I'm taking a Data Visualization course this fall, and one of our assignments was to create an interactive visualization. So I thought about the problem for a little bit, and realized, “Hey, wouldn’t it be nice if we had a version of hp2ps that was both interactive and accessible from your browser?” (hp2any fulfills this […]

This post is the spiritual predecessor to Flipping Burgers in coBurger King. What does it mean for something to be dual? A category theorist would say, “It’s the same thing, but with all the arrows flipped around.” This answer seems frustratingly vague, but actually it’s quite precise. The only thing missing is knowing what arrows […]

This post is adapted from the talk which Deian Stefan gave for Hails at OSDI 2012. It is a truth universally acknowledged that any website (e.g. Facebook) is in want of a web platform (e.g. the Facebook API). Web platforms are awesome, because they allow third-party developers to build apps which operate on our personal […]

Safe Haskell is a new language pragma for GHC which allows you to run untrusted code on top of a trusted code base. There are some common misconceptions about how Safe Haskell works in practice. In this post, I’d like to help correct some of these misunderstandings. [system 'rm -Rf /' :: IO ExitCode] is […]

After a long delay and a lot of editing, Issue 20 of The Monad Reader is finally out. Check it out!

On the importance of primary sources. (Introductory material ahead.) Most readers of this blog should have at least a passing familiarity with applicative functors: class Applicative f where pure :: a -> f a (<*>) :: f (a -> b) -> f a -> f b This interface is quite convenient for day-to-day programming (in […]

Steve Yegge has posted a fun article attempting to apply the liberal and conservative labels to software engineering. It is, of course, a gross oversimplification (which Yegge admits). For example, he concludes that Haskell must be “extreme conservative”, mostly pointing at its extreme emphasis on safety. This completely misses one of the best things about […]

A common simplification when discussing many divide and conquer algorithms is the assumption that the input list has a size which is a power of two. As such, one might wonder: how do we encode lists that have power of two sizes, in a way that lists that don’t have this property are unrepresentable? One […]

Ur is a programming language, which among other things, has a rather interesting record system. Record systems are a topic of rather intense debate in the Haskell community, and I noticed that someone had remarked “[Ur/Web has a http://www.impredicative.com/ur/tutorial/tlc.html very advanced records system]. If someone could look at the UR implementation paper and attempt to […]

The MonadIO problem is, at the surface, a simple one: we would like to take some function signature that contains IO, and replace all instances of IO with some other IO-backed monad m. The MonadIO typeclass itself allows us to transform a value of form IO a to m a (and, by composition, any function […]