[Haskell-cafe] ANN: wizards-1.0: A High level, generic library for interrogative user interfaces
liamoc at cse.unsw.edu.au
Sun Jul 1 10:17:41 CEST 2012
wizards is an Haskell library designed for the quick and painless development of interrogative programs, which revolve around a "dialogue" with the user, who is asked a series of questions in a sequence much like an installation wizard.
Everything from interactive system scripts, to installation wizards, to full-blown shells can be implemented with the support of wizards.
It is developed transparently on top of a free monad (see Swierstra's excellent paper on this topic at http://www.cs.ru.nl/~W.Swierstra/Publications/DataTypesALaCarte.pdf), which separates out the semantics of the program from the wizards interface. A variety of backends exist, including a full featured backend for Haskeline, a debug-friendly simpler implementation in terms of System.IO primitives, and a completely pure implementation modelled as a function from an input string to output. It is also possible to write your own backends, or extend the existing back-ends with new features.
While both built-in IO backends operate on a console, there is no reason why wizards cannot also be used for making GUI wizard interfaces.
The library is highly extensible - back-ends can be written or extended with the type system helpfully tracking what features are supported by which back-ends.
Installation instructions and some educational examples are at the github page:
Information on how to write backends or extend backends, as well as structured API documentation is available on Hackage:
(Or, you can just run cabal haddock to generate the documentation from the source).
More information about the Haskell-Cafe