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Galois tech talk: Sunroof and a Blank Canvas: A tail of two DSLs

Galois, Inc
421 SW 6th Ave. Suite 300
Portland, OR 97204, US (map)



abstract: Sunroof is an embedded Haskell Domain Specific Language (DSL) that compiles to JavaScript. Blank Canvas is an embedded Haskell DSL that provides direct access to the HTML5 JavaScript Canvas. Both DSLs superficially provide the same capabilities, but make different trade-offs in the DSL design space. Sunroof uses monadic reification to enable bindings in the DSL to be translated into bindings in JavaScript, while blank canvas has every binding make a round trip from Haskell, to JavaScript, back to Haskell. In this talk, we will present the specifics of both DSLs, using examples, then use both DSLs to outline the difference choices available when designing and implementing embedded DSLs in Haskell.

bio: Andrew (Andy) Gill was born and educated in Scotland, and has spent his professional career in the United States, working both in industry, and academia. Andy received his Ph.D. from the University of Glasgow in 1996, then spent three years in industry as a compiler developer, and a year in academia as a principal project scientist. He co-founded Galois in 2000, a technology transfer company that used language technologies to create trustworthiness in critical systems. In 2008, he joined the University of Kansas, and in 2014 he was a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award.

Andy believes that functional languages like Haskell are a great medium for expressing algorithms and solving problems. Since returning to academia, he has targeted the application areas of telemetry and signal processing, specializing in generating high performance circuits from specifications. His research interests include optimization, language design, debugging, and dependability. The long-term goal of his research is to offer engineers and practitioners the opportunity to write clear and high-level executable specifications that can realistically be compiled into efficient implementations.