24 Days of Hackage 2013

Last year at the end of November, I thought it would be a great idea to do a series of blog posts exploring some of my favourite Haskell libraries. I took inspiration from the Perl community, and shared my thoughts in the form of a Christmas advent calendar. Little did I know how much work this would actually turn out to be!

Despite taking more effort than I envisioned, the project was a tremendous success. To this day, these blog posts are still being frequently read, and I continue to amuse myself by accidently following links from StackOverflow answers back to my very own blog! I couldn’t be happier with what I’ve achieved.

That’s why I’m going to do it again.

This year, 24 Days of Hackage will return, and we’ll look at another selection of Haskell libraries. I’m starting a little earlier this time around, and that’s because I need your help. I ask for two things from the community:

Let Me Know What’s Hot

Last year, I scrambled for ideas near the end when I realised I didn’t really do sufficient planning. So this year, I want to ask: what libraries do you love? While I would prefer to avoid covering libraries that were covered last year (unless they are substantially different), I’m sure there’s a lot of stuff people are using that I don’t know about. So let me know!

I can’t guarantee that I’ll blog about everything - after all, there are only 24 days to sample Hackage’s plethora of (over 5000!) libraries. However, it should let me get a good overview of what people are interested in, and I can plan to explore libraries that solve problems in a wide array of domains.

The second request I make is…

Can You Help?

Last year all the writing came from me, and as I only began the project in the last week of November, I had to write every day almost without fail. While this isn’t such a problem for me, it’s a bit difficult with social obligations! I’m going to avoid that mistake this year, and have already began a pledge on Beeminder to keep me on track, but I’d like to ask for 2-4 blog posts from other people in order to keep this relaxed and fun.

I’m primarily looking for blog posts from people who don’t blog much in the Haskell community. The community already has well established bloggers, who I’m sure would be happy to contribute, but I’d love to try and give other people a chance to stand in the spotlight. Many people find blogging an intimidating experience, and commiting to a full blog can feel like a big undertaking. I think 24 Days of Hackage can be a great way to get a taste for what it’s like to share your thoughts with the masses, and experience the tremendous support of the Haskell community. If you do give this a try, I bet you’ll be back for more!

The primary focus of 24 Days of Hackage is not technical, but fun. For me, 24 Days of Hackage is all about sharing excitement - and that is something anyone can do. As long as you enjoy the topic you want to write about and have basic experience with it, I don’t think you’ll have any troubles. The requirements I have a that: your post is fairly short, includes motivating code, and covers a single library that hasn’t been covered so far.

If you’re interested in either writing a blog post, or just have libraries that you’d like me to try and write about - you can reach me:

I look forward to being constantly told that my examples don’t type check, but I’ll attempt to write in Literate Haskell this year to avoid embarassment ;)

You can contact me via email at ollie@ocharles.org.uk or tweet to me @acid2. I share almost all of my work at GitHub. This post is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.