[Haskell-cafe] Haskell Weekly News

Kim-Ee Yeoh ky3 at atamo.com
Thu Jun 18 01:04:01 UTC 2015

*Top Picks:*

   - Andrew Gibiansky
   announces the Mathematica-inspired REPL 2.0 IHaskell as a web-app you
   can play with right now <http://try.jupyter.org/>. Bouquets include:
   "This is an awesome step up from the tryhaskell window." Also, "I love
   IHaskell. I've already started preferring it to ghci since it's so much
   easier to use." More /r/haskell love here

   - Mihai Maruseac and Alejandro Serrano Mena publish the 28th Haskell
   Communities and Activities Report
   <https://www.haskell.org/communities/05-2015/html/report.html>. Top
   comment on HN <https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9627260>: "Haskell
   is backed by a truly amazing community. Haskell will continue to inspire
   people to build better, safer software. I hope that the values of
   tolerance, respect and benevolence that most of the Haskell community is
   supporting will also contribute to make tech a more friendly and equal
   place for everyone."

   - Bicycling in circles just to find parking in Utrecht? Bas van Dijk
   launches a city-wide monitoring system that guides you to a space that's
   free, dry, and safe
   Written in Haskell 'natch, even the front-end leverages GHCJS. Devops'ed in
   NixOS. He tips off his fellow redditors
   about using blaze-react to wrap Facebook's React library. HN-worthy

   - Announcing on haskell-cafe
   and /r/haskell
   Sean Seefried open sources a Docker script that instantly gets you a
   Haskell build environment for Android game development
   <https://github.com/sseefried/docker-epidemic-build-env>. No more
   fiddling with cross-compiles. He even gives you an open source game
   <https://github.com/sseefried/open-epidemic-game> all mobile-ready.
   Thanks, Sean!

   - Vincent Hanquez releases cryptonite
   <http://hackage.haskell.org/package/cryptonite>, a single package that
   consolidates 10-20 other crypto packages. Why? Because maintaining multiple
   packages is a pain involving fiddling with dependency version bounds and
   changelog/cabal/version metadata. Benefit for the user? Easier discovery of
   crypto widgets now that they are all in one haddock, as opposed to hidden
   in a package whose name eludes you. Kibbitz on /r/haskell

   - Joe Nelson
   Haskell two years ago
   <http://www.wagonhq.com/blog/first-two-weeks-haskell-wagon> and calls it
   "moon language." Now he works full-time at Wagon, an all-Haskell start-up
   offering "a modern data collaboration tool." He's proud of his team that
   "excels at debugging gnarly issues, including a memory leak caused by a
   useful yet tricky language feature called lazy evaluation." But what's the
   buzz that HN <https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9703500> and
   latch on? Answer: The pros and cons of effectful point-free refactoring.

   - Fredrik Olsen migrates from Ruby on Rails (RoR) to Haskell
   at fintech start-up Bdellium. Unlike RoR where he "always had a much harder
   time" with an existing codebase, he testifies that "Haskell let me quickly
   browse the code, read the types and almost instantly understand the
   structure and layout of the program."

   Hiring for RoR nets him "a few hundred applications" where only "10–20%
   I’d say are people that I’d actually be interested in hiring." Hiring for
   Haskell gets "50 responses to the Reddit post, all of them were people that
   I could have hired. Many of the applicants were even grossly over-qualified
   and were willing to take the job just because it would let them work in
   Haskell." Ben Ford of Fynder.io corroborates Fredrik in the top comment on

   Phil Wadler reblogs
   the story and zooms in on how Fredrik gained 3.7x parallelism from 4 cores
   by merely tweaking a single line of code. Control.Parallel.Strategies

   - Arnaud Bailly <https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9642665#up_9643923>
   shares on HN that he had "no issue finding talent" for Haskell jobs in
   Singapore. "150 qualified applicants (i.e. passed the test, which was to
   design an inventory management system in Haskell) for ~10 positions, all
   foreign; the majority came from the US, Germany and Scandinavia."

