backward compatibility

Brandon S Allbery KF8NH allbery at
Fri Jan 21 04:58:00 CET 2011

Hash: SHA1

On 1/20/11 21:12 , Ian Lynagh wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 20, 2011 at 09:22:37PM +0100, Axel Simon wrote:
>> I therefore think that keeping the number of extensions 
>> to a minimum should be a high priority. It seems that the ghc team is 
>> going overboard with the amount of extensions and their granularity that 
>> I do not believe that there will ever be another compiler since 
>> implementing all these extensions is a nightmare. The road of may 
>> extensions is leading down the road that the Haskell standards aimed to 
>> avoid: having a single implementation defining what a Haskell program can 
>> be.
> I'm not sure if you're saying there should be fewer new language
> features implemented, less fine-grained control over which are enabled,
> or something else?

"Many of the new features ought to be changes to the standard, not
individual language features that might or might not be implemented by
various compilers."

Less fine-grained control could be taken as a subset of this; consider that
Haskell2010 can be understood as Haskell98 + a number of language extensions
(or de-extensions in the case of n+k).

I think he has a good point:  having too many individual language features
significantly raises the bar for what other compilers need to at least
consider supporting.  Even if we don't necessarily change the official
standard, perhaps there should be standard packages of extensions which
compilers are encouraged to support even if they don't support fine-grained
extension control.

- -- 
brandon s. allbery     [linux,solaris,freebsd,perl]      allbery at
system administrator  [openafs,heimdal,too many hats]  allbery at
electrical and computer engineering, carnegie mellon university      KF8NH
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