Graphical application and visualization of lazy functional computation
Sandra Periam Foubister
The University of York; Functional Programming Group,; The Department of Computer Science.
Mere academic toys or the tools of the future? Lazy functional programming languages have undoubted attractive properties. This thesis explores their potential, from the programmer's point of view, for implementing interactive and graphical applications to which they do not seem immediately suited. The discussion is centred round two example applications. One is a graphical design program based on an idea of the artist M. C. Escher. The thesis argues that the graphical user interface may be encapsulated in an "interpret " function that when applied by a mouse click to an interface of appropriate type yields the required behaviour. The second example is a monitoring interpreter for a functional language. The idea is that if the mechanics of the reduction are presented at a suitable level of abstraction, this may be used to give insight into what is going on. On the basis of this the programmer might modify the code so that a program runs more efficiently in terms of speed and memory requirements. Problems of displaying the reduction are addressed, and solutions proposed for overcoming these: displaying the graph as a spanning tree, to ensure planarity, with extra leaves