Haskell Weekly News: July 31, 2008

Submitted by byorgey on Thu, 07/31/2008 - 3:06pm.
Haskell Weekly News: July 31, 2008

Welcome to issue 79 of HWN, a newsletter covering developments in the Haskell community.

Apologies for the slightly late issue this week, attributable to a combination of having to transfer all my files onto a different computer (my former employer had the audacity to request the return of their laptop, now that I no longer work for them) and packing up to move to Philadelphia on Saturday. At any rate, some exciting news this week, including #haskell passing the 500 mark and a new release of Yi -- enjoy!

Community News

Correction from last week's issue: congratulations were bestowed upon a certain "Dr. Johansson" who does not, in fact, exist, having been replaced almost a year ago by the happily married but otherwise identical Dr. Mikael Vejdemo-Johansson.

Announcements

A fancier Get monad or two (a la binary and binary-strict). Chris Kuklewicz announced two new Get-like monads for binary data, with a number of additional features.

#haskell irc channel reaches 500 users. Don Stewart announced that 6 1/2 years after its inception, under the guiding hand of Shae Erisson (aka shapr), the #haskell IRC channel on freenode has finally reached 500 users! This puts the channel at around the 12th largest (and mostest friendliest) community of the 7000 freenode channels.

RandomDotOrg-0.1. Austin Seipp announced the release of the RandomDotOrg package, an interface to the random.org random number generator.

Mueval 0.3.1, 0.4, 0.4.5, 0.4.6, 0.5. Gwern Branwen announced a number of releases of Mueval, a package allowing dynamic runtime evaluation of Haskell expressions. As far as anyone knows, all possible security holes have been plugged, and it's missing only a few features before it can replace hs-plugins as lambdabot's evaluation mechanism.

Need functional programmers for debugging study. Chris Bogart asked for functional programmers currently developing or maintaining a medium to large-sized program, willing to let him look over their shoulder while they do debugging or coding on the project.

Yi 0.4.1. Jean-Philippe Bernardy announced the 0.4.1 release of the Yi editor, a text editor written and extensible in Haskell. The long-term goal of the Yi project is to provide the editor of choice for Haskell programmers.

Hipmunk 0.1 and HipmunkPlayground 0.1. Felipe Lessa announced the availability of Hipmunk, containing bindings for the Chipmunk 2D physics engine, and Hipmunk Playground, where you may see some of Hipmunk's features in action. The bindings are low-level but try to hide most of the nasty details of the C code.

faster BLAS bindings. Patrick Perry announced that he has largely closed the C performance gap with his recent Haskell BLAS bindings. Expect a new release shortly.

FPers in Northwest Arkansas?. Nathan Bloomfield is wondering if there are any Haskellers in the NW Arkansas region to start a functional programming interest group in the area.

Italian Haskellers Summer Meeting. Pasqualino 'Titto' Assini announced something about a summer meeting for Italian Haskellers. If you would like to know precisely what it was that was announced, I suggest you learn Italian.

InterleavableIO. Marco Tulio Gontijo e Silva announced a package, interleavableIO, based on Jules Bean (quicksilver)'s monadic tunneling code.

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, he rewrote type search: after three days of coding, it required only a few minor debugging tweaks to get it to work. Haskell FTW! Expect a public beta of the command line interface next week.

Generic tries. Jamie Brandon is working on a library for efficient maps using generalized tries. This week, he has finally got everything up and running bug free on the new API, except the internals are still using association lists instead of AVL trees. He also exhibits a promising benchmark.

DPH physics engine. Roman Cheplyaka (Feuerbach) is working on a physics engine using Data Parallel Haskell.

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.

Language.C. Benedikt Huber (visq) is working on Language.C, a standalone parser/pretty printer library for C99.

GHC API. Thomas Schilling (nominolo) is working on improvements to the GHC API.

Discussion

Build system woes. Roman Leshchinskiy began a discussion on Cabal and GHC's new build system, with some suggestions for improving the process.

Syb Renovations? Issues with Data.Generics. Claus Reinke brought up a number of issues with Data.Generics, with suggestions for improvement.

A question about mfix. Wei Hu asked a question about the definition and semantics of mfix, the monadic fix operation.

Using fundeps to resolve polymorphic types to concrete types. Bryan Donlan asked a question about the interaction between functional dependencies and type checking, with a rather subtle answer.

Best book/tutorial on category theory and its applications. fero asked for recommendations on a book about category theory.

Loss of humour. Andrew Coppin laments the loss of some of Haskell's humorous heritage.

Blog noise

Haskell news from the blogosphere.

Quotes of the Week

  • mauke: a hint to beginners: typing 'fix error' in ghci does not have the intended effect.
  • mauke: Hungarian Notation constructs a type system in the mind of the programmer.
  • rwbarton: I was hoping for a pile of Functors.
  • Baughn: [on lambdabot] Yes, PMS is a real issue. Poor memory size, that is.
  • Cale: There should be a website called "Static Equilibrium or Not" where you rate pictures according to whether you think the depicted objects are in static equilibrium.
  • sahko: xmonad is an ancient african word for "you dont need to use a mouse fool".
  • doidydoidy: Category theory is exactly like a comic book alternative universe, except they use the prefix "co-" instead of "bizarro".

About the Haskell Weekly News

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