[Haskell] 2-D Plots, graphical representation of massive data

Jacques Carette carette at mcmaster.ca
Thu Aug 26 20:02:10 EDT 2004

John Meacham <john at repetae.net> wrote:
> What would be cooler (IMHO) would be brining all of matlabs
> functionality into haskell via haskell libraries so one may use 'ghci'
> sort of as one uses matlab, but with the advantages haskell brings.

One could create Haskell libraries that are matlab-like, but most of the advantages of haskell (ie stong typing) are 
not realizable in Haskell.  To express even the most basic of matrix datatypes and operations requires dependent 

Now, most of the dependent types needed are (linear) integer dependencies, so some of the tricks recently shown on 
this mailing list could be used, but the end result would be hardly palatable, and certainly not competitive with 
Matlab on usability grounds.

Shapely types (a la FISh) are quite promising in this direction, as are systems (like Epigram) taking dependent types 
head-on.  It is too bad that Aldor (www.aldor.org) was too far ahead of its time with its first-class and dependent 
type system :-(  Scarily, it is essentially deemed a 'failure' in Computer Algebra circles, as its type system, 
powerful as it is, is still too weak to conveniently express the mathematics of calculus.  And calculus/analysis is 
what most people use Matlab, Maple and Mathematica for.

[I was with Maplesoft Inc (makers of the CAS Maple) for 10 years, Senior Architect and Product Development Director 
for 2000-2002 before I got lured by academia.  I say this mostly as a way to allow others to judge the weight they 
should place on my above stated opinions.]


More information about the Haskell mailing list