several DynamicStableNames may map to the same Int (in practice however, the chances of this are small, so the result of hashDynamicStableName makes a good hash key).

makeDynamicStableName :: t -> IO DynamicStableNameSource

Makes a DynamicStableName for an arbitrary object. The object passed as the first argument is not evaluated by makeDynamicStableName.