Haskell Weekly News: May 16, 2009
Welcome to issue 118 of HWN, a newsletter covering developments in the Haskell community.
Welcome to the Google Summer of Code special edition! I asked each of the five students with accepted GSoC projects to describe what they plan to work on. You'll find their descriptions below, with links to their blogs. And keep watching this space: as I did last summer, I plan to provide readers of the HWN with weekly updates on the progress of the GSoC projects.
Google Summer of Code
Haddock improvements! Isaac Dupree is working on improvements to Haddock. "Besides the various inevitable small fixes/improvements, my specific projects are to make cross-package documentation work, and to refactor the comment-parsing out of GHC and into the Haddock code-base."
EclipseFP. Thomas Ten Cate will be working on EclipseFP: "Compared to more mainstream languages, Haskell has surprisingly poor IDE support, even though its static typing system allows for much more help from the IDE than in the case of dynamic languages. For the Java language, a very mature and powerful IDE exists in the form of Eclipse. A plugin for Haskell support in Eclipse, called EclipseFP, is in the works, but its development has been standing still for some time. I will bring EclipseFP to a more usable state. For this, I will use the Scion IDE library, which interfaces with the GHC API, so that more advanced features like type inference become possible. I will also add support for Cabal. Hopefully, this type of IDE support will lead to greater acceptance and use of Haskell, and be useful for development as well as education."
Improving the Haskell space profiling experience. Gergely Patai's project will be focused on space profiling: "At the present moment, heap profiling Haskell programs means analysing logs off-line, using conversion tools to visualise data. However, instead of generating graphs with hp2ps, it should be possible to present the data in a graphical application in real time, which is useful while developing interactive applications, and it should also be made easier to export profiler output in different formats. The aim of the project is to create a set of tools that make heap profiling of Haskell programs easier in various ways. In particular, the following components are planned: a library to process profiler output in an efficient way and make it easily accessible for other tools in the future; a real-time visualiser (most likely using OpenGL); some kind of history manager to keep track of profiling data and make it possible to perform a comparative analysis of performance between different versions of your program; a maintainable and extensible replacement for hp2ps; and converters to provide input for other profiling tools."
haskell-src-exts -> haskell-src. Niklas Broberg: "My project, dubbed 'haskell-src-exts -> haskell-src' is really two projects in one wrapping. The first milestone is to bring my haskell-src-exts library to the point where it can supersede the old haskell-src library as the de facto package for haskell source manipulation. The main problem that I need to solve is to implement a scheme that lets the user decide what extensions to recognize when parsing a source document. Currently, haskell-src-exts assumes all extensions are always on, which means that some valid H98 programs will be incorrectly parsed due to stolen syntax by e.g. Template Haskell. The second milestone is to extend the focus from source code to full source documents, and implement a scheme for handling comments as well. The ultimate goal here is to have (pretty . parse) == id, to allow haskell-src-exts to be run on source documents without changing them. This would open up for some really interesting applications, in particular refactoring tools that could automatically apply transformations to a source document while still preserving comments."
darcs. Last but not least, Petr Rockai will be working on improvements to darcs: "My project revolves around the idea of fast darcs for medium and large repositories. Three are quite a few haskellers who use darcs in their day to day (haskell) work. A fair number of hackage packages is maintained in darcs. Even though many of these repositories are of a relatively modest size, there is a number of relatively large real-world darcs repositories out there. The primary target of the project is to improve scalability of darcs for large working trees. This should help those users with existing large darcs repositories, as well as encourage people to use darcs for larger projects, whenever the development model fits. I intend to make the darcs working tree handling comparably fast to git. And then, git is written in C, hand-tuned for a specific operating system. And unlike mercurial, I do not plan to introduce a C library for low level routines. So let's prove that Haskell is up to the challenge."
2009.2.1: version freeze for Haskell Platform approaching on Monday. Don Stewart announced that the last chance to propose bug fix version bumps to be included in the first minor release (2009.2.1) of the Haskell Platform is Monday. Please ensure that, as maintainer for one of the 2009.2.x series of packages, any bug fixes are in place by Monday, or they'll be bumped to the next platform release.
Bookshelf. Emil Axelsson announced the first release of Bookshelf, a simple document organizer with some wiki functionality. Documents in a directory tree are displayed as a set of HTML pages. Documents in Markdown format are converted to HTML automatically using Pandoc.
RESTng 0.1 + RedHandlers 0.1 (request handlers) + YuiGrids 0.1 (yahoo grids). Sergio Urinovsky announced the release of three new packages developed for a RESTful web framework called RESTng: RESTng, redHandlers, and yuiGrid.
#haskell.pt IRC channel. Marco TÃºlio Gontijo e Silva announced the formation of the #haskell.pt channel on irc.freenode.net for Portuguese-speaking Haskellers.
conflicting variable definitions in pattern. Martin Hofmann asked about the possibility of repeated variables in patterns, resulting in an interesting discussion.
Removing mtl from the Haskell Platform. Russell O'Connor began a discussion around the possibility of removing the mtl package from the Haskell Platform, and replacing it with something more modern.
PhD position in Nottingham. vxc announced the availability of a new PhD position in the Functional Programming Laboratory at the University of Nottingham. The topic of research for the project is "Programming and Reasoning with Infinite Structures": it consists in the theoretical study and development of software tools for coinductive types and structured corecursion.
Blog noiseHaskell news from the blogosphere. Blog posts from people new to the Haskell community are marked with >>>, be sure to welcome them!
Leif Frenzel: EclipseFP is going to be reloaded.
Tom Schrijvers: Dictionaries: Eager or Lazy Type Class Witnesses?. Can type class dictionaries be optimized by treating them strictly?
Real-World Haskell: RWH Now In The Kindle Store.
JP Moresmau: Adding a Writer Monad transformer.
Ivan Lazar Miljenovic: Functions All The Way Down. Ivan's talk on lambda calculus.
Thomas M. DuBuisson: Fun with Distributed Hash Tables. Distributed hash tables in Haskell.
Mark Wassell: Just Grapefruit. Mark's first impressions of the Grapefruit library.
Roman Cheplyaka: LambdaCube accepted to JSSP. Jane Street is funding development of the LambdaCube 3D rendering engine.
>>> Joel Neely: BuilderBuilder: The Model in Haskell.
Brandon Simmons: directory-tree module released.
>>> Sadek Drobi: Paul Hudak on Haskell. An interview with Paul Hudak.
>>> dayvan cowboy: Blast from the past: a stochastic monad in Haskell.
Matthew Podwysocki: Type Classes Are The Secret Sauce .
Remco Niemeijer: Programming Praxis - Priority Queues. A priority queue implementation using a leftist heap.
>>> Y. Liang: A Lambda Calculus Interpreter in Haskell.
Quotes of the Week
- seydar: what's the nick of the drug addict who wrote learn you a haskell? and i mean that in the best possible way.
- roconnor: String is kinda a poor data type for strings.
- kyevan: I had a haskell-related dream last night. Sorta. I was beaten up by some kids because I tried to go somewhere my type didn't match, apparently.
- edwardk: Haskell 98 is the Windows 98 of standards ;)
- PhilipWadler: I'm delighted to learn that "a monad is a monoid in the category of endofunctors"---anyone know where I can find a good tutorial?
- David Leimbach: Don't play with your monads... eventually you'll go bind.
About the Haskell Weekly News
To help create new editions of this newsletter, please
see the information on how
to contribute. Send stories to
byorgey at cis dot upenn
dot edu. The darcs repository is available at
darcs get http://code.haskell.org/~byorgey/code/hwn/