Functional Geekery Episode 68 – Matthew Butterick

In this episode I talk with Matthew Butterick. We talk about using Racket as someone who doesn’t consider themselves a developer; the power of Domain Specific Languages; Pollen, a DSL for creating web sites; and his book Beautiful Racket.

Our Guest, Matthew Butterick

Practical Typography
Beautiful Racket


EuroClojure is coming up in Bratislava, Slovakia from October 25-26. Visit to find out more, register, or sign up for their mailing list.

The 2016 edition of ScalaIO will take place in Lyon, France, on 27th and 28th of October. Visit for more information and to register.

CodeMesh is taking place the 3rd and 4th of November with tutorials on the 2nd of November. Tickets are available now, but they are going fast. Visit to register and submit your talk.

Scala Wave is coming up on the 25th and 26th of November in GdaƄsk, Poland. Visit to find out more and sign up for their newsletter for updates.

Destination Code, a new unconference starting in Utah, is having its inaugural event this December. Visit to find out more.

The 2016 Clojure Conj will be taking place in Austin, TX on December 1st – 3rd. Visit for more information and to register.

Lambda Days will be taking place again on the 9th and 10th of February 2017. Visit to submit your talk and keep updated as more information becomes available.

If you have a conference related to functional programming, contact me, and I will be happy to announce it.


About Matthew
Practical Typography
Beautiful Racket
Episode 24 with Matthew Flatt
Episode 48 with Matthias Felleisen
Cognicast with Sam Tobin-Hochstadt
Starting out as a type designer
“Maybe I should just write a program to do it”
Just van Rossum
Guido van Rossum
Python for automating tasks in type design
Starting as web designer and frustration with templating languages
The pain of XSLT for creating web pages
The secret connection of Lisp and XML
Typography for Lawyers Pollen code
“Before computers were the technology industry, printing was the technology industry”
What was Matthew’s transition to Racket as someone looking for a better tool
“Beautiful Racket is the book I wish I could travel through time and give to myself”
Why Racket, Why Lisp
Hackers and Painters by Paul Graham
The idea of an expression based language
Knuth’s idea of “You don’t really know anything until you can teach it to a computer”
Pollen as a Domain Specific Language
What people can expect from Beautiful Racket
Dr. Racket
DSLs as a problem solving technique
“By making it easy to make languages, it makes it cheap to make languages”
Shill a secure shell scripting language
“It’s a tool you can use and don’t need any permission”
Finding the magic moment to share ideas
“If you want to help yourself, check out Racket”
Typography for Lawyers Pollen source
Joel Dueck’s Secretary of Foreign Relations
Flatland e-book created by Pollen on createspace
Flatland Pollen Source
“If any of you go out and try Racket and hate it, let me know”
Sending message via comments on Beautiful Racket

As always, a giant Thank You goes to David Belcher for the logo design.

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