[GSoC] 17 students have been accepted for Haskell.org

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[GSoC] 17 students have been accepted for Haskell.org

jasper van der jeugt
Hey all,

We are happy to announce the 17 projects that have been accepted to
participate in Google Summer of Code 2018 for the Haskell.org project.

We would like to thank Google for organizing the program, all students
who applied for the quality proposals of course the mentors for
volunteering to guide the projects!

Without further ado, here are the accepted projects:

-   Visual Tools and Bindings for Debugging in Code World
-   Help Hadrian
-   Add support for deprecating exports
-   Hi Haddock
-   Improving the GHC code generator
-   Crucible: A Library for In-Memory Data Analysis in Haskell
-   Dependently Typed Core Replacement in GHC
-   Benchmarking graph libraries and optimising algebraic graphs
-   Improvements to GHC's compilation for conditional constructs.
-   Support for Multiple Public Libraries in a .cabal package
-   Functional test framework for the Haskell IDE Engine and Language
    Server Protocol Library
-   Native-Metaprogramming Reloaded
-   Format-Preserving YAML
-   Enhancing the Haskell Image Processing Library with State of the Art
-   Making GHC Tooling friendly
-   Helping cabal new-build become just cabal build
-   Parallel Automatic Differentiation

# Visual Tools and Bindings for Debugging in Code World

Student: Krystal Maughan
Mentors: Chris Smith, Gabriel Gonzalez

Visual Debugging tools that will allow various ages to interact with and
learn visually while tracing their bugs in Haskell.

# Help Hadrian

Student: Chitrak Raj Gupta
Mentors: Andrey Mokhov, Moritz Angermann

Current build systems such as `make` have a very complex structure and
are difficult to understand or modify. Hadrian uses functional
programming to implement abstractions to make codebase much more
comprehensible. Build Rules are defined using Shake Library, and the
results produced are much faster and scalable than current make based
system. But the in-use implementation of Hadrian is still in development
phase and not completely ready to be deployed. I believe that Hadrian
will serve a huge assistance in increasing the productivity of Haskell
developers. Therefore, the aim of my project will be to push Hadrian a
few steps closer to deployment, so that the Haskell community can code
with a bit more efficiency.

A recent Pull Request by Alp Mestanogullary has implemented a basic rule
for binary distribution. Also, I have been able to figure out multiple
sources of errors causing validation failures, and my Pull Request has
brought the number of failures down significantly.

Hence, the major goals of my project will be to:

1. Achieve ghc-quake milestone that is listed in Hadrian.
2. Implement missing features in Hadrian.
3. Build a more comprehensive documentation of Hadrian.

# Add support for deprecating exports

Student: alanas
Mentors: Matthew Pickering, Erik de Castro Lopo

Add support of deprecation pragmas within module exports.  This would
ease the transition between different versions of the software by
warning the developers that the
functions/types/classes/constructors/modules that they are using are

# Hi Haddock

Student: Simon Jakobi
Mentors: Herbert Valerio Riedel, Alex Biehl

A long-standing issue with Haskell's documentation tool Haddock is that
it needs to effectively re-perform a large part of the
parse/template-haskell/typecheck compilation pipeline in order to
extract the necessary information from Haskell source for generating
rendered Haddock documentation. This makes Haddock generation a costly
operation, and makes for a poor developer experience.

An equally long-standing suggestion to address this issue is to have GHC
include enough information in the generated `.hi` interface files in
order to avoid Haddock having to duplicate that work. This would pave
the way for following use-cases and/or have the following benefits:

1. Significantly speed up Haddock generation by avoiding redundant work.
2. On-the-fly/lazy after-the-fact Haddock generation in cabal
   new-haddock and stack haddock for already built/installed Cabal
   library packages.
3. Add native support for a :doc command in GHCi's REPL and editor
   tooling (ghc-mod/HIE) similar to the one available in other languages
   (c.f. the Idris REPL or the Python REPL)
4. Allow downstream tooling like Hoogle or Hayoo! to index documentation
   right from interface files.
5. Simplify Haddock's code base.

