[Haskell-cafe] killer app sought

James Britt james at neurogami.com
Sun Oct 4 01:22:55 EDT 2009

Mark Wotton wrote:
 > Hi,
 > I've been writing a little binding from Ruby to Haskell called Hubris
 > (http://github.com/mwotton/Hubris) which I think has some potential both
 > for making Haskell web apps easier to write, and also for bringing the
 > more adventurous Ruby programmers into the Haskell community. Code-wise
 > it's coming along nicely, and once 6.12 is out it'll run without
 > modifications at least on Linux (remains to be seen how long it'll take
 > to get the Mac patches into shape). My real problem is marketing: I need
 > a killer app that shows it's easy either to
 > 1. wrap a kickarse Haskell library in a convenient Ruby web app shell
 > 2. speed up a poorly performing Ruby web app
 > I've been badgering the Ruby guys in Sydney that I know on the second
 > point, but either none of them have performance problems, or none of
 > them want to admit it.

Yeah, that can happen with some Rubyists. ;)

 > The first is entirely possible - if you only
 > attack the subset of problems where your runtime is dominated by the
 > database and network latency, language performance is moot. Conversely,
 > if that's your worldview, the other problems that could be attacked
 > won't ever come to mind (to monstrously abuse the Sapir-Whorf 
 > So, I'm asking you guys. What are some really nice Haskell libraries or
 > apps that could benefit from being shown off in one of the plethora of
 > slick, mature web frameworks that exist in Ruby? Manuel Chakravarty
 > suggested something with vector operations in order to take advantage of
 > his 'accelerate' library (once it gets a GPU backend, of course), and
 > more generally, something taking advantage of Haskell's support for
 > multicore would be cool. (The standard edition of Ruby is still unicore,
 > I believe.)

I've been trying to think of a nice back-end app to run via a Ramaze Web 
front end, to combine the best of Ruby Web dev with the speed and 
elegance of Haskell.  As mentioned, something that demonstrated 
multi-core-ability out of the box would be sweet.

Some thoughts came to mind on image or audio manipulation, though 
details escape me.    Or maybe text analysis.

Showing that using Haskell is faster than using Ruby would be nice, but 
unimpressive, insomuch as people can already do that with C.  So, a good 
example might also play off of the benefit of writing in Haskell instead 
of C.

James Britt


Neurogami - Smart application development


james at neurogami.com

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