Making a fast curry: push/enter vs. eval/apply for higher-order languages

(Simon Marlow, Simon Peyton Jones) Journal of Functional Programming, 16(4–5):415–449, July 2006

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Higher-order languages that encourage currying are typically implemented using one of two basic evaluation models: push/enter or eval/apply. Implementors use their intuition and qualitative judgements to choose one model or the other.

Our goal in this paper is to provide, for the first time, a more substantial basis for this choice, based on our qualitative and quantitative experience of implementing both models in a state-of-the-art compiler for Haskell.

Our conclusion is simple, and contradicts our initial intuition: compiled implementations should use eval/apply.