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

John A. De Goes john at n-brain.net
Mon Feb 2 14:58:45 EST 2009

The actual presentation and layout of widgets would be better handled  
by a DSL such as CSS (which is, in fact, declarative in nature), while  
event logic would be best handled purely in Haskell.


John A. De Goes
The Evolution of Collaboration

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On Feb 2, 2009, at 12:39 PM, Creighton Hogg wrote:

> 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
> handled.
> Any thoughts to throw in, here?
> Cheers,
> C
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