Alson Kemp


Archive for the ‘Turbinado’ tag

A Plea For “cabal install”

with 13 comments

Updated per Ganesh’s comments.

Over here, Adolfo commented:

“Hi,I tried to do follow the example, but I couldn’t even install the packages, hsx and hs-plugins were impossible. I tried with cabal and manually, and neither of those worked . any suggestion, known issue with this packages?”

I’ve been busy adding features to Turbinado and haven’t circled back around to making sure that it’s easy to build, so I can claim a lot of the blame for the build problems.  Turns out to be really important that publicly released packages are easily buildable…

Thinking back, I have really struggled to build Turbinado… and I wrote Turbinado!  Turbinado depends on some particular bugfix-ish library releases (e.g. GSomething 0.6.1). With GHC 6.10, a bunch of libraries have broken or have changed so much that they badly break Turbinado. (I need to specify better the versions in turbinado.cabal.)

At times, I’ve considered bundling the dependencies into Turbinado so that building Turbinado would be easy, but that’s always felt like a cop-out. So I’m pleading for “cabal install”. Given Turbinado’s dependence on particular versions of libraries, I would love to able to do:

cabal install turbinado
  OR  (from /home/alson/turbinado)
cabal build

Cabal Install

Most casual users of Ruby, Python, Perl, Java, etc, know that those languages have automagic build/dependencies system (respectively, gem, eggs, CPAN, maven). The tools may be of varying quality, but many tutorials include something like “First, use GEM to install the package: gem install rails” and demonstrate just how simple it is to get a useful piece of software installed.

This is not the case in Haskell. I’d guess that no more than 5% of Haskellers know about the cabal command line tool and “cabal install”. On the other hand, I’d guess that 95% of novice Rubyers know about “gem install”. These automated build/dependency system are now critical to the success of languages. As a beginner in Ruby, I always knew that I could easily try out various libraries by using GEM to install bits of software. I’m now fairly experienced with Haskell and, partly because of that experience, I don’t believe that I can easily try out various Haskell libraries.

Niklas Broberg’s HSP is a great example of the challenge of building Haskell programs. HSP is very nicely separated into modular libraries which: makes it easy to apply pieces of HSP’s functionality to a program; makes it hard for a human (at least for me) to build any one part of HSP because each part depends on so many other parts. A build/dependency tool would make HSP much easier to build into existing programs.

The Plea

I love using Haskell and Haskell will only get better if more people are able to use it. IMO, a pre-condition to the growth of the language is a solid, easy to use build/dependency system. Cabal is that system for GHC and the cabal command line tool is a key part of that system.

Unfortunately, the cabal command line tool isn’t bundled with GHC, but … Please get it, build it, use it, report any bugs, compliment the Cabal team, etc. It’ll be a great help to the Haskell community.

darcs get
cd cabal-install

Update: Haskell Platform

Ganesh points out the Haskell Platform Proposal, so it looks as though there is a plan to incorporate the cabal command line tool. See the following:

P.S. Anyone know if the cabal command line tool is going to make it into GHC?

Links to cabal install information:

Written by alson

December 26th, 2008 at 4:43 pm

A HAML parser for Haskell

with 2 comments

HAML‘s lovely. As I’ve been working with Turbinado, I’ve been having some issues with HSP. HSP is an insanely impressive piece of software, but its error messages can be a bit unclear. So I started playing around a bit with HAML. Got me wondering “How easy would be to write a HAML parser in Haskell?”

So I tried. Here’s a first-pass, to-be-updated [and somewhat incomplete] HAML parser for Haskell. Not all of the features are implemented, but it’s a start.  It generates HTML bits suitable for compilation by GHC.


f = content

page = #content
         %h2 Welcome to our site!
         %p = print_information
           = print_inline
           = render
         [abba = ding, ding = abba] dinger


f =
    (stringToHtml "content")
page =
       ((tag "div"![strAttr "id" "content"])
         ((tag "div"![strAttr "class" "left column"])
         ((tag "h2")
             (stringToHtml "Welcome to our site!")
         ((tag "p")
            (stringToHtml print_information)
         ((tag "p")
           (stringToHtml print_inline)
         ((tag "div"![strAttr "class" "right column"])
           (stringToHtml render)
         ((tag "div"![strAttr "abba" "ding", strAttr "ding" "abba"])
                                    (stringToHtml "dinger")

le Code

module Main where

import Text.ParserCombinators.Parsec
import Text.ParserCombinators.Parsec.Language
import Text.ParserCombinators.Parsec.Pos
import qualified Text.ParserCombinators.Parsec.Token as T
import Data.Char
import Data.List
import Data.Maybe
import System.IO.Unsafe

main = do s <- getContents
          case (parse mainParser "stdin" s) of
            Left  err -> putStrLn "Error: " >> print err
            Right hs  -> putStrLn hs

-- Try to parse HAML, otherwise re-output raw lines

mainParser = do whiteSpace
                ls <- many1 (hamlCode <|> tilEOL)
                return $ unlines ls
-- * HAML lexer
hamlLexer = T.makeTokenParser emptyDef
whiteSpace= T.whiteSpace hamlLexer
lexeme    = T.lexeme hamlLexer
symbol    = T.symbol hamlLexer
natural   = T.natural hamlLexer
parens    = T.parens hamlLexer
semi      = T.semi hamlLexer
squares   = T.squares hamlLexer
stringLiteral= T.stringLiteral hamlLexer
identifier= T.identifier hamlLexer
reserved  = T.reserved hamlLexer
reservedOp= T.reservedOp hamlLexer
commaSep1 = T.commaSep1 hamlLexer
-- * Main HAML parsers

