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

Simon Marlow simonmar@microsoft.com
Fri, 30 Mar 2001 16:22:56 +0100

> 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=20
> (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=20
> required and
> gets it done, I never will.

There is one good reason that Haskell fails in these areas, and that's
shortage of effort.

We in the GHC team are actively trying to encourage our users to
contribute: with an open CVS source tree, open development mailing
lists, etc.  We've had some good results (thanks to our developers!),
but we need more.  GHC is a large and complex system, and with trying to
be all things to all people - a research vehicle / experimentation
platform / production compiler, our developer resources are stretched a
bit thin.  I'm sure this goes for the other Haskell systems too.

I see libraries as the biggest missing piece in the Haskell language.
Let's face it, Joe Programmer isn't going to pass Haskell by just
because it doesn't support a particular flavour of overlapping instance
declarations.  But he might if it doesn't have a networking library, or
unicode support, or an XML parser.  Please, join libraries@haskell.org.