Everybody can use Excel, but creating a web-based data-driven story requires professional developers, if not a team. I'm working on making data-driven storytelling easier, more open and reproducible.
The Gamma is a research project to build tools that easily integrate with modern data sources (open government data, public online sources) and let users easily create visualizations that are directly linked to the data, making the visualizations more transparent, reproducible, but also easy to adapt to explore other aspects of the data.
- Visualizing Olympic medalists is a demo that shows how such open data-driven articles could look like. It lets explores the history of Olympic medals.
- Computation + Journalism 2015 paper about an earlier prototype describes ideas and motivations of the project in more details. Watch a 15 minute demo or a 45 minute talk from StrangeLoop.
- The Gamma is on GitHub and everything is available under the Apache license. You can learn about the latest news on Twitter at @thegamma_net.
I'm a frequent conference speaker, founding member of the F# Software Foundation author of C# and F# books and author of many definitive F# libraries. I have been Microsoft MVP since 2004 and used F# since early Microsoft Research versions.
Have you seen the F# testimonials and are you thinking how can your company also benefit from the safety, correctness, efficiency and faster time-to-market provided by F#?
- fsharpWorks trainings — At fsharpWorks, we love sharing our knowledge with your team and we offer a wide range of workshops. We created an online course about F# in Finance and Type Providers and we regularly run an in-person course Fast Track to F# in London. We offer all of these and more as on-site trainings too — just drop us an email!
- F# books and articles — I wrote Real World Functional Programming, which explains functional concepts using C# and F#, editted a collection of F# case studies F# Deep Dives and also wrote a free O'Reilly report Analyzing and Visualizing Data with F#.
Coeffects and research
I recently submitted my PhD thesis at University of Cambridge and I closely collaborate with the F# team in Microsoft Research Cambridge.
My recent publications cover a range of topics from theory of context-aware programming, F# and type providers to language extensions for concurrent, reactive and asynchronous programming.
- Coeffects playgrouund is an interactive essay that lets you explore my PhD research in an accessible and fun way. You can read more in our ICFP 2014 paper.
- Academic web page has links to other published papers, work-in-progress drafts, research talks and also information about student projects and courses that I supervised.
Philosophy of science
During my (computer science) PhD, I became interested in how programming language research is done and how it should be done. We tend to think that science has infallible methods for discovering the truth, but is that the case? Or is science more 'sloppy' and 'irrational' than its methodological image as Paul Feyerabend says?
- History and philosophy of types is my most recent work in this area. It uses types as an example of a concept that appears simple, but is (and needs to be) more complex. Watch my LambdaDays talk or read the full-length Onward! essay.
- Philosophy posts on my blog — start with philosophy and history books every computer scientist should read and come to some of the events organized by the HaPoC Comission.
Tuesday, 27 September 2016, 4:53 PM
When you start working in the programming language theory business, you'll soon find out that
lambda abstraction and functions break many nice ideas or, at least, make your life very hard.
For example, type inference is easy if you only have
var x = ..., but it gets hard once you
want to infer type of
x in something like
fun x -> ... because we do not know what is
x. Distributed programming is another example - sending around data is easy, but
once you start sending around function values, things become hard.
Every programming language researcher soon learns this trick. When someone tells you about a nice idea, you reply "Interesting... but how does this interact with lambda abstraction?" and the other person replies "Whoa, hmm, let me think more about this." Then they go back and either give up, because it does not work, or produce something that works, in theory, well with lambda abstraction, but is otherwise quite unusable.
When working on The Gamma project and the little scripting language it runs, I recently went through a similar thinking process. Instead of letting lambda abstraction spoil the party again, I think we need to think about different ways of code reuse.
Here you'll find what I'm working on — my blog posts tend to be either updates about projects I'm working on, trainings and talks I'm doing, or longer posts that are early versions of my ideas — some of them become papers, some of them have been cited in other papers, some will be soon forgotten.
Tuesday, 6 September 2016, 4:37 PM
Olympic Games are perfect opportunity to do a fun data visualization project - you can easily predict when they will happen and you can get something interesting ready in advance. I used this year's Olympic Games in Rio as a motivation to resume working on The Gamma project, which aims to build tooling for open, reproducible and interactive data-driven storytelling.
Wednesday, 31 August 2016, 1:38 PM
Data science is often about telling stories with data and being able to use data to tell (and understand) stories is becoming a vital skill in the modern world. This is one of the reasons why I have been interested in building better tools for data-driven storytelling. Today, I'm happy to announce that my project called The Gamma has been awarded funding from the DNI Innovation Fund and I'll be working on this topic over the next year at the Alan Turing Institute in London.
Wednesday, 6 July 2016, 4:03 PM
The most recent version of Ionide comes with a completely revamped version of F# Interactive which makes it possible to format the results of running F# code as HTML. This blog post provides some of the details about how this works and it also introduces an Ionide integration with FsLab, which gives you new powerful tools for doing data science with F#.
Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 1:51 AM
Thursday, 26 May 2016, 1:33 PM
Combining philosophy and computer science might appear a bit odd, but the fact that the disciplines do not overlap might very well be the reason why putting them together is interesting - the antidisciplinary field that opens presents a number of important questions about programming language research and computer science in general!
I published papers about programming languages including type providers, theory of coeffects, concurrent and reactive programming, but also philosophy and history of programming. My academic page has a complete list, including teaching and other activities.
Tomas Petricek. Presented at PPIG 2016.
Our thinking is shaped by basic assumptions that we rarely question. What are some of the hidden assumptions that we never question and that determine how programming languages are designed? And what might the world of programming look like if we based our thinking on different basic principles?
Tomas Petricek, Gustavo Guerra and Don Syme. In Proceedings of PLDI 2016
The paper presents F# Data, a library of type providers that integrate external data in XML, CSV and JSON formats into the type system of the F# language. F# Data infers the shape of structured documents and uses it to guarantee a relative safety property.
Tomas Petricek. Submitted in April 2016.
The paper records a classroom discussion about failures in software engineering. Tau advocates that all errors must be eliminated using proofs, Alpha and Beta believe in testing, Epsilon argues that we need to live with errors and finally, live coder Omega embraces errors as the source of creative inspiration.