Thu, 02 Apr 2009
Just today, Richard Collins reminded me that I forgot to blog the last FP-Syd meeting. I'm correcting that now.
Last Thursday (March 26th) was the 13th meeting of FP-Syd, the Sydney Functional Programming group. The meeting was held at Google's new offices in Sydney and we had about 35 people attending to hear our two presenters.
The first presentation was by Simon (Horms) Horman, who volunteered to give a presentation the morning of meeting after our scheduled speaker pulled out due to illness. Horms' presentation was titled "Using Haskell to Write a Very Small Portion of Xen". He started out by explaining how he is relatively new to Haskell and that most of his coding is actually in C, for the Xen hypervisor. Xen hypervisor Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (APCI) which is programmed in a very simple C like language called ACPI Source Language (ASL). Programming ASL is a rather repetitive and error prone task, so Horms' solution was to write a simple Haskell program to generate the ASL code. Horms' slides, Haskell code and output ASL code is available in this tarball .
The second presentation was by Mark Wotton on his attempts to improve predictive text entry on mobile phones. Mark explained how he wanted to improve predictive text by using the previous three words instead of just the current word. He chose Haskell for its rapid prototyping capabilities and explained some of the difficulties he had with performance, especially with large corpora and how he got around these problems.
A big thanks goes to Shane Stephens and Google's Sydney office for making their facilities available. Thanks also to Horms and Mark for their presentations.