[Haskell-cafe] Aim Of Haskell

Claus Reinke claus.reinke at talk21.com
Wed Dec 13 11:39:11 EST 2006

> The reason why Haskell is academic-centric is that it was originally
> conceived by academics, and they were interested in doing research
> into language design and implementation ..

shouldn't we make this "used to be academic-centric"?

> People outside academia who might be inclined to take on some of 
> those more practical questions are just beginning to notice that Haskell 
> could be useful for them too. ..

although "just beginning to notice" may be accurate on a historical scale,
I have the feeling that the actual development is further along than this. at
least, there have been sufficiently many and active early adopters for long
enough to make a substantial difference. so those practical questions are
not being raised, but several of them are actually being addressed.

> It had to happen in a grassroots fashion, and IMO it couldn't
> have happened until after the rise of distributed open-source
> development (which, I remind you, didn't start gaining a lot of
> momentum until not that long ago).

one of the most exciting aspects of Haskell is that pragmatic interest in
the language has been growing steadily without academic interest in it
declining in any way. as a result, we have a language that represents
an interesting mixture of good and useful, although it is not entirely 
clear yet how long this nice balance will hold.

we have had lots of languages that were intended to be well-designed
(good, beautiful, ..), but never much used in practice, and we have also 
had lots of languages that were intended to be pragmatic (practical, 
useful, ..), without much interest in theoretical beauty. but how many
languages are there where the two aspects have converged, with both
communities still actively interested in the result?


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