2,975 reputation
1116
bio website jelv.is
location Berkeley, CA
age 22
visits member for 4 years
seen Dec 16 at 21:04

I am a software engineer primarily interested in programming languages, functional programming, program synthesis, type theory, universal algebra and startups (not necessarily in that order!). In the near future, I want to combine as many of these as possible.

Right now I'm an engineer at Esper, an early stage startup in Palo Alto. We use OCaml on the backend, which is pretty neat.

I am always happy to chat: my email is tikhon@jelv.is.

I am especially interested in questions and projects involving Haskell or interesting PL issues.

GitHub: http://github.com/TikhonJelvis

Website: http://jelv.is


Dec
3
awarded  Yearling
Nov
7
comment What is the logic behind the use of different arrows (-> <-) in Haskell?
@Carcigenicate: Actually, you can think of list comprehensions as just a different syntax for do-notation. In fact, they used to be "monad comprehensions" by default, and now you can still enable that functionality with an extension: Monad Comprehensions.
Aug
26
comment Are null references really a bad thing?
@greenoldman: You would have some way to pattern match on the Maybe<A> value (ie do this when it has a value and that when it's null). Most languages can include this in a library with first-class functions and lambdas, and many languages have specific constructs for pattern-matching like this (ie switch on steroids).
Aug
19
awarded  Suffrage
Jul
20
comment Does javascript support numerically indexed arrays with a more optimized algorithm than an associative array?
@supercat: I'm not entirely sure exactly how slice is defined in the standard, but I suspect you're right in that it has to work with all the whole-number keys. Perhaps it also depends on the length property of the array.
Jul
20
comment Does javascript support numerically indexed arrays with a more optimized algorithm than an associative array?
@supercat: That depends on which JavaScript implementation you use. It's not part of the standard, so you can't necessarily rely on it. It's probably true for most browsers at the moment, but they might change it in the future—after all, they changed to this implementation from just returning every key in the order it was added recently, I believe.
Jun
18
comment Why are most functional programming languages also interpreted languages?
@JörgWMittag: Ah, so mixed mode is basically JIT.
Jun
18
comment Why are most functional programming languages also interpreted languages?
@JörgWMittag: Well, you have to compile to the bytecode first. Perhaps I misunderstood what you meant by mixed-mode though. The bytecode compiler is used by camlp4, but that's a bit of a historical accident and makes it slow, so they're not using it for their new "extension point" system. Mostly, the bytecode compiler is useful for portability and simplicity: for example, it's used by js_of_ocaml to compile to JavaScript. I think it's also used for the REPL.
Jun
18
comment Dealing with state problems in functional programming
Except perhaps for the database example, those problems are not inherently stateful. For example, for GUI programming, you're really using mutable state as a poor, implicit model of time; functional reactive programming lets you model time explicitly without relying on state by providing streams of events you can combine.
Jun
18
comment Why are most functional programming languages also interpreted languages?
OCaml has something like two implementations in one: a normal compiler and a bytecode compiler. The first is a normal optimizing compiler while the second is more a mixed-mode system with a bytecode interpreter. They're shipped together, but are separate backends.
Jun
4
awarded  Guru
Jun
4
revised What is the “Free Monad + Interpreter” pattern?
deleted 1 character in body
Jun
3
awarded  Mortarboard
Jun
3
awarded  Good Answer
Jun
3
comment What is the “Free Monad + Interpreter” pattern?
@BenjaminHodgson: Boyd is completely right. I wouldn't worry about it too much unless you're just curious. Dan Piponi gave a great talk about what "free" means at BayHac, which is worth a look. Try following along with his slides because the visual in the video is completely useless.
Jun
3
awarded  Nice Answer
Jun
2
answered What is the “Free Monad + Interpreter” pattern?
Mar
1
awarded  Necromancer
Jan
28
comment Why do dynamic languages make it more difficult to maintain large codebases?
@JörgWMittag: It doesn't seem to have overloaded literals the way Haskell does: it just has a few nested types of numbers. For example, you can't add your own numeric types, especially if they don't fit into the existing hierarchy. I still don't see any way to do this without either having explicit annotations or using typeclasses and inference. Besides numbers, consider things like Read which also relies on typeclases. My real point is that type systems do not just reject illegal programs. With type inference, they can make programs that would be underspecified without types work.
Jan
27
comment Why do dynamic languages make it more difficult to maintain large codebases?
A type system can actually make a language more expressive. Consider Haskell typeclasses--they enable really useful things like overloaded literals that are difficult if not impossible to replicate in other languages.