[Haskell-cafe] Aim Of Haskell

Kirsten Chevalier catamorphism at gmail.com
Wed Dec 13 19:10:52 EST 2006

On 12/13/06, Claus Reinke <claus.reinke at talk21.com> wrote:
> > 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"?

I think that's still slightly premature, although it seems like a ton
of progress has been made just this year.

> > 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.

Certainly, and not to in any way denigrate the early adopters' work
(and I am, I guess, an early adopter, though not one who's actually
contributed much). I guess I was just trying to say to the poster I
was replying to that if you're still not happy with the level of
practicality of Haskell tools now, either jump in and help improve
them yourself, or if you don't want to do that, have a little patience
-- they'll get there soon enough.

> 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?

I'm interested to see what's going to happen, too. To answer your
question with another, how many languages are there that have quite
the same kind of people committed to them that Haskell does? :-)


Kirsten Chevalier* chevalier at alum.wellesley.edu *Often in error, never in doubt
"Happy is all in your head / When you wake up and you're not dead / It's a
sign of maturation / That you've lowered your expectations..."--Barbara Kessler

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