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In the greater Haskell ecosystem, as well as in various industry codebases, libraries sometimes provide lens based APIs. One of the great promises of lenses is to make it easy and smooth to work with Haskell's immutable data structures.
However, when most people first come into contact with lenses, they are anything but easy and smooth. To begin with, there are so many implementations. Van Laarhoven lenses, profunctor optics, and so on. And even if you figure out which one to use, you run into the next problem: Reading the API on hackage or loading the package up in your repl often just feels like having your face rammed into a wall of random letters.
This talk will provide, not a detailed guide to the inner workings of any particular implementation of lenses, but rather an overview of the broad ideas and motivating examples for them. What is the problem? And how does the framework of lenses give us a language to talk about that problem?
By the end of the talk, the ambition is that the listener will feel empowered to take another look at that lens library they've been meaning to, or even to give it a first try if they haven't before. If all goes well, you will agree that lenses aren't that scary after all!
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