McMaster Workshop on Domain Specific Lanaguages

June 13 – June 14 (Public Workshop), June 15 (Workshop for Project Participants)

9am-12pm, and 1pm-4pm

Engineering Technology Building

Organizer: Christopher Anand

Presenters: Edward Kmett and Wren NG Thornton

This workshop will introduce the concept of embedded Domain Specific Languages and their application to problems in software design, through several examples.
Roughly half the material will be accessible to beginning graduate students in Computer Science or Software Engineering.
Some of the material will require advanced knowledge of Haskell and Category Theory,
but non-experts should still benefit from seeing the power of these ideas in more advanced applications.
Some examples, mostly on Monday, will use Scala, which will be easy for Java programmers to follow.

Following the lunch break on the 14th, our industrial sponsor, Indellient Inc. will present their digital pen technology. Everyone is welcome for this public demonstration.

At the end of this workshop, we hope you will be convinced that DSLs are an excellent way of approaching new design problems, and result in very robust and maintainable code.
You will also have a set of starting points to continue your exploration of the topic.


What DSLs are.

Shallow vs. deep embeddings. Lenses.

Monadic APIs vs. non-monadic APIs – for the monadic APIs there is the consideration of initial vs. final

encodings. This is probably the most theory-heavy part of the material.

Initial encoding, in particular via free monads

Using codensity to improve the asymptotic performance of free monads.

Final encodings for languages that lack GADTs, or to make deep embeddings shallow.

Observable sharing via stable names.
* unsafePerformIO to allocate references and Lava for observable sharing.
* Kansas Lava – observable sharing via StableName allocation
* final encoding – automatic differentiation

Other examples
* SAT/SMT sovers
* Nikola – deep embedded targetting GPUs
* uses of Template Haskell
* JMacro – EDSL for emitting javascript in haskel

Innovation Night – July 13, 2011


Innovation Night is Hamilton’s key event for innovators and entreprenuers to share and develop their ideas,
practice and perfect their pitch, and present to their peers and the local innovation community.

Innovation Night is open to the public, and attendees will have the opportunity to observe five 5-minute presentations and ten 1-minute presentations, meet the innovators, network, and enjoy light refreshments.

The Next Innovation Night will be held on July 13, 2011 from 7:00pm-9:00pm in the Atrium at McMaster Innovation Park

Innovators are encouraged to register to attend a half-day workshop to refine the presentation of their idea, and up to 15 ideas will be chosen to be presented to a panel of judges at Innovation Night.

The next Innovation Night Workshop will be held on July 7, 2011 from 6:00pm-10:00pm at McMaster Innovation Park

Open Hamilton hackfest: Creating Hamilton’s water fun app

Open Hamilton is holding a hackfest on June 24 and 25 to build a data application to serve the citizens of Hamilton and make the case for the city to adopt open data.

Get Wet – Hamilton’s swimming app

A “simple” app which allows people to input the time they want to go swimming and get a list of recreation centres / outdoor pools / non-City (Ys Kiwanis Lakeland) with swimming available at the time.

Using the HTML5 Geo feature, the app will provide driving directions to the recreation centre.

The goal is to gather Hamilton’s best developers to create an application that solves a real problem. Presently, Hamilton lists it swim times on different pages across the city website with the data organized by recreation centre.

The app will be officially launched in early July during the first heatwave of the month.

It will showcase what is possible if the City adopts open data and improve public awareness of the cause.

Development of the app will create the opportunity to experiment with and learn about HTML5. There will also be social components to the hackfest.

Sign up to show your interest and receive details when hackfest details are finalized:

Open Hamilton’s mapping workshops continue with the next one on June 18, 2011 at Think|haus. RSVP:

For more Open Hamilton events and discussion, join their Google Group:!forum/openhamilton

Open Hamilton will be relaunching our website this month. Interested in helping out? Contact them:

DemoCampHamilton2 Recap: So hot we set off the fire alarm!

DemoCampHamilton2 occurred Friday May 27th, 2011 at Mohawk College in conjunction with the AppsForHealth 2011 conference. The event was hosted by Software Hamilton and sponsored and supported by the great folks at Innovation Factory and Mohawk College. The combination of an excellent keynote, demos and audience turned out to be too hot for the fire alarms at Mohawk!

