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Glasgow Haskell Supports Robust Engineering at Janrain

By Larry Drebes | Posted on August 15, 2011

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This guest post is from Andrew Gill, a professor at University of Kansas, and former Portlander.


I had the pleasure of spending some time at Janrain last month. As a member of the original Glasgow Haskell compiler team back in the early 90’s, I was curious to see how Haskell is used to support robust engineering, as well as scope future opportunities in industry for students graduating from my functional programming classes at KU.

I was impressed with what I saw at Janrain. There is a strong engineering core inside Janrain successfully deploying Haskell, and solving real-world issues like identity management. The engineering challenges are being met using the standard Glasgow Haskell Compiler, and mainstream Haskell libraries. Inside the company, engineering best practices and custom tools are supporting the development of local modifications to Haskell libraries, and the company is also active in the open source community.

All round, it is a win for everyone. I will be recommending that my students look at Janrain (and living in Portland) as a way of continuing work with Haskell.

It is great to see Haskell reach critical mass and mainstream adoption. The Glasgow Haskell compiler was recently awarded the ACM SIGPLAN Programming Languages Software Award, and the compiler continues to be used both for application development and cutting-edge research.

Thanks for a fun day, Janrain.

Andrew Gill

Functional Programming at KU

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Larry Drebes

Larry Drebes


Larry founded Janrain in 2005 to address the challenge of managing user identity on the Internet. In its early days, Janrain drove the development of the majority of the open source OpenID protocol libraries that continue to be used today by organizations such as Google and Yahoo!, and was a founding member of the OpenID Foundation, a nonprofit governance organization for the industry. Prior to Janrain, Larry was a co-founder of Silicon Valley startups, a web-based service, and Four11 Corporation. At Four11 Corporation, Larry led the development of its RocketMail product, one of the first Internet-based email systems. Four11 was acquired by Yahoo! in 1997, and its RocketMail product became Yahoo! Mail. Earlier in his career, Larry did software development for Raynet, McDonnell Douglas and A.G. Edwards.

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