Will Haskell be commercialized in the future?

Fergus Henderson fjh@cs.mu.oz.au
Mon, 27 Nov 2000 21:01:33 +1100

On 27-Nov-2000, Benjamin L. Russell <russell@brainlink.com> wrote:
> Just out of curiosity:  what makes you so sure about C#?
> C# has some potential big problems, too: 
> in particular, the ability to declare a portion of the code "unsafe,"
> which can encourage unsafe programming among entrenched C/C++ programmers.

That is twaddle.  "Entrenched" C/C++ programmers will doubtless write
bad code in any other language, just like Real Programmers and Fortran. 
The ability to declare a portion of the code as `unsafe' is a feature.
It's like `unsafePerformIO' in Haskell!  And also no worse than JNI in
Java.  Do you think that Haskell would be better without `unsafePerformIO'?

Static checking and language support for safety are very good things;
I've been a supporter of those for a long long time.  But to attack
C# because it offers *optional* escapes from the language-enforced
checking is obtuse.

This is not to say that C# doesn't have any serious problems.  It does. 
Number one is that it's a proprietry language controlled by Microsoft,
with no implementations on non-Windows platforms.  Also the lack of
parametric polymorphism makes it much weaker than languages like
Sather and Eiffel which have been around for many years, not to
mention Pizza and Generic Java.  This has lead C# to copy some of
Java's other flaws, such as the awful array type.

C# has plenty of flaws.  Please criticize it for its real flaws,
not the imagined ones.

Fergus Henderson <fjh@cs.mu.oz.au>  |  "I have always known that the pursuit
                                    |  of excellence is a lethal habit"
WWW: <http://www.cs.mu.oz.au/~fjh>  |     -- the last words of T. S. Garp.