[Haskell-cafe] Haskell participating in big science like CERN Hadrian...

Don Stewart dons at galois.com
Fri Oct 3 15:38:35 EDT 2008

> On Fri, Oct 3, 2008 at 5:47 AM, Dougal Stanton <dougal at dougalstanton.net> wrote:
> > 2008/10/3 Galchin, Vasili <vigalchin at gmail.com>:
> >> Hello,
> >>
> >>     One of my interests based on my education is "grand challenge science".
> >> Ok .. let's take the  CERN Hadrian Accelerator.
> >>
> >>     Where do you think Haskell can fit into the CERN Hadrian effort
> >> currently?
> >>
> >>     Where do you think think Haskell currently is lacking and will have to
> >> be improved in order to participate in CERN Hadrian?
> >
> > Is that the experiment where Picts are accelerated to just short of
> > the speed of light in order to smash through to the Roman Empire? ;-)
> >
> > I don't know what the main computational challenges are to the LHC
> > researchers. The stuff in the press has mostly been about
> > infrastructure --- how to store the gigabytes of data per second that
> > they end up keeping, out of the petabytes that are produced in the
> > first place (or something).
> Well, with the LHC efforts I don't think a technology like Haskell
> really has a place...at least not now.  Even just a few years back,
> when I worked on this stuff, we were still doing lots of simulation in
> preparation for the actual live experiment and Haskell might have been
> a good choice for some of the tools.  All of the detector simulation
> was written in C++, because C++ is the new FORTRAN to physicists, and
> you ain't seen nothing till you've seen a jury-rigged form of lazy
> evaluation built into a class hierarchy in C++.  Now, would the C++
> based simulation have run faster than a Haskell based one?  Quite
> possibly.  On the other hand, I remember how many delays and problems
> were caused by the sheer complexity of the codebase.  That's where a
> more modern programming language might have been extremely helpful.

How about EDSLs for producing high assurance controllers, and other
robust devices they might need. I imagine the LHC has a good need for
verified software components...

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