[Haskell-cafe] Re: Suggestions for an MSc Project?

Jason Dagit dagit at codersbase.com
Mon Jul 5 16:51:01 EDT 2010

On Mon, Jul 5, 2010 at 1:39 AM, John Smith <voldermort at hotmail.com> wrote:

> None of the frameworks in
> http://www.haskell.org/haskellwiki/Applications_and_libraries/GUI_libraries#High-levelappear to have a working build in
> http://hackage.haskell.org/packages/archive/pkg-list.html#cat:gui, except
> wxFruit. Is there a need that isn't being met for "high-level" GUI
> libraries?
> Another suggestion I received in a private reply is to work on data
> persistence, but it would be tough to evaluate all the dozens of entries in
> http://hackage.haskell.org/packages/archive/pkg-list.html#cat:database. Is
> there some database need that isn't being met?
> I've never done serious Haskell programming (I've played with it a little
> while doing lots of C# at work), so I'm hoping that more experienced Haskell
> programmers could identify a potentially useful contribution.

Have you looked over Don's list of suggested summer of code projects?

These were the suggested ones by Don:

Here are the ones that were actually accepted:

It seems like anything from the original list that isn't being tackled would
count as an important contribution.  Summer of Code is probably a smaller
scope than your MSc, but that doesn't strike me as a problem.  Typically in
any software project, once you start working on it you can easily find room
to expand it in useful directions.  Similarly with the need for a research
component.  If you get creative you should be able to find some aspect that
others haven't investigated.

One thing I've been wanting lately is a good client / server, meeting
scheduling / calendaring / time tracking software.  Something along the
lines of Meeting Maker or iCal, but open source, extensible, and with the
polish of Google Calendar.  I've been thinking about it a lot and I have
several other usability ideas to throw in to make it really shine.  I keep
meaning to post my requirements on my blog.  Maybe I'll get to that this

Another thing I'd like, is to augment GHC with a type level debugger.  One
simple idea I had for that was to have GHC dump out the source code it's
type checking with the types it has figured out (and the ones that don't
type check, expect vs. inferred) annotated at every term and subterm.  This
has some technical hurdles, but mainly I think it has usability concerns to
address.  For example, how to let the user zoom in to the smallest term and
see the type while also letting them select larger terms and see the type,
all without being overwhelmed.  Something that novices can make sense of but
experts enjoy using too.

Here is another idea.  I'd like to see more integration between personal
wikis (ones you run on localhost) and email systems.  Imagine that an email
comes into your inbox and then you can annotate the email by adding notes,
sort of like track changes in Word.  The email + notes stays in your inbox.
 It would be nice if you could bookmark those emails too in your web browser
or similar.  This would be handy for me as I sometimes reference specific
emails for a long time and I often want to make notes as I reference them.
 Currently I paste the email into gitit and go for there.

A universal interface / adapter for version control systems would be nice,
but I think this one needs more research.  We currently have a problem with
vcs that each one speaks its own language.  To me this is analogous to only
being able to email people who use the same email client as you.  Quite

I hope that helps,
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