[Haskell-cafe] Haskell for Accessibility

Derek Elkins derek.a.elkins at gmail.com
Tue Mar 13 00:29:00 EDT 2007

Tom Hawkins wrote:
> I love programming in Haskell, yet even its concise expressions have
> not saved my tendons from chronic RSI.  Has anyone put any thought
> into building an accessible Haskell development interface for those
> who may not be able to use a keyboard?
> One inspirational program is Dasher
> (http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/dasher/).  Not only is it godsend
> for people with a wide range of disabilities, Dasher is also a lot of
> fun to use.
> Though Dasher is good at general text entry, it's not well suited for
> programming.  However, combining Dasher's statistical inference with
> Haskell's type inference might yield a graphical, cursor driven
> interface even more efficient than the conventional keyboard.

I've suggested before (http://lambda-the-ultimate.org/node/1354#comment-15935) 
that Dasher should be able to be hacked into something that is extremely 
effective for code.  Simply using the BNF as generating (rather than "matching") 
the syntax should make it extremely effective and should be rather easy to add 
to Dasher.  Adding things like type-based disambiguation, smart identifier 
lookup and other such features from normal typing IDEs would be more involved 
but increase throughput even more.  I can see such an interface approaching or 
even possibly exceeding the speed of typing code.

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