base- Basic libraries

Portabilitynon-portable (requires universal quantification for runST)




This library provides support for strict state threads, as described in the PLDI '94 paper by John Launchbury and Simon Peyton Jones Lazy Functional State Threads.


The ST Monad

data ST s a Source

The strict state-transformer monad. A computation of type ST s a transforms an internal state indexed by s, and returns a value of type a. The s parameter is either

  • an uninstantiated type variable (inside invocations of runST), or
  • RealWorld (inside invocations of Control.Monad.ST.stToIO).

It serves to keep the internal states of different invocations of runST separate from each other and from invocations of Control.Monad.ST.stToIO.

The >>= and >> operations are strict in the state (though not in values stored in the state). For example,

runST (writeSTRef _|_ v >>= f) = _|_


Typeable2 ST 
Monad (ST s) 
Functor (ST s) 
MonadFix (ST s) 
Show (ST s a) 

runST :: (forall s. ST s a) -> aSource

Return the value computed by a state transformer computation. The forall ensures that the internal state used by the ST computation is inaccessible to the rest of the program.

fixST :: (a -> ST s a) -> ST s aSource

Allow the result of a state transformer computation to be used (lazily) inside the computation. Note that if f is strict, fixST f = _|_.

Converting ST to IO

data RealWorld Source

RealWorld is deeply magical. It is primitive, but it is not unlifted (hence ptrArg). We never manipulate values of type RealWorld; it's only used in the type system, to parameterise State#.


stToIO :: ST RealWorld a -> IO aSource

A monad transformer embedding strict state transformers in the IO monad. The RealWorld parameter indicates that the internal state used by the ST computation is a special one supplied by the IO monad, and thus distinct from those used by invocations of runST.

Unsafe operations