The Strange Loop conference was a blast

Last week, I flew to St Louis for the excellent Strange Loop conference, where I gave a 3-hour Haskell tutorial and a talk on how we use Haskell at my startup company, MailRank.

Strange Loop is a pretty good approximation to my ideal conference, covering a narrow family of topics I’m interested in, mainly leading-edge matters in programming languages and distributed systems. The focus is not at all academic, instead being on open source software that you can download and get to work with. I have to strongly commend the organizers for finding a great venue, excellent speakers, and running a fabulous show at an impressively low price.

I’ve published the source for the slides from both my workshop and talk in a github repository, but you might prefer to look at the slides directly:

I buried a teaser slide 3/4 of the way through the startup talk, which turned out to be an excellent way to accidentally find out how many people on Twitter were reading through the slides (the answer surprised me: a lot!). The enigmatic bug in question was quite spectacular: a development version of GHC would delete a source file if it contained a type error. Ouch!

One of the people in the capacity crowd at the Haskell workshop was none other than Gerry Sussman, who was finally learning Haskell for the first time (doubtless after several decades of overexposure to parentheses). He pronounced the workshop "pretty good", which I believe is MIT-speak for "OMG teh awesome!"

At one point, Gerry had a pretty amusing epigram to offer. "Haskell is the best of the obsolete programming languages!" he pronounced, with a mischievous look. Now, I know when I’m being trolled, so I said nothing and waited a moment, whereupon he continued, "but don’t take it the wrong way – I think they’re all obsolete!"

Posted in haskell, open source
4 comments on “The Strange Loop conference was a blast
  1. When will the course start? (CS240H) I’m not a student at Standford but I’d like to take part at the course, if possible. At least, I’ll follow the posted materials and – if allowed – will try to submit assignments too.

  2. It started on Monday.

  3. Grant Rettke says:

    What kind of work were you doing with Scheme after graduation?

  4. epsilonhalbe says:

    I came to this page via Criterion, now i read all the slides from StrangeLoop and keep getting impressed more and more.

    Great Work thank you

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