On Tuesday, 10 June 2014 at 23:08:33 UTC, Chris Cain wrote:
I had an opportunity to give the entire code a good once over
read and I have a few comments.
1. Biggest thing about the new hap.random is how much nicer it
is to actually READ. The first few times I went through the
current std.random, I remember basically running out of breath.
hap.random was almost a refreshing read, in contrast. I'm
guessing it has a lot to do with breaking it down into smaller,
more manageable pieces. Regardless, good work on that. I
suspect it'll make it easier to contribute to in the future.
That's great to hear, as it was a design goal. I think there
will probably at some point be a need to separate things further
(e.g. std.random.generator will probably have to be separated as
will std.random.distribution) but always keeping the principle of
implementing packages to make it possible to just "import
hap.random" (or "import hap.random.generator", or whatever).
2. Something I'd really like to see is for the seed-by-range
functions to take the range by reference instead of by value to
ensure that the seed values used are less likely to be used in
another RNG inadvertently later. Basically, I envision a
similar problem with seedRanges as we currently have with RNGs
where we have to make sure people are careful with what they do
with the ranges in the end. This should cover use cases where
users do things like `blah.seed(myEntropyRange.take(3))` as
well, so that might take some investigation to figure out how
realistic it would be to support.
Yea, that's an interesting point. I mean, you'd hope that
myEntropyRange would be a reference type anyway, but every little
3. I'd also REALLY like to see seed support ranges/values
giving ANY type of integer and guarantee that few bytes are
wasted (so, if it supplies 64-bit ints and the generator's
internal state array only accepts 32-bit ints, it should spread
the 64-bit int across two cells in the array). I have working
code in another language that does this, and I wouldn't mind
porting it to D for the standard library. I think this would
greatly simplify the seeding process in user code (since they
wouldn't have to care what the internal representation of the
Random state is, then).
That would be very cool. Can you point me at your code examples?
4. I'd just like to say the idea of using ranges for seeds gets
me giddy because I could totally see a range that queries
https://random.org for true random bits to seed with, wrapped
by a range that zeroes out the memory on popFront. Convenient
and safe (possibly? Needs review before I get excited,
obviously) for crypto purposes!
The paranoiac in me feels that anything that involves getting
random data via HTTPS is probably insecure crypto-wise :-)
However, I think sourcing random.org is a perfect case for an
entry in hap.random.device. I think the best thing to do would
probably be to offer a RandomOrgClient (which offers a very thin
API around the random.org HTTP API) and then to wrap that in a
range type that uses the client internally to generate random
numbers with particular properties.
5. Another possible improvement would be something akin to a
"remix" function. It should work identically to reseeding, but
instead of setting the internal state to match the seed (as I
remixing should probably be XOR'd into the current state. That
way if you have a state based on some real entropy, you can
slowly, over time, drip in more entropy into the state.
Also a very interesting suggestion. Is there a standard name for
this kind of procedure?
6. I'd like to see about supporting xorshift1024 as well
(described here: http://xorshift.di.unimi.it/ and it's public
domain code, so very convenient to port ... I'd do it too, of
course, if that seems like an okay idea). This is a really
small thing because xorshift1024 isn't really much better than
xorshift128 (but some people might like the idea of it having
significantly longer period).
Fantastic, I will see about implementing those. I wasn't
previously aware of that work, but I _was_ aware that the
standard Xorshift generators have some statistical flaws, so it's
great to have some alternatives. It should be straightforward to
implement things like XorshiftP128 or XorshiftS1024 and
XorshiftS4096 (using P and S in place of + and *).
With these in place we might even be able to deprecate the old
Just for clarity, here's how I see things rolling out for the
* First goal is to ensure the existing codebase "plays nice"
people's programs and that it works OK with dub, rdmd, etc.
doesn't have any serious architectural or other bugs. The
release will not have any new functionality compared to what
in place now.
* Once it seems to be reasonably stable then work can begin on a
1.x release series that brings in successive pieces of new
Done :) ... if I get a response, I'll make sure to incorporate
Great, let me know how that goes. :-)