[Haskell-cafe] Subject: A universal data store interface

Sergiu Ivanov unlimitedscolobb at gmail.com
Mon Feb 13 21:01:10 CET 2012

On Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 9:01 PM, Greg Weber <greg at gregweber.info> wrote:
> Thanks you for your interest in that proposal. I rushed it off a year
> ago. Since then we have made a lot of improvements to Persistent and
> the library forms a basic building block for most Yesod users and
> other Haskellers. Persistent offers a level of type-safety and
> convenience not available elsewhere (except perhaps for libraries like
> acid-state that are limited to in-memory storage).

I see; this sounds great.  I'm not familiar with Persistent, but I
surely understand that type safety in persistence is very helpful, if
not crucial sometimes.  Also, my experience with Haskell makes me
expect that Persistent allows addressing persistence with concise,
safe code which just cannot be inspiring :-)

> That being said, there are still a lot of improvements that could be
> made. With the effort of a GSoC volunteer we could probably get it
> to the point of being the go-to data storage library for Haskellers,
> at least those planning on using the subset of backends (likely SQL)
> with great support.

That would be great!  Besides, a stable, flexible, and
easy-to-work-with, already existing storage interface should allow
Haskell programmers to focus less on IO and more on the purely
functional logic.

> This proposal is vague and we would need to work with you to narrow
> things down a bit.

Yes, that would be cool :-) Since I'm not familiar with Persistence at
all (unfortunately :-( ), do you have some suggestions for me to start

I've found this http://www.yesodweb.com/book/persistent and I'm going
to get familiar with it in the first place.  I hope it won't take me
much longer than a couple days.

> I am biased, but I believe the Yesod project is one of the most
> compelling in the Haskell ecosystem. There are a lot of different ways
> a GSoC project could help make things even better besides improving
> the associated Persistent library, and we would really like to mentor
> at least one GSoC student. I would open more tickets for this in the
> system, but I am not sure how helpful it will be.

I am rather far away from Web programming, so, unfortunately, I am not
sure whether it would be relevant if I volunteered to contribute to
Yesod directly.  In my perspective, there are possibilities for a
non-Web programmer to contribute to Yesod, though, so, if I am not too
much off with my perspectives, I'll be glad to work on Yesod as well.

> It seems that we need to reach out to more students like yourself,
> but I am not sure how to do that unless I see messages like these
> first.

I'd suppose that the larger part of the problem is that people aren't
taught (or aren't properly taught) functional programming in
conventional institutions, so they find it very hard to wrap their
head around the strictly functional, type-safe Haskell.  Haskell has a
lot of packages, there's Yesod, there's quite a bit of documentation;
I just can't see any other reason for people not rushing to program in
Haskell :-)


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