[Haskell] Announcing Pan# 1.0

John Peterson peterson-john at cs.yale.edu
Wed Mar 31 17:47:31 EST 2004

                 Announcing Pan# 1.0

Pan# is a new front end for Conal Elliott's Pan system.  Pan# is a
stand-alone system that displays interactive functional images
expressed in a slightly augmented Haskell subset. Pan# is ideal for
demonstrating the core principles of functional programming in an
interesting and creative manner.

Features of this release include:
  * All examples from Conal's Fun of Programming chapter
  * Many examples stolen from Jerzy Karczmarczuk's functional textures work
  * Full type checking
  * New user interface controls (random numbers, Haskore timing tracks)
  * More Haskell features
  * Movie making capabilities
  * Improved viewer  
  * Simplified syntax for monadic code

Pan# runs on Windows and uses the .NET system for dynamic
compilation.  It has not yet been ported to Linux or Macs but if
you're familiar with the open source .NET systems we would be glad to
help someone move Pan# to other operating systems.

Pan# is easy to install and use.  It has been tested with high school
students and has proven to be an effective vehicle for introducing
novices to the basics of computer programming without getting wrapped
up in the endless details of visual Basic or other "industrial
strength" computer languages.  Because functional programming is very
close to mathematics, Pan# does not need to introduce unfamiliar
computational paradigms to students.  We are also investigating the
use of Pan# as an instructional tool for high school mathematics -
some examples of this are included in the distribution.

You can download Pan# at http://haskell.org/edsl/pansharp.html

Thanks to Microsoft Research for supporting this project.

   John Peterson, Yale Haskell Group
   peterson-john at cs.yale.edu

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