Mic Berman kicked off the event with an excellent keynote focused on sharing her startup expertise. The quality of the discussion the talk generated was one of the highlights of the evening, perhaps given the high level of interest in fostering a startup culture in the Hamilton software community. The talk was described perfectly in a #DCH tweet as “inspiring and grounding at the same time”.

Cristina Calder of FluidMedia started off the demos by showing us Rendering Exchange – a web-based, crowd-sourced platform that connects graphic designers with commercial interior manufacturers, architects and interior designers to provide high-quality, photo-realistic room scene images for use in sales and planning.

DemoCampHamilton audience favourite “mad inventor” Dan Zen took audience interactivity to new heights with his demo of Touchy – a smartphone game where two players, each with mobile devices, try to touch the other player’s screen while protecting their own. When two people play the game it creates a Twister-like physical spectacle that is as fun to watch as it is to play. Dan demoed Touchy by having the entire audience play “Touchy” at once by having us try to touch the business card of the DemoCamp-er sitting next to us while protecting our own!

Adam Caromicoli and Doris Bean of Indellient Inc. were up next to demo Inktronic – a Digital Pen based collaboration tool that simplifies workflow involving graphical content for the architectural, engineering and construction industries.

After a forced break for what was dubbed the “great fire alarm of DemoCampHamilton2”, Joey Coleman of Open Hamilton and Nik Garkusha of Open Halton talked about the Open Data movement occurring across Canada and demoed what software the Open Hamilton branch of the movement has developed thus far.

The final demo was done by two McMaster University computer science students, Gavin Schulz and Zaahir Moolla, who demoed their new service MealDeck which allows restaurants to easily create a cross-platform mobile website. Student entrepreneurism is something we want to see more of in Hamilton and the professionalism and courage these two showed by putting themselves and their service out there for criticism was widely praised – watch out for these guys!

The AppsForHealth 2011 conference itself was a huge success, you can check out the mobile apps that the students devised here. Expect the next DemoCampHamilton at McMaster in September, but in the meantime we will be having the first Software Hamilton Pub Night this June 28th.

Software Hamilton Pub Night!

Software Hamilton Pub Night


When: Tuesday June 28th @ 7:00PM
Where: The London Taphouse – Rooftop Patio!!! (31 John Street South)

You can bring whatever software you develop or work with on your laptop, tablet or smartphone to show off to others in the Hamilton software community! We’ll have some tables setup for people to put their laptops on, and everybody will be free to walk around checking out what kind of things other people are working on and getting to know one another. The London Taphouse has a beautiful rooftop patio that is perfect for a drink in the summertime – come out for a fun night!


DemoCampHamilton2 in just 3 days!

When: Friday May 27th, 2011 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Where: Mohawk College – Room i109, 135 Fennell Avenue West Hamilton, Ontario

Tickets: Sign up here

DemoCamp is an event format that involves a keynote speaker, about 5 software demos which each consist of 5 minutes of actually demoing the software and 5 minutes of Q&A, followed by general socializing with the good company in attendance.

DemoCampHamilton2 will feature a keynote presentation by Mic Berman, acting COO at FreshBooks and Founder at Embarkonit, as well as demos by FluidMedia, Dan Zen, Indellient, Open Hamilton and MealDeck.

Show up early and stay after! DemoCampHamilton2 will be taking place at the same time as the Apps For Health 2011 conference at Mohawk College. From 5:00pm to 10:00pm there will be live music and drinks at the outdoor Terrace Garden, a short walk from room i109 where DemoCampHamilton2 will take place.

You should think about registering for the Apps for Health conference itself – earlier on May 27th there will be web development workshops by Apple Canada as well as several great keynote presentations: There is also over $10,000 in prizes available to students who join teams which will take on posted challenges to build health care apps. Registration for the conference is free for students and $50 for professionals.

CIPS-GH Roundtable Discussion Event

CIPS-GH will be holding a roundtable discussion event: “What is exciting about YOUR life from an IT perspective?”.

Reservations are required to attend:

Details below:

Start: 2011 May 25 – 6:00pm
End: 2011 May 25 – 8:00pm
Time: May 25th, 6 P.M. to 8 P.M.

