Sun, 21 Jun 2009
On Thursday June 18th we held the 16th meeting of FP-Syd, the Sydney Functional Programming group. The meeting was held at Google's Sydney offices and we had about 25 people attending to hear our two presentations.
This month we tried something a little different, 5 minute lightning talks. We had four lightning presenters :
- Jeremy Apthorp, "Closures in C" - Jeremy explained how the Clang frontend for LLVM had added lexical closures to the C programming language.
- Jeeva Suresh, "Functional Programming Warps your mind - Quantified"- Jeeva quantified exactly how programming in functional languages changes a programmer's approach when programming in other languages.
- Mark Bradley, "Cycling Josephus for Speed" - Mark show how a naive approach to the Josephus Problem in Haskell would, for some example parameters, exhaust all memory. Mark showed a better solution that satisfied the problem but still consumed a large amount of memory. Interestingly, Benjamin Johnston posted a solution to this problem in SWI Prolog that performed very well in comparison to the Haskell version.
- Ben Lippmeier, "The Poisoning Problem" - Ben showed us an example of the poisoning problem which had cropped up in his DDC compiler where a value might need to be mutable or immutable depending on the value of an if statement.
Interestingly, none of the presenters managed to stay within their allotted 5 minutes but the time limits were not enforced.
Our main speaker of the evening was Eric Willigers who gave us an excellent introduction to the Clojure language, a LISP like language for the Java Virtual Machine. Eric started with the main data structures; lists, vectors, maps and sets, moved on to functions and macros before explaining Clojure's concurrency primitives.
All in all this was another most inspiring and enjoyable meeting. Thanks to all our speakers as well as Shane Stephens and Google for providing the venue.