Functional languages on NearlyFreeSpeech.net

Haskell, Lisp, OCaml, and Scheme (as well as C, C++, Fortran, Java, Lua, Perl, Python, Ruby, and Tcl) are the languages supported by NearlyFreeSpeech.net, a web hosting company. I enjoyed reading their FAQ.



Real-World Haskell

A forthcoming O'Reilly book on Haskell, by Bryan O’Sullivan, Don Stewart and John Goerzen. Interestingly, O’Reilly has agreed to publish chapters online, under a Creative Commons License. (Great that they managed to achieve this, O'Reilly was reluctant to consider something similar when Maurice and I proposed it for our book.)


Festschrift for John C. Reynolds’s 70th birthday

Edited by Olivier Danvy, Peter O’Hearn and Philip Wadler. The community says Thank You to John Reynolds for a lifetime of inspiring ideas. Happy birthday, John!


Reith Lectures 2007

Taking his lead from John Kennedy's precept 'Peace is a Process', in the 2007 Reith Lectures, Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, lays out a system of initiatives that government, institutions, and citizens can follow to achieve peace, limit climate change, and reduce economic inequality. In the last lecture, he claims a special place for scientists to organize to solve the world's ills, and cites Wikipedia and Linux as a model---a sort of Open Source government. Heady stuff; it's not often one encounters this scope of vision. The lectures are delivered from London, Beijing, New York, and (for the finale) Edinburgh, home of Adam Smith and the Enlightenment.



Oh no! Alligators!

One of my great joys on visiting Berkeley was to meet Bret Victor, of Magic Ink fame. I mentioned to him that I had been working with a student on a visual lambda calculus, in part because I wanted a way to explain lambda calculus to my eight-year old daughter and son. He responded with a game involving alligators and their eggs, such a clever morphing of lambda calculus that it wasn't until I reached the end that I realized exactly what was going on.

So far, I've had a chance to show it to my daughter, who managed to successfully solve the problem at the end. She guessed a definition of 'not', and then applied 'not' to 'true' and checked that the result is 'false'. But she was most interested in drawing pictures of alligators! I expect it would be more fun to use if there was software that implemented the game.

Bret also pointed to David Keenan's graphical lambda calculus, based on Raymond Smullyan's "To Mock a Mockingbird".




A backend for GHC that compiles to the JVM, by Brian Alliet. Thanks to Adam Megacz for the pointer.


Visit Stanford, Google, Intel Berkeley

Many thanks to my hosts who invited me to speak at Stanford, Google, and Intel Berkeley. A link to the video of my Google talk is above, Intel Berkeley tells me they will also post a video.

I met quite a few interesting folk on my visit, including Dominic Hughes, Adam Chlipala, Adam Megacz, and Bret Victor (of Magic Ink fame).

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