Indicates that it may be beneficial to evaluate the first argument in parallel with the second. Returns the value of the second argument.
a par b is exactly equivalent semantically to b.
par is generally used when the value of a is likely to be required later, but not immediately. Also it is a good idea to ensure that a is not a trivial computation, otherwise the cost of spawning it in parallel overshadows the benefits obtained by running it in parallel.
Note that actual parallelism is only supported by certain implementations (GHC with the -threaded option, and GPH, for now). On other implementations, par a b = b.
Semantically identical to seq, but with a subtle operational difference: seq is strict in both its arguments, so the compiler may, for example, rearrange a seq b into b seq a seq b. This is normally no problem when using seq to express strictness, but it can be a problem when annotating code for parallelism, because we need more control over the order of evaluation; we may want to evaluate a before b, because we know that b has already been sparked in parallel with par.
This is why we have pseq. In contrast to seq, pseq is only strict in its first argument (as far as the compiler is concerned), which restricts the transformations that the compiler can do, and ensures that the user can retain control of the evaluation order.
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