Announcing Blunt, a pointless Haskell tool
I am happy to announce the release of Blunt. Blunt converts Haskell expressions between the pointfree and pointful styles. I implemented it as a web service and hosted it on Heroku. Check it out at blunt.herokuapp.com.
I created this service because I don’t always have the
pointful commands at the ready. Since they take about five
minutes to install, querying a web service is much faster. Some people
rely on Lambdabot in the Haskell channel on IRC. I don’t usually idle
in IRC, so that isn’t too useful to me. Plus I can easily use Blunt on
someone else’s computer or even my phone.
Blunt is a simple single-page app, but it uses some cool technology behind the scenes. In particular, it uses WebSockets to avoid the overhead of making an HTTP request for every change to the input. And of course the whole thing is itself written in Haskell. The excellent Haskell on Heroku buildpack makes deploying to Heroku a piece of cake.
I learned some useful packages while developing Blunt. Warp powers the whole thing. I have used it before and it continues to impress. Combining it with WAI WebSockets could not have been easier. I went from a simple HTTP server to a combination HTTP and WebSockets server in only a couple minutes and a few lines of code.
For rendering markup, I went with Lucid. I’ve never used it before and found it extremely nice to work with. If you want to build HTML in Haskell, use Lucid. Seriously, it’s that nice.
For stylesheets, I used Clay. It was also new to me. I didn’t
like it quite as much as Lucid because of some little oddities like
sym2. However I’m really just picking nits here. Clay
is an excellent way to generate CSS in Haskell.
If you’re interested in more about how I built Blunt, go look at the source on GitHub. You’ll find all the nitty-gritty details over there. If you’re only interested in using it, be sure to bookmark blunt.herokuapp.com.