Reminder: Dutch Haskell Users Group tomorrow (Wednesday)

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Sean Leather

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Aug 28, 2012, 12:23:17 PM8/28/12
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If you want to get dinner before the meeting, you can join me at the Educatorium at 18:00.

Otherwise, please be at the Boothzaal early, so we can start at 19:00.

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Our next meeting will be in the Boothzaal[1,2] in the Utrecht University library.

We will have two talks:
  • Jurriën Stutterheim - Building JavaScript Applications with Haskell
  • Sebastiaan Visser - Functional Programming at Silk[3]

As usual, we'll go to The Basket[4] afterwards. Unfortunately, it closes at 21:00. So, let's try to start the talks promptly at 19:00 and finish at 20:00 to give us some time to drink and socialize. The Cambridgebar[5] might be open from 21:00 (though I haven't confirmed this) if you want to go there after leaving The Basket.

Regards,
Sean

[1] After entering the library, it's halfway up the stairs (on the mezzanine level) and on the left.

noknok

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Aug 29, 2012, 12:32:09 PM8/29/12
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Hi Sean, Jurriën, Sebastiaan,

thank you for organizing this meeting. I was really looking forward to attend, but now I am stuck in Amsterdam.

By the way, I had a period of heavy disagreement with Haskell. I was trying to cope with Cabal, became really disappointed and eventually even abandoned the whole project. I was so upset that I seriously considered to change my native programming language, and I was thinking of Python. I would have enjoyed to talk to you about that and seek your advice. Well, maybe next time.

Jurriën, is there any link to the content of your talk?

Enjoy the evening! 
Yours Thomas

Norm 2782

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Aug 29, 2012, 3:44:01 PM8/29/12
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Hi Thomas,


Too bad you couldn't make it; it was great having a DHUG meeting with talks again! I will put my slides online tomorrow, after the same presentation has been given at IFL. :)


Jurriën
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Norm 2782

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Aug 30, 2012, 11:35:23 AM8/30/12
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As promised, here are my slides: http://norm2782.com/BuildingJSAppsWithHaskell.pdf

Jurriën

On 29 Aug 2012, at 18:32, noknok <bucepha...@gmail.com> wrote:

noknok

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Aug 30, 2012, 7:14:06 PM8/30/12
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Hi Jurriën 

Thank you!!! 
Your work is exactly what I was hoping it would be from the title. And that is exactly what I am waiting for: an automatic wizard converting Haskell into web applications. This is really hot! 
For me it is especially interesting as an option to let me or others use my code without the need to install, pretty much as dear old Java Applets once made Java applications extra accessible.
Currently I am not programming a lot, because I am too occupied with other stuff. But in the future, these things will challenge me again, and I will certainly follow your project to consider this option. It will also help me to make peace again with Haskell. (Maybe Cabal has also matured by then, or even died ;-)

Well, and even if Haskell really stinks -- this Haskell user group does rock!
Thank you! Thank you!
Groet Thomas


Norm 2782

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Aug 31, 2012, 10:11:41 AM8/31/12
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Hi Thomas,


Good to hear :) Just a disclaimer: the UHC JavaScript backend is still very much a research project! (although it is already being used in production somewhere). To help you get started if you want to use it: you should clone the UHC git repository[1] and check out the js branch. It contains the most recent version of the JS backend.
While we in fact did write an entire front-end application in JS, the resulting code[2] isn't very beautiful (yet!). Especially the parts that interact with the DOM. You could also consider writing the DOM interaction in JS, and interfacing with your Haskell libraries via foreign exports. What I would definitely recommend is separating any use of the JS FFI from the rest of your Haskell code. This way, you can just use GHC to develop your Haskell code and get better type errors during development, and use UHC to eventually compile it down to JS.


Jurriën

[1] https://github.com/UU-ComputerScience/uhc
[2] https://github.com/UU-ComputerScience/JCU/tree/master/resources/static/hjs
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Sean Leather

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Aug 31, 2012, 10:14:21 AM8/31/12
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Here are Sebastiaan's slides.

Regards,
Sean
@ Silk.pdf

Andres Löh

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Aug 31, 2012, 10:59:08 AM8/31/12
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> (Maybe Cabal has also matured by then, or even died ;-)

I know it's fashionable to engage in Cabal-bashing, but it'd help if
you'd list concrete points of what you would want to see improved
about Cabal rather than suggesting to everyone that it's somehow bad.

Cheers,
Andres

Stefan Holdermans

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Aug 31, 2012, 1:22:16 PM8/31/12
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I'd also like to know. I am aware that Cabal isn't perfect, but getting exposed to programming in a variety of languages, I can assure you that Cabal isn't bad at all. Actually, I think of Cabal and Hackage as some of the Haskell community's strong suits. Besides those concrete points of criticism, could you also illustrate where other languages/communities are doing better in terms of build and package management? I'd love to learn and compare.

One other thing that I've always liked about the Haskell community is that it's always very constructive and that there is very little bashing going on. That holds in particular for our local group. Hopefully we can keep it that way.

Cheers,

Stefan

noknok

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Sep 6, 2012, 6:36:17 PM9/6/12
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Dear Andres, Dear Stefan,

You are right, of course. Please, let me apologize for the "bashing", which wasn't meant to be. Obviously, Cabal does work for a lot of people and projects. I didn't want to seem ungrateful for the work that people put into writing it.

A while ago I was able to give a talk on my CodeDown project. As I mentioned then, the basic idea could be extended towards a universal "document generator generator", and following the talk I worked out this thesis. Finally, I was proud to have designed a versatile and yet simple system, which (and I thought this was unique) treated code and documentation not only as equal, but was also able to convert back and forth. I got the system running and also wrote something like a tutorial and manual (see [1] and [2] below). And then I tried to cabalize the whole enterprise in order to put it on Hackage and make the world a better place ... but that turned out to be impossible for me and after days or even weeks of serious study, I was so really frustrated that I gave it up....

I am not able here to reconstruct all the problems I encountered. I do have a couple of objections, but I also trust the Cabal designers, which are all much more experienced programmers than I am. Like it or not, Cabal is a fact, and I intended to embrace it. And actually, the real trouble with Cabal for second-class programmers like me is not its quality, but its poor documentation. So instead of complaining, I tried an "understanding by explaining" and worked on my own introduction into "The standard Haskell infrastructure" [3], as a tutorial to everything which matters in Haskell programming and goes beyond writing modules. But as I said, I couldn't cope with the ugly Cabal matter and I gave that up, too.

By that time, I did consider changing my native language to one where EVERYTHING works, even if that meant compromises. But recently, I started a new exciting project in Haskell again, so I will stick to the misery I am used to ;-) I was hoping that by the time that one is ready, Cabal might have become accessible for hobby programmers, too.
Andres, you were once so kind to take some time and explain darcs to me in the pub. At the moment I am studying Git and I now do version control in my project and publications. So, hopefully I can fill all the knowledge gaps to become a true Haskell soldier in the future.

[3] http://www.bucephalus.org/tmp/haskell-doc-main.pdf

Regards, Thomas
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