Text/UTF-8: Call for Benchmarks

Posted in: haskell.

I’m very glad that I have been accepted again this year for the Google Summer of Code program for haskell.org (here is a list of accepted projects). My project aims to improve the text library by converting it to internally use UTF-8 instead of UTF-16.

UTF-8 and UTF-16 both have advantages and disadvantages, which actually makes it a pretty complicated choice. I’ve written about this a little in my proposal (especially see Tom Harper’s master dissertation if you’re interested in the subject).

To support a decision here on UTF-8 vs. UTF-16, lots of benchmarks will be needed. Hence, this is the first focus of the GSoC project: collecting a large benchmark suite which models real-world usage of the text library.

This is why I’d like to ask everyone who has written/knows libraries or applications that use the text library extensively to inform me of these efforts. The reverse dependencies list on Hackage is a good starting point for me but it doesn’t point out how popular these packages are and how intensively they use the text library. I will then convert a subset of this code to a benchmark suite using criterion.

Open source code means more reliable benchmarks, because I can publish the code I used for them. However, I’m also willing to sign non-disclosure agreements if this means I can try out what effects the changes have on large systems.

There’s several ways to contact me: I’ve started a thread on Haskell-cafe you can reply to, or you can mail me privately using jaspervdj+text@gmail.com. Thanks in advance for any help!

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