Haskell Weekly News: December 13, 2008

Submitted by byorgey on Sat, 12/13/2008 - 11:54am.
Haskell Weekly News: December 13, 2008

Welcome to issue 97 of HWN, a newsletter covering developments in the Haskell community.

Lots of neat blog posts and funny quotes this week. Don't forget to keep adding haiku to the wiki, and don't miss Alex McLean (yaxu)'s streaming livecoding performance tonight!


Spam on HaskellWiki. Ashley Yakeley asked what people would like to do about the increasing amounts of spam on the Haskell wiki, and offered some suggestions.

The Timber compiler 1.0.2. Johan Nordlander announced the first public release of the Timber compiler. Timber is a modern language for building event-driven systems, based around the notion of reactive objects. It is also a purely functional language derived from Haskell, although with a strict evaluation semantics. To try it out, just grab the timberc package on Hackage.

Retrospective on 2008?. Don Stewart proposed the idea of a 2008 retrospective. How would you choose the 10 best new libraries, applications, blog posts, etc. of 2008?

a haskell_proposals subreddit. Jason Dusek announced a subreddit for Haskell library proposals. The idea is that Web 2.0 will help us to allocate our collective talents more efficiently when it comes to extensions (and perhaps clue us in when our pet project is something people really want).

permutation-0.2. Patrick Perry announced a new version of the permutation library, which includes data types for storing permutations. It implements pure and impure types, the latter which can be modified in-place. The main utility of the library is converting between the linear representation of a permutation to a sequence of swaps. This allows, for instance, applying a permutation or its inverse to an array with O(1) memory use.

Data.List.Split. Brent Yorgey announced the creation of a wiki page for Data.List.Split, a hypothetical module containing implementations of every conceivable way of splitting lists known to man, so we no longer have to (1) argue about the 'one true' interface for a 'split' function, or (2) be embarrassed when people ask why there isn't a split function in the standard libraries. Please add code or comments! At some point it will be uploaded as a new module to Hackage.

Announcing Haskell protocol-buffers version 1.2.2. Chris Kuklewicz announced new versions of protocol-buffers, protocol-buffers-descriptor, and hprotoc.


A curious monad. Andrew Coppin exhibited an interesting Storage monad, which (it turns out) is similar to ST. An enlightening discussion if you want to understand how ST works and the motivation behind it.

Origins of '$'. George Pollard asked about the origins of the $ operator (low-precedence function application) in the standard libraries, leading to some interesting history and general discussion about notation.

Blog noise

Haskell news from the blogosphere.

Quotes of the Week

  • quicksilver: Baughn: glFlush? the 80s called, they want your programs back?
  • gwern: the best way to optimize a program is to make it lazier or stricter.
  • ksf: Perl is obfuscated by design, haskell is designed by obfuscation.
  • conal: omg -- i can print right from emacs again. praise be to Linux!
  • mmorrow: [I] didn't realize what it really said until after i @remembered it
  • blackh: Haskell is great because of all the wonderful things you can't do with it.
  • JustinBogner: gitit's 46 dependencies convinced me to install cabal-install, and now I couldn't be happier!
  • Anonymous: I'd love to explain to you how to write hello world in Haskell, but first let me introduce you to basic category theory.
  • lilac: @type \o-> look at my muscles <lambdabot> forall t nice muscles. t -> nice -> muscles
  • ook: (:[])
  • oink: <^(oo)^>
  • mmorrow: {-# RULES "HAI; CAN HAS STDIO?" id = unsafePerformIO (system "killall -9 breathingMachine && xeyes &" >> return id) #-}
  • gwern: We will be welcomed as liberators! I estimate that we will need 50000 haskellers at most and will be able to wind up the occupation quickly

About the Haskell Weekly News

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