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Haskell has lots of XML parsing libraries, implemented using different techniques, and offering different levels of performance. In this talk, you will learn why, until recently, even the fastest of these libraries was embarrassingly slow compared to state-of-the-art XML parsers. Neil will share how the issue was rectified, with the introduction of the Hexml and Xeno libraries. Hexml uses the Foreign Function Interface (FFI), pushing much of the actual work into C, showing how to move performance sensitive pieces into C and reintegrate them without excessive overhead. In contrast, Xeno is written in pure Haskell, using special development/testing techniques to ensure the optimised code performs comparably to Hexml. You will explore the comparison between these different approaches, and see how they apply beyond just XML parsing.
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Neil Mitchell is a Haskell programmer who lives in Cambridge with his wife Emily and his son Henry. Neil has a PhD in Computer Science from York University, working on making functional programs shorter, faster and safer. Since then he's worked with F# at Credit Suisse and Haskell/F#/C++ at Standard Chartered and Barclays, taking the lessons of functional programming and applying them in finance.