# Improving the GHC code generator

Student: Abhiroop Sarkar
Mentors: Carter Schonwald, Ben Gamari

This project attempts to improve the native code generator of GHC by
adding support for Intel AVX and SSE SIMD instructions. This support
would enable GHC to expose a bunch of vector primitive operations, which
can be utilized to by various high performance and scientific computing
libraries of the Haskell ecosystem to parallelize their code for free.

# Crucible: A Library for In-Memory Data Analysis in Haskell

Student: Gagandeep Bhatia
Mentors: Marco Zocca, Andika D. Riyandi

Note: this project was slightly adjusted from its proposed form after
some discussion with the mentors and it will have a stronger focus on
improving existing libraries.

A typical workflow in interactive data analysis consists of:

- Loading data (e.g. a CSV on disk)
- Transforming the data
- Various data processing stages
- Storing the result in some form (e.g. in a database).

The goal of this project is to provide a unified and idiomatic Haskell
way of carrying out these tasks. Informally, you can think of
"dplyr"/"tidyr" from the R ecosystem, but type safe. This project aims
to provide a library with the following features:

- An efficient data structure for possibly larger-than-memory tabular
  data. The Frames library is notable prior work, and this project may
  build on top of it (namely, by extending its functionality for
  generating types from stored data).

- A set of functions to "tidy"/clean the data to bring it to a form fit
  for further analysis, e.g. splitting one column to multiple columns
  ("spread") or vice versa ("gather").
- A DSL for performing a representative set of relational operations
  e.g. filtering/aggregation.

# Dependently Typed Core Replacement in GHC

Student: Ningning Xie
Mentors: Richard Eisenberg

In recent years, several works (Weirich et al., 2017; Eisenberg, 2016;
Gundry, 2013) have proposed to integrate dependent types into Haskell.
However, compatibility with existing GHC features makes adding
full-fledged dependent types into GHC very difficult. Fortunately, GHC
has many phases underneath so it is possible to change one intermediate
language without affecting the user experience, as steps towards
dependent Haskell. The goal of this proposal is the replacement of GHC's
core language with a dependently-typed variant.

# Benchmarking graph libraries and optimising algebraic graphs

Student: Alexandre Moine
Mentors: Andrey Mokhov, Alois Cochard

A graph represents a key structure in computer science and they are
known to be difficult to work with in functional programming languages.
Several libraries are being implemented to create and process graphs in
Haskell, each of them using different graph representation: Data.Graph
from containers, fgl, hash-graph and alga. Due to their differences and
the lack of a common benchmark, it is not easy for a new user to select
the one that will best fit their project. The new approach of alga seems
particularly interesting since the way it deals with graphs is based on
tangible mathematical results. Still, it is not very user friendly and
it lacks some important features like widely-used algorithms or edge

Therefore, I propose to develop a benchmarking suite that will establish
a reference benchmark for these libraries, as well as to enhance alga's

# Improvements to GHC's compilation for conditional constructs.

Student: Andreas Klebinger
Mentors: José Calderón, Joachim Breitner, Ben Gamari

While GHC is state of the art in many respects compilation of conditional
constructs has fallen behind projects like Clang/GCC.

I intend to rectify this by working on the following tasks:

- Implement cmov support for Cmm
- Use cmov to improve simple branching code
- Use lookup tables over jump tables for value selection when useful.
- Enable expression of three way branching on values in Cmm code.
- Improve placement of stack adjustments and checks.

# Support for Multiple Public Libraries in a .cabal package

Student: Francesco Gazzetta (@fgaz)
Mentors: Mikhail Glushenkov, Edward Yang

Large scale haskell projects tend to have a problem with lockstep
distribution of packages (especially backpack projects, being extremely
granular). The unit of distribution (package) coincides with the
buildable unit of code (library), and consequently each library of such
an ecosystem (ex. amazonka) requires duplicate package metadata (and
tests, benchmarks...).

This project aims to separate these two units by introducing multiple
libraries in a single cabal package.

This proposal is based on <https://github.com/haskell/cabal/issues/4206>
by ezyang.

# Functional test framework for the Haskell IDE Engine and Language
# Server Protocol Library

Student: Luke Lau
Mentors: Alan Zimmerman

The Haskell IDE Engine is a Haskell backend for IDEs, which utilises the
Language Server Protocol to communicate between clients and servers.

