"Lambda Dance", Haskell polemic, etc. on O'Reilly site

S. Alexander Jacobson alex@shop.com
Fri, 30 Mar 2001 09:28:43 -0500 (Eastern Standard Time)


Although I think Haskell is a beautiful language, Jelovic is right on his
core points, Haskell implementations don't meet the needs of the working

A user can download Python or Perl to his windows or linux computer,
install, and very quickly be up and running writing code that calls system
libraries, talks to mysql databases, retrieves XML content from the web and parses
it, etc.

Moreover, if the default libraries don't meet his/her needs, it is easy
to find additional libraries on the web, and when found, there is a high
likelyhood that they will work as advertised with the installed system.

Contrast the above with Haskell, which doesn't immediately, easily and
reliably install on all platforms (perhaps aside from Hugs), is still
figuring out core language features,and does not even have a consistent
set of libraries for simple stuff like filesystem access!

There are, perhaps good reasons for all these failures, but please
recognize them for what they are: failures to meet the needs of the
working programmer who just wants to get something done (whether he/she
lives in YU, FR, JP, or US)

I would love to be using Haskell for day to day programming work but I
can't at this time.  Unless the community recognizes what is required and
gets it done, I never will.


S. Alexander Jacobson                   Shop.Com
1-646-638-2300 voice                    The Easiest Way To Shop (sm)

On Fri, 30 Mar 2001, Jerzy Karczmarczuk wrote:

> Fritz K Ruehr wrote:
> ...
> > The second link is a little polemic entitled "Why People Aren't Using
> > Haskell", which I presume would be of interest to readers of this
> > list (the author is Dejan Jelovic, whom I don't recognize as a regular
> > contributor here):
> >
> >         <http://www.jelovic.com/articles/why_people_arent_using_haskell.htm>
> If you didn't verify this site, forget it. There is NOTHING serious
> there.
> Over and over again the same silly song, by a person who - visibly -
> had never anything to do with functional languages, who thinks now
> about hiring some C and java programmers living in Belgrade, but who
> writes such silly, incompetent things as:
> > And there is an air of staleness: where new versions of these other
> > languages appear frequently, the Haskell community is offering you
> > Hugs98.
> Delovic points out that some languages became "immensely" popular,
> as e.g. Ruby, and that Haskell is marginal.  Hm. this extremely
> orthodox Japanese essence of O-O programming may have some practical
> merits, especially those which come from shameless borrowing from
> Eiffel, Sather, Clu and Common Lisp, but calling Haskell "marginal"
> or "obscure" informs us not what is Haskell, but who is Jelovic.
> He accuses the Haskell community of not providing libraries...
> ==
> Perhaps there is *one* point worth mentioning: the necessity to
> publish papers about Haskell far from such journals as JFP or HOSC,
> but to try to reach DrDobbs etc. I would add: Software: Practice
> and experience, and journals on numerical software where one could
> show some non-trivial implementations of practical, numerical
> algorithms.
> Jerzy Karczmarczuk
> Caen, France
> PS. What is "hamster dance", anyway?
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