[Haskell] Haskell Xlib bindings

Simon Marlow simonmarhaskell at gmail.com
Tue Feb 13 12:08:11 EST 2007

Sven Panne wrote:
> On Tuesday 13 February 2007 14:15, Simon Marlow wrote:
>> This all seems reasonable if the goal is to provide an XCB layer in
>> Haskell. But I have to ask the question: why?  The only user of the X11 lib
>> is HGL, and that's been ported to GtkHs now (ISTR), so who are the clients
>> for an XCB layer? [...]
> The conclusion of the above reasoning would be "rm -rf libraries/X11", but I 
> wouldn't go that far... ;-) And similar arguments could be made for Win32. 
> Anyway, I think there are a few reasons why something like XHB could make 
> sense:
>    * Fewer dependencies (no Xlib needed)
>    * Automatic generation of almost all parts, leading to a very consistent 
>    * Availability of dozens of protocol extensions for X11 for free, the X11 
> package has only the bare bones X11
>    * The possibility to use XHB in a multi-threaded setting (Xlib has only 
> very arcane support for this, so everything is basically single-threaded)
>    * Although Xlib will definitely stay with us for a long, long time, it 
> seems to be a bit "deprecated".
>    * The current X11 package needs a serious code review to fix the types.

I think you misinterpreted me slightly: I didn't mean to ask "why XCB when we 
have an Xlib binding?", I'm asking "why do we need either?".  Who is going to 
use it?  Is someone planning to write a widget set in Haskell?

Win32 is different: it is a layer used by the vast majority of Windows apps, 
because it encompasses not just the GUI but also the core OS services.  X11, in 
contrast, is used by hardly any apps.  I couldn't find anything in HackageDB 
that depends on it, apart from HGL.

> Apart from that, there are a few personal interests:
>    * Improve my rusty XSLT skills
>    * Test the available XML tools in/for Haskell
>    * Get some ideas for a better networking package. BTW: What is the status 
> of this? Is anybody already working on this? The current package has no clean 
> layering, lacks most modern networking features, does a few things "behind 
> the back" (which is often not what one wants), etc. Although I do not have 
> enough time to push this actively, I would be very interested in joining such 
> a "Let's build a better network package" task force...

Definitely with you there.  Revamping network would be tremendously useful.


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