[Haskell-cafe] 2D game graphics library for Haskell?

peterv bf3 at telenet.be
Fri Aug 24 06:31:42 EDT 2007

I’m currently playing around with SOE to make some simple interactive math
exercises for students. This worked fine, although I could have done this
much faster using C# (which I know very well), but since I’m addicted to
Haskell now, I used the latter language ;) Furthermore, I hope that one day,
I will know enough Haskell to learn it to the students, because I feel that
functional programming should not be given in the last bachelor or master
years, since most software engineering students then know OO programming
extremely well and have a horrible time with FP (I currently did not meet
anyone in my sector of game development that liked FP, and many of those
people had a masters degree and some were PhDs)


Anyway, SOE is great for learning Haskell, but it lacks a couple of
fundamental functions to make it really attractive, like:


-        Support for images

-        Support for rendering to an “offscreen graphics surface” and
reading the pixels from that surface (for pixel-wise collision detection)

-        Support for detecting non-ASCII key presses (cursor keys, etc)

-        Support for joysticks


Concurrent Clean seems to have a nice 2D game library and PLT/DrScheme also
has nice support for basic 2D graphics, but somehow I feel Haskell is more
mature and more elegant. 


So before digging into “advanced” APIs (like GTK itself, which I know
nothing about, I’m a Win32 GDI/XNA/WPF expert), I should ask the question if
something similar exists? It has to be as simple as SOE.


Would it be possible to extend the GTK SOE with support for the features
mentioned above? Is this insanely difficult for someone like me who knows a
lot about Win32 but little Haskell?



Peter Verswyvelen


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