Haskell Weekly News: July 2, 2008

Submitted by byorgey on Wed, 07/02/2008 - 1:57pm.
Haskell Weekly News: July 02, 2008

Welcome to issue 75 of HWN, a newsletter covering developments in the Haskell community.


Anglo Haskell 2008. Matthew Sackman announced AngloHaskell 2008, a gathering of all people Haskell-related from beginners, to seasoned hackers to academic giants. All and more are welcomed by large fuzzy green lambdas. The proposed dates and location are Friday the 8th and Saturday the 9th of August, at Imperial College, London.

CFP - Special Issue of Fundamenta Informaticae on Dependently Typed Programming. Wouter Swierstra announced a call for papers for a special issue of Fundamenta Informaticae on Dependently Typed Programming. The deadline for submissions is October 1.

Gtk2Hs 0.9.13. Peter Gavin announced the release of Gtk2Hs 0.9.13, including bindings for Gnome VFS and GStreamer, a new Gtk+ tutorial adapted by Hans van Thiel, cairo image stride support, and more.

Hasim. Jochem Berndsen announced Hasim, a small project to create a library to do discrete event simulation in Haskell, using monads to define a domain-specific language for "actions" of a process.

Galois move. Don Stewart announced that Galois has completed the move of its data center. Expect speedier response times for hackage.haskell.org and darcs.haskell.org.

Google Summer of Code

Progress updates from participants in the 2008 Google Summer of Code.

Hoogle 4. Neil Mitchell (ndm) is working on Hoogle 4. This week, Neil worked on better Haddock database generation, lazy name searching, and a snazzy --info flag for Hoogle. Next up: type search!

DPH physics engine. Roman Cheplyaka (Feuerbach) is working on a physics engine using Data Parallel Haskell. This week, he worked on implementing Mirtich's V-Clip algorithm for collision detection (and got it to work), cabalized his project and added documentation. He also ran into an interesting QuickCheck puzzle.

Generic tries. Jamie Brandon is working on a library for efficient maps using generalized tries. This week, he created a generic framework for automatically running QuickCheck tests at a number of different types. This week he plans to synthesize the many suggestions from the discussion on the libraries list into a stable API design.

Language.C. Benedikt Huber (visq) is working on Language.C, a standalone parser/pretty printer library for C99. This week he worked on a better representation for declarators, and abstracted the notion of an InputStream over both String and ByteString, among other accomplishments.

GHC plugins. Max Bolingbroke is working on dynamically loaded plugins for GHC.

Cabal dependency framework. Andrea Vezzosi (Saizan) is working on a make-like dependency analysis framework for Cabal.

GHC API. Thomas Schilling (nominolo) is working on improvements to the GHC API. Officials at HWN headquarters have released a statement reversing their previous position regarding the existence of Thomas, citing regrettably faulty information to explain their previous misapprehensions. Expect to hear more from Thomas soon, now that he has finished graduating and moving.


Proposals and extensions to the standard libraries.

GetOpt formatting improvements. Duncan Coutts proposed some modifications to make the output of the System.Console.GetOpt library more readable, resulting in quite a bit of discussion.

HughesPJ improvements. Benedikt Huber proposed a patch with some bug fixes, performance improvements, and QuickCheck test suite for the Text.PrettyPrint.HughesPJ pretty-printing library.


A Monad for on-demand file generation?. Joachim Breitner asked about a monad for transparently tracking files which may need to be regenerated due to dependencies, leading to an interesting discussion of incremental computation, strict vs. lazy I/O, and other issues.

New mailing list proposal: Haskell-Edu. Benjamin L. Russell sent out a message proposing a new mailing list hosted at haskell.org, "Haskell-Edu: The Haskell Educational Mailing List." The new mailing list would be guided by the principle that Haskell is useful not just in research, but also in teaching programming as part of a liberal arts education. Comments and discussion welcomed.

Learning GADT types to simulate dependent types. Paul Johnson is trying to use GADTs to simulate aspects of a dependently typed system, and asks for help improving his Oleg rating.

Call graph tool?. C.M.Brown asked whether there is a tool for visualizing the call graph for a collection of source files, leading to a discussion of various tools.


Formal methods and automated reasoning at Rockwell Collins. Janis Voigtlaender passed on an opening for a Senior Systems Engineer at Rockwell Collins. The opening is for a computer scientist or engineer to develop and apply automated analysis to computer systems and to pursue research in formal methods and automated reasoning. Contact: rmgatto at rockwellcollins.com.

Blog noise

Haskell news from the blogosphere.

Quotes of the Week

  • quicksilver: [on what OS sjanssen uses] sjanssen runs haskell programs in his head; much more efficient.
  • EvilTerran: "We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the phantom types began to take hold."
  • audreyt: o/~ the phantom of the typesystem is here / inside my mind! o/~
  • dmwit: No, no, no, ($) isn't right-assoc, it's wrong-assoc.
  • solrize: this would never happen in haskell: i sent in a search query to a certain python program, but left the query field empty, expecting to get back an error message. instead it found a bunch of books written by the diet doctor Gary Null.
  • heatsink: We're all inside do-blocks in the IO monad if you think about it.
  • djsiegel: [upon having a question answered by dons] oh my, I'm talking to the man
  • mar77a: the first computers were big because they were actually cupboards with fast humans inside

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