Haskell Weekly News: May 8, 2006

Submitted by dons on Sun, 05/07/2006 - 10:43pm.

Welcome to issue 35 of HWN, a weekly newsletter covering developments in the Haskell community. Each Monday, new editions are posted to the Haskell mailing list as well as to the Haskell Sequence and Planet Haskell. RSS is also available, and headlines appear on haskell.org.


  • hmake. Malcolm Wallace released version 3.11 of hmake, the compiler-independent project-building tool for Haskell programs. It automates recompilation analysis, based on import declarations in your files, to rebuild only those modules that are impacted by a change. It is rather like ghc's --make mode, but faster, less memory intensive, and it works with any compiler (e.g. hbc, nhc98).

  • cpphs. In a busy week, Malcolm also released version 1.2 of cpphs, the in-Haskell implementation of the C pre-processor. The major change in this release is that the source files have been re-arranged into a cabal-ised hierarchical library namespace, so you can use cpp functionality from within your own code, in addition to the stand-alone utility.

  • Cabal 1.1. Duncan Coutts (as the new Cabal release manager) announced that Cabal-1.1.4, the version shipped with GHC 6.4.2 is now available to download as a separate tarball. There is also a new mailing list for Cabal development discussion including patch review. This is also where patches sent via "darcs send" will end up. The Cabal team would also like to take the opportunity to invite people to get involved in Cabal development, either new features or squashing annoying bugs.

  • DownNova-0.1. Lemmih released downNova, a program designed for automating the process of downloading TV series from mininova.org. Written in Haskell, it will scan your downloaded files to find out what your interests are and download missing/new episodes to your collection. Advanced classification techniques are used to interpret the file names and 'downNova' will correctly extract series name, season number, episode number and episode title in nigh all cases.

  • Student SoC Application Deadline is rapidly approaching. Paolo Martini encouraged students to apply to google, using the student application form, and Haskell.org is looking forward to the several dozen applications we hope to receive.


This section covers activity on Haskell' standardisation process.


  • Speed of Binary serialisation. Bulat Ziganshin posted a comparison of Handle and Bulat's Streams IO performance, with interesting results to ponder.

  • GHCi-based 'eval' and the ML top level. Geoff Washburn sparked a bit of a thread when wondering how to emulate the ML "top level" in Haskell. Some alternatives were proposed, including ghc-api and hs-plugins.

Quote of the Week

  • Lemmih :: Haskell is the best glue language I know. It's like super-glue.

Code Watch

  • Wed Apr 26 11:21:14 PDT 2006 simonpj
    (ghc): Arrange that -fth is no longer implied by -fglasgow-exts

    Messages involving Template Haskell are deeply puzzling if you don't know about TH, so it seems better to make -fth an explicit flag. It is no longer switched on by -fglasgow-exts.

  • Fri Apr 28 06:07:18 PDT 2006 Don Stewart
    (packages/base): Import Data.ByteString from fps 0.5.

    Fast, packed byte vectors, providing a better PackedString.

  • Wed May 3 04:33:06 PDT 2006 Simon Marlow
    (packages/base): Improve performance of Integer->String conversion

    See http://www.haskell.o rg//pipermail/libraries/2006-April/005227.html
    Submitted by Bertram Felgenhauer

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You can help us create new editions of this newsletter. Please see the contributing information, send stories to dons -at- cse.unsw.edu.au. The darcs repository is available at darcs get http://www.cse.unsw.edu.au/~dons/code/hwn