Announcing Raskell

In July, I was inspired to follow in the footsteps of Chris Done’s Hackage Enhancement Suite and try my hand at a similar project, which I’m cheekily dubbing Raskell.

I come from a Perl background, and the new MetaCPAN website has the ability for user’s to show their support for libraries by submitting ’+1’s. Now, with Raskell, we can do this too!

Raskell in Action

Raskell in Action

How Raskell Works

Raskell is a Snap powered web server, with a user script that users install in their browser. When you browse Hackage, you’ll make an (asynchronous) request to the Raskell server to query for the latest ratings. The Raskell user script will also add ‘++’ buttons for users to support libraries.

Going Forward

Raskell is really simple at the moment, and I mostly whipped it up to prove that you could generate useful Haskell applications in a short period of time. However, I do have plans for it going forwards. Firstly, it’d love to do more analytics. It shouldn’t be hard to add tables of top libraries both overall and in the last week (month?). It might also be interesting to plot the aggregate rating of projects overtime, maybe providing sparklines for to embed on Hackage or as widgets for projects to put on their own websites/GitHub profiles.

Why Not Hackage?

An obvious question is why not just add this to Hackage directly? I would love to do this, but I mostly wanted to do this as a prototype to gauge if the project is even useful. I’m definitely up for working with Hackage maintainers on integrating this proper, and will certainly give this data over if that does happen.

Also, I’m personally a little unclear about the future of Hackage. I’m aware of Hackage 2, but I don’t know how active that is, let alone how to build it. This is plain ignorance I’ll admit, but hopefully people can appreciate the prototype nature of this project!

Be a Raskell!

To use Raskell, head over to the homepage at http://raskell.ocharles.org.uk. The home page is currently a bit (!) sparse, but I’ll grow that when I get a bit more free time.

The code is all over at ocharles/Raskell on GitHub, and the bug tracker is also there.

I hope people find this useful!


You can contact me via email at ollie@ocharles.org.uk or tweet to me @acid2. I share almost all of my work at GitHub. This post is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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