Tue, 21 Sep 2010
On Thursday September 16th, we held the 28th meeting of the Sydney Functional Programming group. The meeting was held at Google's Sydney offices and we had a bit less than 20 people show up to hear our two presenters.
First up we had Shane Stephens with a presentation titled "Exploring 3D Graphics with Togra". Togra (code available here) is a library for 3D graphics that Shane has at different times tried implementing in Python (with C for speed), Ocaml and Haskell before settling on the use of Arrows in Haskell.
Shane started off showing how he used to do it in Python and C and explained that the Python/C code was difficult to maintain and contained significant chunks of code that implemented type checking of data objects passed from Python. He also mentioned very briefly a failed attempt to implement the library with Monads. With the library is not finished, or even really ready for playing with Shane does think that Arrows are the right solution.
Our second presenter for the evening was Anthony Sloane of Macquarie University on the subject of the "Launchbury's Natural Semantics for Lazy Evaluation" with Scala code available on the same page. Tony set up a simple language and then walked us through the reduction rules for the language. This was a real nice introduction to a topic that can be daunting for people unfamiliar with the topic.
A big thanks to Shane and Tony for presenting and Google for providing the meeting venue and refreshments.