Simon Peyton-Jones and John Hughes - It's Raining Haskell

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Ever wonder what would happen if you happened upon Simon Peyton-Jones, author of the Glasgow Haskell Compiler (GHC) and a key contributor to the Haskell functional programming language, and John Hughes, fellow Haskellite, computer scientist, creator of QuickCheck, and author of the landmark paper, "Why Functional Programming Matters," sitting on a park  bench, in the rain, right next to Sydney's iconic opera house? Well, let's find out, shall we?

Simon and John have been friends for many years and studied mathematics together at Trinity College Cambridge. What were they like as young men? As students? What was Simon's issue with wearing shoes, anyway? It's always wonderful to learn about the humans behind the software, the science. This is classic C9. Yes, it's raining on us as we converse, but the view is spectacular with Sydney's Opera House behind us. It's funny how wet we were by the end of this interview, but the rain was refreshing—just like the conversation.

Thank you, Simon and John, for the great conversation, for being so comfortable in the rain, and for taking the random questions in stride. You're true gentlemen. Keep pushing the envelope!

Happy holidays from Channel 9 wherever you are and whatever, if anything, you're celebrating!


The YOW! Developer Conference offers outstanding opportunities to learn more about the latest practices, technologies, and methodologies for building innovative software solutions as well as the chance to meet and network with international software experts and other talented developers in Australia. Thanks to Dave Thomas and the event's excellent staff—Mary Catherine (MC), Lisa, Aino, Melissa, and others—for inviting me to this excellent pure developer event and thanks to all of the speakers for letting me take some of their time to record conversations for Channel 9. If you live in Australia, or aren't too far away, or just like to travel (who doesn't?), then you need to go to this yearly event. It's outstanding. There are many great developers down under. That's for sure. The speakers are exceptional—Dave and team set a high bar!



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    The Discussion

    • User profile image

      Two awesome guys. Is SPJ's keynote going to be posted online?

    • User profile image
      Charles Yes. I will share it on 9 when it arrives.



    • User profile image

      ah, legends Big Smile

    • User profile image
      s n

      S-P Jones is undoubtedly a very smart and able guy, but saying that he basically invented Haskell could come across as a bit misleading. Haskell arose as an attempt to get an open source version of David Turner's Miranda, and as a consequence shares a lot of its DNA with that language.


    • User profile image

      @s n: Those were my words. I think it's fair to say Simon was more than instrumental in the advent of Haskell and both Simon and John pay tribute to Miranda, the grandmother of Haskell. Chalk up the inconsistency in terms of credit (if true, in fact) to me.


    • User profile image

      thanks charles for all the super videos ... keep it going!

    • User profile image

      Do you know why the singers at the Sydney Opera House are so good at calculus?

      All that practice at arias under the curve.

    • User profile image

      Is the keynote mentioned approx. 10:55 available online?

    • User profile image

      @Charles: We will have to start calling you Santa Charles soon, with all these gifts. I thought that was it from Simon for a year or so after the YOW interview

    • User profile image

      I can't believe they mentioned our company!

      at 8:27, if you're curious.

    • User profile image

      Simon acts like he doesnt care about Haskell at all :-D Seems like his fellow John is more careful about language reputation.

    • User profile image

      Charles, I just want to say that your videos are awesome and I appreciate them immensely. I have thought about mentioning that many times after watching a video of yours and now I took the time to do so. :)

    • User profile image


      it is very delightful to see & hear how you communicate with these brilliant people.

      Really mindopening! Thanks for that, Charles!

    • User profile image

      Thank you for the kind words! It's an honor and privilege to get to converse with so many great people. I love Channel 9!


    • User profile image

      The keynotes as well as other talks will be available on the YOW! Conference site in early 2012.

      We will let Charles know or you can follow #YOW_Oz.

      Thanks! for Charles for joining the YOW! Australia community.



    • User profile image
    • User profile image

      That's my old professor! I love that guy (John)! How luck would have it, to see him making an appearance on C9.

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