Library of Alexandria

The Great Library of Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt, was one of the largest and most significant libraries of the ancient world. The library was part of a larger research institution called the Mouseion, which was dedicated to the Muses, the nine goddesses of the arts. The idea of a universal library in Alexandria may have been proposed by Demetrius of Phalerum, an exiled Athenian statesman living in Alexandria, to Ptolemy I Soter, who may have established plans for the Library, but the Library itself was probably not built until the reign of his son Ptolemy II Philadelphus. The Library quickly acquired many papyrus scrolls, owing largely to the Ptolemaic kings' aggressive and well-funded policies for procuring texts. It is unknown precisely how many such scrolls were housed at any given time, but estimates range from 40,000 to 400,000 at its height. Alexandria came to be regarded as the capital of knowledge and learning, in part because of the Great Library. Many important and inf
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Quoted Staged Rewriting: A Practical Approach to Library-Defined Optimizations

Christoph Koch, Lionel Emile Vincent Parreaux, Amir Shaikhha

Staging has proved a successful technique for programmatically removing code abstractions, thereby allowing for faster program execution while retaining a high-level interface for the programmer. Unfortunately, techniques based on staging suffer from a number of problems — ranging from practicalities to fundamental limitations — which have prevented their widespread adoption. We introduce Quoted Staged Rewriting (QSR), an approach that uses type-safe, pattern matching-enabled quasiquotes to define optimizations. The approach is “staged” in two ways: first, rewrite rules can execute arbitrary code during pattern matching and code reconstruction, leveraging the power and flexibility of staging; second, library designers can orchestrate the application of successive rewriting phases (stages). The advantages of using quasiquote-based rewriting are that library designers never have to deal directly with the intermediate representation (IR), and that it allows for non-intrusive optimizations — in contrast with staging, it is not necessary to adapt the entire library and user programs to accommodate optimizations. We show how Squid, a Scala macro-based framework, enables QSR and renders library-defined optimizations more practical than ever before: library designers write domain-specific optimizers that users invoke transparently on delimited portions of their code base. As a motivating example we describe an implementation of stream fusion (a well-known deforestation technique) that is both simpler and more powerful than the state of the art, and can readily be used by Scala programmers with no knowledge of metaprogramming.
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