   - If type errors can be deferred, why not also "name not found"? Tom
   Ellis asks
   He thinks it would make Haskell "gentler for newcomers." For veterans: even
   more stub-driven-dev opportunities. Coincidentally, Dan Burton spitballed
   the same on /r/haskell
   This idea has a history stretching back at least 3 years: see trac
   ticket #5910 <https://ghc.haskell.org/trac/ghc/ticket/5910#comment:19>.

   - David Luposchainsky proposes to move the fail method out of the Monad
   type class <https://github.com/quchen/articles/blob/master/monad_fail.md>.
   With the deeply thought out blueprint he provides, /r/haskell reports
   that the community's already working on it. Discussion on libraries list

   - Anthony Cowley proposes a shorter syntax for imports on haskell-cafe
   and trac <https://ghc.haskell.org/trac/ghc/ticket/10478>. He withdraws
   his proposal five days later because the "disdainful mockery" and "strongly
   worded rebuttals" have him overwhelmed on what is only a "nights and
   weekends project." Reddit discussion here

   - Henk-Jan van Tuyl
   runs smack into a library .a-extension File Not Found problem when
   installing data-default-instances-old-locale on 7.10. Culprit? Windows! And
   its %&@#! 255-character filepath limit. He is not alone
   <https://github.com/haskell/cabal/issues/2502>. Why is 7.8 ok? Because
   package names in the filepath used to be abbreviated. Workaround? Instead
   of cabal install X, download it first: cabal get X, then cabal install ./X.
   Thanks to Matej Borovec and Michal Antkiewicz for sorting it out.

   - FP Complete announces Stack
   a replacement for cabal-install
   <https://hackage.haskell.org/package/cabal-install> the command-line
   tool (not Cabal the library infrastructure). Stack leverages Stackage
   <https://www.stackage.org/> Long-Term Support (LTS) releases for a
   speedy escape from cabal hell. Warmly received on /r/haskell
   Dan Burton blogs on how Stack eases development by removing the need to
   remember a sequence of cabal commands
   HN-worthy <https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9687274> and a troll
   that Haskell's "an esoteric language that no one uses" provokes
many a valiant,
   evidence-backed defense

   - Redditor beerdude26 nudges folks on /r/haskell
   to continue cultivating the haskell wiki
   <https://wiki.haskell.org/Haskell>. He sets an example by splicing in the
   common newtype workaround
   <https://wiki.haskell.org/Orphan_instance#Common_workaround> into the
   entry on orphan instances.

   - In HN news <https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9662705>: Cloud
   Haskell <http://haskell-distributed.github.io/> -- Erlang-style
   concurrent and distributed programming. Top comment notes that whereas the
   web site suggests that activity stopped in 2014, CH actually thrives on
   Github <https://github.com/haskell-distributed>.

   - In HN news <https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9696086>: Haskell
   wiki entry on Frag <https://wiki.haskell.org/Frag>, a 2005 undergrad
   project by Mun Hon Cheong who recreated a Quake3-like First-Person Shooter
   (FPS) game using Yampa FRP. Although a decade old, Cody Goodman
   <https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9696086#up_9696700> reports that
   he's gotten it to compile.

   - In HN news <http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9704851>: APL lives! A
   functional programmer investigates APL
   <http://theburningmonk.com/2015/06/fear-and-loathing-with-apl/>, discovers
   that it "looks every bit as mind-bending and unbe­liev­able as scenes
   from Johnny Depp’s *Fear and Loathing in L**as Vegas*", and summarizes
   the syntax for the benefit of all.

*Quotes of the Week:*

   - A typeclass with only one instance is nonsensical, and often a symptom
   of trying to use typeclasses as OO classes. -- Brandon Allbery

   - That Haskell shows the developer things about themselves even they
   didn't know is enough to make it worth learning. It's mind-bending and
   ideology-exposing. -- Redditor on /r/haskell

   - Haskell's great for writing an ugly solution and fixing it later
   because refactoring is so cheap.  No need to get it right the first time.
   -- Gabriel Gonzalez on Twitter

-- Kim-Ee
nights and weekends project
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