Friday, June 15, 2007

Functional Programming meets #crypto

We met up last night as mentioned in for a Functional Programming Beer in the Evening event and had a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Dr Dominic Steinitz, Nigel Stuckey of Systemgarden, Steve Wart and I spent several hours
talking about a variety of topics ranging from FP through to Cryptography.

Nigel, Steve and I met at a tier 1 we all worked for through an internal chat channel I ran on cryptography called #crypto which was a hot bed of financial crypto interest. I had been following the great Robert Hettinga and his rants on bearer security and his promotion of FC in general. Through this I met and became friends with Ian Grigg who runs the Financial Cryptography website which is always worth a read as Ian challenges conventional wisdom and crypto practise from a more business related angle.

Dominic is an active member of the Haskell community and hopefully will be joining the enhyper blog and contributing his expertise. Dominic wrote the cryptographic functions (sha1, rsa, blowfish etc) in Haskell and maintains the library on one of the Haskell webservers. I'm going to create a subversion respository with public access for Dominic's work to allow the community to contribute to the Haskell crypto effort so watch this space.

Nigel will also be contributing to the Enhyper blog - his expertise in platform management is world-class, gained through the development of Harvest at System Garden.

We talked in detail about the evolution of specialist languages in Finance, in particular K and Smalltalk. Steve Wart is a smalltalk programmer and outlined a fantastic sounding system he worked on for a Candadian power company so I hope he's going to expand on that here. Dominic and I discussed stream fusion at length and I think I understand it - however, I'm not going to steal his thunder as he promises to write an article on data parallelism. Nigel and Steve had a lively debate on Second Life and discussed the additon of models of ancient buildings as a mechanism for historical education. We finished the evening with a sausage and sauerkraut at Kurz and Lang in Smithfield which was reminiscent of Zurich night life.

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