[Haskell-cafe] Why binding to existing widget toolkits doesn't make any sense

Creighton Hogg wchogg at gmail.com
Mon Feb 2 14:39:23 EST 2009

2009/1/29 Conal Elliott <conal at conal.net>:
> Hi Achim,
> I came to the same conclusion: I want to sweep aside these OO, imperative
> toolkits, and replace them with something "genuinely functional", which for
> me means having a precise & simple compositional (denotational) semantics.
> Something meaningful, formally tractable, and powefully compositional from
> the ground up.  As long as we build on complex legacy libraries (Gtk,
> wxWidgets, Qt, OpenGL/GLUT, ...), we'll be struggling against (or worse yet,
> drawn into) their ad hoc mental models and system designs.
> As Meister Eckhart said, "Only the hand that erases can write the true
> thing."

I think working on a purely functional widget toolkit would actually
be a really cool project.  Do you have any ideas, though, on what
should be the underlying primitives?

The initial gut feeling I have is that one should just ignore any
notion of actually displaying widgets & instead focus on a clean
algebra of how to 'add'  widgets that relates the concepts of
inheritance & relative position.  What I mean by inheritance, here, is
how to direct a flow of 'events'.  I don't necessarily mean events in
the Reactive sense, because I think it'd be important to make the
model completely independent of how time & actual UI actions are

Any thoughts to throw in, here?


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