ZuriHac 2014: Haskell hackathon in Zurich

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Google Open Source Programs Office recently co-sponsored a three-day hackathon for Haskell, an open source functional programming language. Johan Tibell from Google’s Zurich office talks more about the event below.

June 6th saw the third installment of ZuriHac, a three-day Haskell hackathon in Zurich, Switzerland. With roughly 100 attendees from all over the world, this was the biggest ZuriHac to date.

In addition to hacking, hallway discussions, a demo session, and impromptu talks on topic ranging from GHC hacking to category theory, there were two one-hour talks. Simon Marlow talked about haxl, a library for automatically parallelization and batching of data requests. Edward Kmett followed with a talk about new and exciting persistent data structures based on cache-oblivious algorithms.
The hacking was all over the map. An entire room was dedicated to teaching newcomers how to hack on GHC, the Haskell compiler. A smaller group of people worked on various improvements to Cabal (the Haskell build system) by improving the dependency solver and making sure that parallel package builds work well. More lighthearted projects included a remake of 1990s cult video game Stunts.
Thanks to sponsorships by Google and Better, a local Haskell startup, we were well fed and had a roof over our heads.

By Johan Tibell, Software Engineer, and ZuriHac organizer