[Haskell-cafe] How difficult would creating a collaborative multi-user online virtual world application be in Haskell?

Andrew Wagner wagner.andrew at gmail.com
Thu May 7 07:09:29 EDT 2009

This reminds me of a server app I saw recently in a language called  
Clojure. Clojure is a relatively new lisp variant targeting the JVM,  
and has a home-grown STM layer built into the language. Anyway, the  
app I saw was a (admittedly didactic-focused) multi-threaded MUD  
server (google "clojure mire"), which could easy serve as the  
foundation for a project like this. Thus, I would say that STM is up  
for the challenge. The question in my mind would be whether or not  
Haskell's graphics/video libraries are mature enough.

On May 7, 2009, at 6:28 AM, Benjamin L.Russell  
<DekuDekuplex at Yahoo.com> wrote:

> One question that has been coming up at the back of my mind for the
> past several weeks has been how difficult would it be to create a
> collaborative multi-user online virtual world application in Haskell.
> More specifically, last August, I came across a very interesting
> application called Croquet (see
> http://www.opencroquet.org/index.php/Main_Page), which happens to be
> based on Squeak (see http://www.squeak.org/), a dialect of Smalltalk.
> Croquet, in turn, provides the basis for Cobalt (see
> http://www.duke.edu/~julian/Cobalt/Home.html), a "virtual workspace
> browser and construction toolkit for accessing, creating, and
> publishing hyperlinked multi-user virtual environments" (according to
> the home page for that project).
> What struck me as especially interesting was how Croquet allows
> multiple users to collaborate together in a multi-user online virtual
> world in software development and other collaborative projects.  As
> one application, the video clip on the upper-right-hand corner of the
> above-mentioned Croquet home page illustrates how a user can, by
> writing code from inside the application, create on-the-fly additional
> virtual environments, which can then be entered by either the
> programmer or other programmers.  Other applications (shown in other
> video clips on the "Screenshots/Videos" page (see
> http://www.opencroquet.org/index.php/Screenshots/Videos) show
> alternative applications that include text-based annotations, a 3D
> spreadsheet, and writing a conventional blog from within a virtual
> world.
> Unfortunately, Smalltalk is an object-oriented language.  If possible,
> I would like to see something similar in a functional programming
> language such as Haskell.
> Does anybody know whether duplicating this project in Haskell would be
> feasible?
> -- Benjamin L. Russell
> -- 
> Benjamin L. Russell  /   DekuDekuplex at Yahoo dot com
> http://dekudekuplex.wordpress.com/
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