[Haskell-cafe] Re: GSOC Haskell Project

Mihai Maruseac mihai.maruseac at gmail.com
Thu Apr 1 12:39:30 EDT 2010

So, should I change the topic of the project to stack traces instead
of visual GUI representation? If this were the case, I will have to
find a way to represent those traces in a way that even a beginner can
read and understand (my GUI approach was for the beginners).

Mihai Maruseac

On Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 6:40 PM, Jason Dagit <dagit at codersbase.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 7:21 AM, Simon Marlow <marlowsd at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On 30/03/2010 20:57, Mihai Maruseac wrote:
>>> I'd like to introduce my idea for the Haskell GSOC of this year. In
>>> fact, you already know about it, since I've talked about it here on
>>> the haskell-cafe, on my blog and on reddit (even on #haskell one day).
>>> Basically, what I'm trying to do is a new debugger for Haskell, one
>>> that would be very intuitive for beginners, a graphical one. I've
>>> given some examples and more details on my blog [0], [1], also linked
>>> on reditt and other places.
>>> This is not the application, I'm posting this only to receive some
>>> kind of feedback before writing it. I know that it seems to be a
>>> little too ambitious but I do think that I can divide the work into
>>> sessions and finish what I'll start this summer during the next year
>>> and following.
>>> [0]: http://pgraycode.wordpress.com/2010/03/20/haskell-project-idea/
>>> [1]:
>>> http://pgraycode.wordpress.com/2010/03/24/visual-haskell-debugger-part-2/
>>> Thanks for your attention,
>> My concerns would be:
>>  - it doesn't look like it would scale very well beyond small
>>   examples, the graphical representation would very quickly
>>   get unwieldy, unless you have some heavyweight UI stuff
>>   to make it navigable.
>>  - it's too ambitious
>>  - have you looked around to see what kind of debugging tools
>>   people are asking for?  The most oft-requested feature is
>>   stack traces, and there's lots of scope for doing something
>>   there (but also many corpses littering the battlefield,
>>   so watch out!)
> I would be much more interested in seeing the foundations improved than I
> would be in having nice things built on them.  In other words, I agree with
> Simon that stack traces would be many times more valuable to me than
> graphical representations.  Once the foundations are robust, then we can
> build nice things on top of them.
> Perhaps the reason you're interested in graphical representations is because
> you want to help people 'visualize', or understand, the problem.  Not all
> visualizations need to be graphical in the GUI sense.  It's really about
> representing things in a way that helps humans reason about it.  Getting the
> right information to people as they need it is probably the best place to
> start.
> Jason

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