[Haskell-cafe] libraries [was GUI haters]

Michael Vanier mvanier42 at gmail.com
Fri Apr 2 16:32:12 EDT 2010

This is a great idea!  IMO this is also one of the main ways that 
GUI-based apps are likely to evolve into in the future.  Cross-platform 
GUIs are a pain in the butt in _any_ language (possibly excluding full 
language platforms like Java/.NET, and I'll bet even those were a 
nightmare for the original implementors).


aditya siram wrote:
> Yes Haskell is not strong on the GUI end of things but have you
> considered turning your desktop app into a web app? I've done this for
> a few things and really enjoyed the process. Haskell's STM is what
> makes this so nice.
> Basically the you start a Haskell service on port <some-large-number>
> and make AJAX calls to it from your web browser using a CGI script as
> a go-between. In my case all data flows back and forth as JSON
> objects. You could just as easily use XML.
> For the front-end I used Qooxdoo [1] , an absolutely gorgeous
> well-documented Javascript GUI framework but there are plenty to
> choose from.
> This has a couple of advantages, it encourages MVC by letting the
> front-end take care of UI and the back-end does the logic and holds
> state. It's easy to deploy- Javascript runs everywhere and so does
> Haskell (the non-GUI parts anyway!). And it looks uniform across
> platforms.
> The disadvantages include security (but you can always restrict users
> to localhost), and performance (you probably don't want to visualize
> gigabyte size datasets in your browser). Additionally you now need to
> add and configure an extra piece of software, namely the web-server.
> Also you now have to learn Javascript and add that to the list of
> things the maintenance programmer has to worry about. But if you can
> learn Haskell, Javascript shouldn't be an issue. I've found that none
> of these disadvantages are really show-stoppers.
> hth,
> deech
> [1] http://qooxdoo.org/
> On 4/2/10, gladstein at gladstein.com <gladstein at gladstein.com> wrote:
>> As a working engineer, one of my greatest frustrations is my inability
>> to use Haskell in the workplace. The unfortunate fact is that my media
>> industry clients use mostly Windows, some Macs, and no linux except for
>> servers. The core system works everywhere, but many contributed
>> libraries don't. GUIs are the big showstopper.
>> One of the reasons Java won out over Common Lisp is that it had huge
>> libraries. Franz's libraries were superb but few in number. One diehard
>> Lisp user converted his lab to Java because "Java gives you everything
>> you want, for free."
>> That languages are distinct from their libraries escapes a lot of
>> people; they see each language as a package. I met a COBOL programmer
>> recently (I'm not making this up) that was looking into Java. He didn't
>> see how people could use it, he said, because it had "thousands of
>> commands".
>> I'll stop whining now.
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