Kelsey’s Restaurant
200 Centennial Parkway N. (corner of Barton St. E.)
Hamilton, ON, L8E 4A1

What is exciting about YOUR life from an IT perspective?
This informal roundtable discussion provides a chance to learn more about fellow CIPS members and other guests, and what’s happening in the local IT industry. What excitement is going on in YOUR and THEIR lives from an IT perspective? What opportunities might be ‘out there’ for businesses or careers? What skills are available around the table and what skills aren’t but need to be?

This is also an opportunity to help shape the strategy and direction of CIPS-GH for the next year:
What is happening at CIPS Ontario and how will that affect CIPS-GH?
What kinds of topics should be considered for next season?
What needs to be done to improve access to meetings / presentations – e.g. video conferencing, Webex, etc.?

McMaster Innovation Showcase 2011

When and where: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 2, 2011 at McMaster University, CIBC Hall
Full details and tickets:

From idea to proof, innovators are constantly challenged to find the meaningful path through competing options. The 2011 McMaster Innovation Showcase will give innovators the tools and knowledge they need to draw out the potential of their discoveries and inventions.

Specifically this year’s event will feature:

Keynote address by Dr. Robert Cooper: the world’s top innovation management scholar, his Stage-Gate system for product innovation is used globally

Starting Points: learn about McMaster’s ready-to-commercialize discoveries and inventions

Make the connection: discover the techniques McMaster’s leading innovators use to raise funding

Finish the picture: hear from several firms that have successfully adopted McMaster inventions

Poster competition, highlighting inventions and discoveries with commercial and social potential

A closing wine and cheese reception featuring the 2011 McMaster Innovator Awards

Breakfast and lunch also included with your registration

Open Hamilton: Google Fusion Tables Workshop

Register here:

Want to create open data? Want to be a data visualization superstar? Want to learn new efficient ways of managing data?

Join Open Hamilton for our first workshop:

“Using Google Fusion to understand data”

The timing for the course is:

Wednesday May 25
7pm – 9pm
25 Dundurn St N, Hamilton

The workshop will teach how to take a City of Hamilton financial spreadsheet and create visualizations of the financial figures.

The dataset for is the City Council expense spreadsheets for 2008 and 2009. (The 2010 figures are not yet available

The data provided by the city is in their “raw” ledger format which includes Excel macros and formatting.

Learn how to take this data and visualize it as open dta.

The steps being taught are:

1) Conversion of data from Excel into a machine readable CSV
2) Cleaning of financial categories using Google Refine
3) Modification of the spreadsheet into lines of data using tools provided Stanford University’s data visualization lab
4) Importing into Google Fusion Tables
5) Visualization using Fusion Tables
6) Uploading into a cloud server for use by others via API

Registration for the course will be limited to 20 people and there is no cost for attendance.

PLAN iT contest for Hamilton entrepreneurs, innovators, and students

Presented by McMaster University’s Xerox Centre for Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Innovation Factory

PLAN iT is a new opportunity for Hamilton entrepreneurs, innovators, and students to submit their original business plans and compete for major prizes in a process of learning, developing, and making connections.

McMaster University’s Xerox Centre for Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation (XCEEi) and Innovation Factory (iF), have come together to develop a business plan competition that will engage McMaster’s students with Hamilton’s entrepreneurial community.

Participants from across the Golden Horseshoe region are invited to participate by submitting an early stage business plan for consideration in the competition. Up to 50 competitors will be accepted to attend a half-day lecture series at McMaster, with professors from the MTEI program educating participants on how to perfect their plan and move to the next step in creating a business. Competitors will also have the opportunity to network with investors and VIPs from McMaster and Hamilton while discussing their ideas at an exclusive dinner reception held on June 22, 2011 where the top 10 business plans will be awarded with technology prizes and the opportunity to receive a $5000 scholarship to the MTEI program. Additionally, a $5000 cash prize will be awarded to the top social innovator in the competition.

PLAN iT will also serve to promote XCEEI’s newest program: the interdisciplinary Masters in Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MTEI). MTEI is a unique program involving entrepreneurship teams that draw expertise from all disciplines to develop start-up plans for technology-based businesses.

The online submission deadline is June 1, 2011.

Full contest rules, regulations, and criteria can be found at