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

(Simon Marlow, Simon Peyton Jones) ICFP’04: Proceedings of the ACM SIGPLAN 2004 International Conference on Functional Programming, pages 4–15, ACM Press, 2004

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Higher-order languages that encourage currying are 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.