3,205 reputation
1117
bio website jelv.is
location Berkeley, CA
age 22
visits member for 4 years, 6 months
seen 18 hours ago

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


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.
Jan
27
comment Why do dynamic languages make it more difficult to maintain large codebases?
@ThiagoSilva: Monads are not an example of complexity per se. Many people find them hard to learn, but as abstractions go they are quite simple--the difficulty is that they are also quite abstract. In fact, monads often simplify a design by making it more explicit: they just highlight things which are magical and unacknowledged in other languages. And Norvig's design-pattern article is not relevant to statically typed functional languages at all; it's not a comment about static typing in general but rather about Java-style type systems (which we can all agree are a mess).
Dec
3
awarded  Yearling
Oct
25
comment What are the safety benefits of a type system?
Another great example for what type systems can verify: units of measure. This even includes automatically converting between compatible units like feet and meters!
Jun
15
comment When is it a good time to reason about performance in Haskell?
@MasonWheeler: He's most likely talking about asymptotic complexity. The constant factors are an implementation issue. Moreover, even if both programs terminate, the non-strict one could do significantly less work: consider all even [1..1e10] for both a strict and a lazy version of all. The compiler also has more leeway for choosing the order of evaluation in a language like Haskell with things like loop fusion.
Apr
24
comment Why does Haskell have built-in “if/then/else” instead of defining it as a simple library function?
I don't think the inlining is an actual issue. My understanding is that GHC is already exceptionally good at inlining small functions, because it's just such a common pattern in Haskell.
Apr
15
answered Resources for improving your comprehension of recursion?
Mar
20
comment What's the next level of abstraction?
"Duck typing" (at least as you describe) is not really novel or limited to dynamically typed languages; it's been around for a long time in statically typed languages as "structural sub-typing", best seen in OCaml.
Mar
20
comment What's the next level of abstraction?
FRP is great, but it deals with a fairly specific sort of programming (namely reactive programming). It is not very good for modelling other sorts of programs. However, the more general sort of programming it represents--writing your code in terms of algebras--is a good candidate for a new level of abstraction.
Mar
19
comment CoffeeScript and Named Functions
@WinstonEwert: It matters because CoffeeScript is so close to JavaScript. After all, the "golden rule" is: "It's just JavaScript".
Mar
19
comment CoffeeScript and Named Functions
@skizeey: Good points, thanks.
Mar
19
revised CoffeeScript and Named Functions
added 233 characters in body
Mar
19
answered CoffeeScript and Named Functions
Feb
18
awarded  Caucus
Feb
16
comment How does if/else work internally in all programming languages?
I think that "simplifying" by limiting your discussion to C-like languages is a disservice, especially to beginners: it's very useful to know about alternatives and we should encourage people to explore other options.