Archive for March, 2009

April Meeting – Factor and Parrot

Posted: March 29, 2009 by Alex Miller in Uncategorized
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This Thursday, April 2nd is the April meeting of the Lambda Lounge. We’ll be grooving on two totally new topics for the lounge: the concatenative language Factor and the Parrot VM.

First, local polyglot Kyle Cordes will be giving a talk on the Factor language. Factor is a concatenative language where functions are always applied postfix to the values on the stack. Factor has an object system similar to CLOS in Lisp and concurrency functionality inspired by message-passing in languages like Erlang.

Other concatenative languages that I’ve heard of are Joy and Forth (there are others of course). Here are a pair of good articles on Joy (by two of my favorite bloggers Debasish Ghosh and Daniel Spiewak) which may be reminiscent of what we will see in Factor. I’m looking forward to learning more in the talk.

Second, Charles Sharp will be giving a talk about Parrot, the VM that has grown out of the now mythic Perl 6. However, Parrot 1.0 was just released on March 17th, so this is a very timely talk. Even though Parrot grew out of Perl 6 ideas, it is intended to support many dynamic languages and a number of languages are currently working in some form on Parrot. [I note that there are implementations of both Forth and Joy on Parrot, hinting at some grand unification talk here. :)]

As always, this should be an epic fun and geeky event and I any and all in sight of St. Louis to check it out.


March Meeting – F#, Monads

Posted: March 1, 2009 by Alex Miller in Uncategorized
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This week at the St. Louis Lambda Lounge, we’ll get a double-dose of functional programming and it should be a great night. The meeting is on Thursday March 5th at 6 pm at the offices of our kind hosts, Appistry. As always, the meeting is free and open to all.

First up we’ll have Ken Sipe, well-known speaker and author, giving us the rundown on F#, the new functional object hybrid language from Microsoft. I’ve seen Ken speak a bunch of times and he’s always worth seeing, as you’d expect from a No Fluff Just Stuff tour veteran.

I’ve been looking at a lot of F# lately and I find it to be a really impressive language. It reminds me in many ways of Scala, which is walking vaguely similar territory by pushing a hybrid functional approach on the JVM. F# comes out of the OCaml tradition. We saw Ryan Senior give us a great introduction to OCaml at the December meeting. I have no doubt that Ken will give us a great intro and some interesting opinions on FP as well.

Following that we’ll have the incomparable and ineffable Michael Easter doing a talk with the curious title “Monads are Burritos”. What does it mean? Will Michael pierce the veil of monadic obscurity with a new metaphor based on the flour tortilla of spicy goodness? You won’t know if you don’t check it out. I expect we’ll see some Haskell in this talk (for the first, but certainly not the last time at a Lambda Lounge) and I’m confident Michael’s talk will enlighten and entertain.

If you’re in the St. Louis area, a geek would be hard-pressed to find a juicier night of entertainment. That is of course, unless you happen to be partaking in the NFJS Gateway Software Symposium this weekend where Ken and many other fabulous speakers will be doing their thing. If you’re coming in from the outlying areas, why not come in one night earlier and get a free teaser? Everyone is welcome….

If you can’t catch us this month, meetings are the first Thursday of every month and we’ve got lots more great talks already scheduled.