Haskell Weekly News: August 2, 2005

Submitted by jgoerzen on Tue, 08/02/2005 - 4:40am.

Greetings, and thanks for reading the first issue of HWN, a weekly newsletter for the Haskell community. HWN is an experiment inspired by Debian Weekly News and Linux Weekly News. Each Tuesday, new editions will be posted (as text) to the Haskell mailing list and (as HTML) to The Haskell Sequence.

Since this is the first issue, it covers a few items more than one week old.

Discussion

Updating the Haskell Standard? This question was posed on haskell-cafe and reaction was mixed.

Best way to assemble strings? Andy Gimblett inquired about building up strings. The discussion covered options such as printf, (++), concat, and even some sample code for interpolation inside strings.

FFI, Threading, and Callbacks. John Goerzen asked some questions about using FFI together with threading. Simon Marlow has written a paper on the topic that is useful background. Duncan Coutts described why some GUI toolkits presently do polling.

Haskell Toolchain

GHC 6.4.1 release candidate is available. Simon Marlow has announced the availability of GHC 6.4.1 release candidate and the beginning of testing for 6.4.1. 6.4.1 includes many fixes, including some performance enhancements, and also introduces support for a native code generator for amd64.

Results of GHC Performance Week. Simon Marlow posted a summary of the results of the GHC performance week. They found a number of things that improve the performance of GHC, and some are already fixed in 6.4.1.

Cabal was a hot topic this week. Brian Smith started a discussion about conditional code in Cabal. It seems to be a common problem when porting software to Windows. Duncan Couts asked about automated platform building of Haskell packages based on their Cabal descriptions.

GHC in Debian unstable. Due to a C++ transition going on, GHC is currently uninstallable in Debian unstable. If you want to use it on unstable, you can grab the libgmp3 package from stable. More details in Debian bug 319222.

Conferences

The 2005 Haskell Workshop is coming up on September 30 in Tallin, Estonia. David Roundy, author of darcs, will be a feature presenter this year. More information is available from the conference page.

Darcs Corner

Darcs 1.0.4pre2 released. David Roundy announced the availability of Darcs 1.0.4pre2. Major updates since 1.0.3 include reduced memory usage, and experimental support for git archives.

darcsweb. Alberto Bertogli announced darcsweb, a replcement for darcs.cgi modeled after gitweb.

Darcs Success Story. Mark Stosberg wrote about a success using Darcs for just-in-time branching.

Darcs on SourceForge. Eric S. Johansson wondered if any SourceForge-like Darcs-friendly sites existed. Thomas Zander suggested simply using public web space on SourceForge itself.

Centralized development with Darcs. A question was raised about using Darcs for centralized development in a specific scenario. Several solutions were mentioned. Remko Troncon linked to a recipe for centralized logging on the Darcs wiki. Mark Stosberg pointed out his article, Benefits from a real world switch from CVS to Darcs, and also pointed out the RSS support in Darcs.

New Releases

  • hsffig, a new FFI binding generator, was announced by Dimitry Golubovsky. Download via its Darcs repository. The main unique feature of hsffig is that it can parse C .h files without any human assistance whatsoever. Version 1.0 was also announced just yesterday.
  • c2hs version 0.14.1 is out. It has a new parser system and its build system is now based upon Cabal.
  • MissingH 0.11.3 is out, and now supports Windows. MissingH is a library of pure-Haskell utility functions relating to strings, logging, and I/O. Darcs repository also available.
  • MissingH LGPL/BSD branch was announced. This branch is a stripped-down version of MissingH, with all GPL'd code either re-licensed or removed. It is available from a Darcs repository only.

Quotes of the Week

<Speck> "That's like cheating. It isn't even programming. You just tell it what to do and it does it." -- My friend upon seeing some Haskell code

<autrijus> Perl: "Easy things are easy, hard things are possible"
<autrijus> Haskell: "Hard things are easy, the impossible just happened"

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