[Haskell-cafe] Requesting Feedback: I Love Haskell, but can't find a place to use it

Jonathan Geddes geddes.jonathan at gmail.com
Thu May 31 17:42:20 CEST 2012

Thanks for the responses, everyone.

>J. W. wrote:
>have you considered "your head" as such a place that should be easy to
> even "just for specifying things", Haskell is tremendously useful.
>even if you don't write programs, but just their types.
>you can express your software design that way,
> and have it formally verified (by the compiler's type checker).

Yes! And in fact this is exactly how I use Haskell now (aside from little
scripts and such). It has had a HUGE effect on the way I write software.
There have been a number of times that a colleague has asked what a strange
comment was in my Java[Script] code. When I tell them that the funny
looking one-liner is the Haskell equivalent of the following 30+
Java[Script] lines, they are incredulous, to say the least. But taking that
beautiful Haskell one-liner and manually transcribing it into an imperative
language feels like being a human compiler. My favorite example of this was
the use of the power set in JavaScript:

>//powerSet = filterM (const [True, False])

and then a few dozen JavaScript lines it "compiled down to" via the human

--J Arthur

On Thu, May 31, 2012 at 8:41 AM, Ivan Perez <ivanperezdominguez at gmail.com>wrote:

> On 31 May 2012 01:30, Jonathan Geddes <geddes.jonathan at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I love Haskell. It is my absolute favorite language. But I have a very
> hard
> > time finding places where I can actually use it!
> This has been bugging me for years and, like you, I think we ought to
> lean towards web-pages and mobile devices.
> Yesod has been a tremendous push forward in this direction but, as you
> already stated, the browser and android devices remain mostly
> unexplored in Haskell. Here's my bit:
> - There's a port of ghc for iphone.
> - There's frege (http://code.google.com/p/frege/), a non-strict, pure,
> functional programming language in the spirit of Haskell.
> - I've been working as a freelance developer for some time now. I
> focus on desktop apps in Haskell. I can't say I'm overwhelmed by the
> amount of offers (speaking of which, if anyone needs a freelance
> haskell developer,... ahem), but this area will not be clinically
> "dead" as long as we cannot use web applications knowing (99% sure)
> that the owner of the website cannot use our personal information for
> any purpose other than giving us our service. There's only two kinds
> of clients here, though: those that explicitly want Haskell, and those
> than don't care about the programming language. Otherwise, you'll have
> to sell Haskell and, personally, I'm not that good a salesman (10%
> success, tops).
> - I've also ported Haskell designs to other programming languages
> (with small adaptations). I only found this cost-effective because the
> code in Haskell was not going to be thrown away.
> Good luck. Please, let us know what you find.
> Cheers,
> Ivan.
> > I had hoped that compiling Haskell to C with -fvia-C (or would it be just
> > -C?) would allow Haskell to run in new, uncharted territory such as
> Android
> > (with NDK), IOS, Google's NaCl, etc. But today I learned that GHC's C
> > backend has been deprecated!  Is it more difficult than I am imagining to
> > get Haskell to work in these environments? Is it simply a matter of low
> > interest in this kind of work? Or something more fundamental? Am I
> missing
> > something?
> >
> > I'm hoping that the Haskell->JavaScript efforts will mature enough to
> make
> > Haskell viable for client-side web apps. (I think the first sign of this
> > will be a self-hosting Haskell->JavaScript compiler.)
> >
> > I use Haskell for Server-Side code with various web frameworks, but over
> the
> > years more and more of the app logic is moved into client-side
> JavaScript,
> > leaving the server-side code as little more than a simple validation and
> > security layer over the database and other services. Haskell doesn't have
> > any trouble with this, of course, but it's not exactly a role where it
> can
> > shine. (Of course this is not true of ALL server-side code, just the
> kind of
> > apps I have been writing.)
> >
> > So anyway I'd like to request feedback: where can I use Haskell besides
> > simple CLI utilities, dull server code, or project Euler problems? Even
> if
> > it's just to contribute to getting Haskell in the environments mentioned
> > above, any feedback is welcome!
> >
> > Thanks for reading,
> >
> > --J Arthur
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Haskell-Cafe mailing list
> > Haskell-Cafe at haskell.org
> > http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe
> >
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