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

Jonas Almström Duregård jonas.duregard at gmail.com
Tue Jul 6 04:09:12 EDT 2010

Hi John,

As for the academic requirements, try formulating a question which is
answered by the program you write, for instance:

Is it possible to write an efficient [YOUR PROJECT] in a purely
functional setting?

Can the advantages of [PORTED UTILITY] be utilized without relying on
code with side effects?

The question needs to be so specific it isn't  answered by any
existing application. You may also have follow-up question to this
basic yes/no question such as "How does this impact performance?".

When you know more exactly what you plan to do I'd be happy to help
you find academic aspects of it.


On 6 July 2010 08:22, John Smith <voldermort at hotmail.com> wrote:
> Thanks! A lot of good ideas, although a GUI or database framework look like
> the most promising possibilities at the moment. I like the email/wiki idea,
> although it may not meet the University's academic requirements. (Would
> probably just be an email client running on top of a Wiki.) It may also
> require a decent GUI/persistence framework, so this would be a good project
> to bring both of these together!
> Any further comments from those with experience in GIU/databases on Haskell?
> On 05/07/2010 23:51, Jason Dagit wrote:
>> Have you looked over Don's list of suggested summer of code projects?
>> These were the suggested ones by Don:
>> http://donsbot.wordpress.com/2010/04/01/the-8-most-important-haskell-org-gsoc-projects/
>> Here are the ones that were actually accepted:
>> http://donsbot.wordpress.com/2010/04/26/the-7-haskell-projects-in-the-google-summer-of-code/
>> 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 week.
>> 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 suboptimal.
>> I hope that helps,
>> Jason
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