[Haskell-cafe] Re: Non-technical Haskell question

John Goerzen jgoerzen at complete.org
Wed Dec 1 15:18:37 EST 2004

On 2004-11-30, GoldPython <goldpython at gmail.com> wrote:
> Has anyone tried presenting the language to the average rank and file
> programming community?  If so, was it successful? If not, is there
> interest in doing so?

I am very interested in doing that.

I'm a relatively recent Haskeller.  I come from a background with a lot
of I/O type problems: databases, networking, etc.  Haskell works nicely
in this domain, too, but it it severely under-documented and, in some
cases, under-supported.

My main project right now is my MissingH library.  Loosely speaking, its
goal is to provide pure Haskell implementations of all the stuff I miss
from the Python standard library.  It's been a great way for me to learn
Haskell, and also goes a long way to making Haskell useful in the
everyday problems I have to solve.  Right now, it has a bunch of string
utilities, a bunch of I/O utilities, a Printf implementation, an FTP
client module, some MIME stuff, etc.  I almost have my ConfigParser
module done, which is a clone of the Python module.  (This is now the
second time I've written ConfigParser from scratch; my MissingLib
project for OCaml also has it.)

I also have a very small start on a "haskell for hackers" ("hackers" in
the non-evil sense) sort of document.  One this doesn't ignore I/O as
"hard" or "unimportant".  I/O in Haskell doesn't suck.  It's just that a
lot of people in the community don't have it as a high priority, I

I also want MissingH to be complete enough that I can use it to port my
OfflineIMAP program to Haskell.  That would mean adding an IMAP client
library and Maildir tools.

I'm also a firm believer that code is one of the best forms of tutorial.
I hope people will be able to refer to MissingH and other similar
projects to learn how to do things.  I, for instance, referred to the
Haskell xml-rpc implementation to learn how to craft a function taking a
variable number of arguments, and used that knowledge to write my Printf
implementation.  Maybe somebody can refer to my FTP module and use that
knowledge to write a module for the world's most underused protocol,
Gopher :-)

-- John

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