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Right, that's very much what I had in mind - I might very well have got it from there and forgotten; I've read much if not all of RWH at one point or another.

I would point out that in addition to the mentioned testing use (itself not to be underestimated - QuickCheck is amazing and making more things tractable to QuickCheck is great), there's also some other big potential wins. If I have a function that deals with local files in a monad that's an instance of MonadHandle, I can write an instance for a RemoteIO type that performs file operations on a remote system through a network connection, and suddenly the function that was local also works remotely.

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