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December 31, 2000

Geek Holiday

I woke up with a killer headache this morning. No apparent cause, and persistent as hell. I ate something healthy, then dumped two Alleve into my system. That did nothing to abate the throbbing, so I filled up a hot bath, drew a tumbler of R.C. Cola and soaked for a half hour. By then things were easing up enough for me to think, allowing me to review photos from Christmas, sampling a couple here for your viewing pleasure.

Now, aside from posting News Items to the Terebi weblog, what am I doing? Playing with functional programming languages, of course! I've been tinkering with Haskell for a couple of years, ever since I first had a class in functional programming at the Oregon Graduate Institute. It was taught by John Launchbury, a luminary in the functional programming arena. But there were key aspects of the language that I never could seem to wrap my head around.

I recently stumbled onto a paper written by Simon Peyton Jones, another luminary. It's titled Tackling the Awkward Squad: Monadic Input/Output, Concurrency, Exceptions, and Foreign-language Calls in Haskell. After fifteen pages, I found myself going, "Ooooohhhh! now I get it." This has sent me back to Hugs98, the interpreter I've got lodged on my laptop computer, and also drove me to download (at work only) a copy of the Glasgow Haskell Compiler (GHC), which contains extensions described in the paper.

I am logged into work right now through a SSH encrypted terminal, running simple test programs to learn the ropes of GHC. So that's how I spend my holidays!

Posted by dpwakefield at December 31, 2000 04:16 PM