This projects aims to create a test framework that can describe a
scenario between an LSP client and server from start to finish, so that
functional tests may be written for the IDE engine. If time permits,
this may be expanded to be language agnostic or provide a set of
compliance tests against the LSP specification.

# Native-Metaprogramming Reloaded

Student: Shayan Najd
Mentors: Ben Gamari, Alan Zimmerman

The goal is to continue on an ongoing work, utilising the Trees that
Grow technique, to introduce native-metaprogramming in GHC.
Native-metaprogramming is a form of metaprogramming where a
metalanguage's own infrastructure is directly employed to generate and
manipulate object programs. It begins by creating a single abstract
syntax tree (AST) which can serve a purpose similar to what is currently
served by Template Haskell (TH), and the front-end AST inside GHC
(HsSyn). Meta-programs could then leverage, much more directly, the
machinery implemented in GHC to process Haskell programs. This work can
also possibly integrate with Alan Zimmerman's work on compiler
annotations in GHC, and enable a better IDE support.

# Format-Preserving YAML

Student: Wisnu Adi Nurcahyo
Mentors: Tom Sydney Kerckhove, Jasper Van der Jeugt

Sometime Stack (The Haskell Tool Stack) ask us to add an extra
dependency manually. Suppose that we use the latest Hakyll that needs a
`pandoc-citeproc-0.13` which is missing in the latest stable Stack LTS.
Stack asks us to add the extra dependency to solve this problem.
Wouldn't it be nice if Stack could add the extra dependency by itself?

# Enhancing the Haskell Image Processing Library with State of the Art
# Algorithms

Student: khilanravani
Mentors: Alp Mestanogullari

The project proposed here aims to implement different classes of Image
processing algorithms using Haskell and incorporate the same to the
existing code base of Haskell Image Processing (HIP) package. The
algorithms that I plan to incorporate in the HIP package have vast
applications in actual problems in image processing. Including these
algorithms to the existing code base would help more and more users to
really use Haskell while working on some computer vision problems and
this would make Haskell (kind of) ahead in the race of with functional
programming languages such as Elm or Clojure (since their image
processing libraries are pretty naive). In this way, this project can
substantially benefit the Haskell organization as well as the open
source community. Some of the algorithms proposed here include the
famous Canny edge detection, Floyd - Steinberg (Dithering) along with
other popular tools used in computer vision problems.

# Making GHC Tooling friendly

Student: Zubin Duggal
Mentors: Ben Gamari, Gershom Bazerman, Joachim Breitner

GHC builds up a wealth of information about Haskell source as it
compiles it, but throws all of it away when it's done. Any external
tools that need to work with Haskell source need to parse, typecheck and
rename files all over again.  This means Haskell tooling is slow and has
to rely on hacks to extract information from GHC. Allowing GHC to dump
this information to disk would simplify and speed up tooling
significantly, leading to a much richer and productive Haskell developer

# Helping cabal new-build become just cabal build

Student: typedrat
Mentors: Herbert Valerio Riedel Mikhail Glushenkov

While much of the functionality required to use the `new-*` commands has
already been implemented, there are not-insignificant parts of the
design that was created last year that remain unrealized.

By completing more of this design, I plan to help the `new-` prefix go
away and to allow this safer, cleaner system to replace old-style cabal
usage fully by rounding off the unfinished edges of the current

# Parallel Automatic Differentiation

Student: Andrew Knapp
Mentors: Trevor L. McDonell, Edward Kmett, Alois Cochard

Automatic Differentation (AD) is a technique for computing derivatives
of numerical functions that does not use symbolic differentiation or
finite-difference approximation. AD is used in a wide variety of fields,
such as machine learning, optimization, quantitative finance, and
physics, and the productivity boost generated by parallel AD has played
a large role in recent advances in deep learning.

The goal of this project is to implement parallel AD in Haskell using
the `accelerate` library. If successful, the project will provide an
asymptotic speedup over current implementations for many functions of
practical interest, stress-test a key foundation of the Haskell
numerical infrastructure, and provide a greatly improved key piece of
infrastructure for three of the remaining areas where Haskell's
ecosystem is immature.
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