-- hamlCode is just many identifiers (e.g. 'func a b c' followed by '=' followed by a hamlBlock
-- func a b c = %somehaml
hamlCode = try ( do is <- many1 identifier
                    symbol "="
                    currentPos <- getPosition
                    x <- manyTill1
                          (lexeme $ hamlBlock)
                          (notSameIndent currentPos)
                    return $ (concat $ intersperse " " is) ++
                             " = \n" ++
                             (concat $ (intersperse (indent currentPos ++ "+++\n")  $ filter (not . null) $ x))

-- A Block may start with some whitespace, then has a valid bit of data
hamlBlock   = do currentPos <- getPosition
                 bs <- manyTill1
                      (pTag <|> pText)
                      (notSameIndent currentPos)
                 return $ intercalate (indent currentPos ++ "+++\n") bs

pTag    = do    currentPos <- getPosition
                    (do t  <- lexeme tagParser
                        ts <- (isInline currentPos >> char '/' >> return []) <|>
                        return $ intercalate "\n" $ filter (not . null) $
                          [ (indent currentPos) ++ "((" ++ (if (null ts) then "i" else "") ++ t  ++ ")"
                          , if null ts then [] else ts
                          , (indent currentPos) ++ ")\n"]

pText = lexeme stringParser

notSameIndent p = (eof >> return []) <|>
                  (do innerPos <- getPosition
                      case (sourceColumn p) == (sourceColumn innerPos) of
                                True  -> pzero
                                False -> return []

-- * Various little parsers

tagParser :: CharParser () String
tagParser = do     t <- optionMaybe tagParser'
                   i <- optionMaybe idParser
                   c <- optionMaybe (many1 classParser)
                   a <- optionMaybe attributesParser
                   if (isJust t || isJust i || isJust c || isJust a)
                       do return $ "tag \"" ++ (fromMaybe "div" t) ++ "\"" ++
                           (if not (isJust i || isJust c || isJust a) then "" else
                              concat $
                               [ "!["
                               , intercalate ", " $ filter (not . null)
                                   [ (maybe "" (\i' -> "strAttr \"id\" \"" ++ i' ++ "\"") i)
                                   , (maybe "" (\c' -> "strAttr \"class\" \"" ++ (intercalate " " c') ++ "\"") c)
                                   , (maybe "" (\kv -> intercalate ", " $ map (\(k,v) -> "strAttr \"" ++ k ++ "\" \"" ++ v ++ "\"") kv) a)
                               , "]"]
                     else pzero

tagParser' :: CharParser () String
tagParser' =  do char '%'
                 many1 termChar

idParser :: CharParser () String
idParser = do char '#'
              many1 termChar

classParser :: CharParser () String
classParser = do char '.'
                 many1 termChar

attributesParser :: CharParser () [(String, String)]
attributesParser = squares (commaSep1 attributeParser)

attributeParser :: CharParser () (String, String)
attributeParser = do k <- identifier
                     symbol "="
                     cs <- many1 identifier
                     return (k, intercalate " " cs)

stringParser :: CharParser () String
stringParser = do   currentPos <- getPosition
                    modifier <- optionMaybe (char '=' <|> char '-')
                    c <- alphaNum
                    cs<- tilEOL
                    case modifier of
                      Just '-' -> return $ (indent currentPos) ++ "-" ++ c:cs
                      Just '=' -> return $ (indent currentPos) ++ "(stringToHtml " ++ c:cs ++ ")"
                      Nothing  -> return $ (indent currentPos) ++ "(stringToHtml \"" ++ c:cs ++ "\")"

-- * Utility functions

isInline     p = do p2 <- getPosition
                    case (sourceLine p  ) == (sourceLine p2) of
                      True -> return []
                      False -> pzero
isSameIndent p1 p2 = (sourceColumn p1) == (sourceColumn p2)

tilEOL = manyTill1 (noneOf "\n") eol
eol = newline <|> (eof >> return '\n')

termChar = satisfy (\c -> (isAlphaNum c) || (c `elem` termPunctuation) )
termPunctuation = "-_"
indent p = take (sourceColumn (p) - 1) (repeat ' ')

manyTill1 p e =  do ms <- manyTill p e
                    case (null ms) of
                      True  -> pzero
                      False -> return ms

Golly, but I wish that I’d cleaned up the code, but there it is in all of its raw, un-thought-through glory…

Written by alson

December 11th, 2008 at 1:56 am

Posted in Geekery,Programming

Tagged with , ,

ANNOUNCE: Turbinado V0.1

without comments

Posted to the Haskell mailing list:

I'd like to announce Turbinado, a very young and raw MVC web framework
for Haskell.  While the framework doesn't exactly copy Ruby on Rails,
it certainly rhymes...  It's very early days for Turbinado, but the
framework is moving along nicely.  There are still issues to be ironed
out and architectural details to be decided, so help/contribution would be
very much appreciated.

Turbinado can be found at:
<a rel="nofollow" href="" target="_top"></a>

The source can be found at:
<a rel="nofollow" href="" target="_top"></a>
(see the /App directory for the code for

* Provides a fast web server (based on HSP; see
<a rel="nofollow" href=";" target="_top">;</a>
* Provides a straightforward organization for your website (courtesy
of Rails);
* Uses simple HTML-like templating (courtesy of HSX);
* Is easily extensible (courtesy of an Environment built out of _Map
String Dynamic_, not the most type-safe of beasties; Help!);
* Configurable routing (see Config/Routes.hs).

Turbinado is currently lacking:
* Documentation...
* An easy install...
* A database ORM based on HDBC (visibly incomplete and ugly in
* Many more HTML helpers;
* Controllers for partials (lightweight "controls" ala ASP.NET);
* Strong error reporting and handling;
* Lots of functionality and plugins;
* ... the favorite feature that you want to develop for Turbinado ...

Written by alson

November 18th, 2008 at 2:10 am