[Haskell-cafe] Aim Of Haskell

Jason Dagit dagit at codersbase.com
Fri Dec 15 12:21:52 EST 2006

On 12/15/06, Tomasz Zielonka <tomasz.zielonka at gmail.com> wrote:
> > The Haskell web server that Simon Peyton-Jones et al described in their
> > paper would be a great example. But where's the download?
> Let me stress this: HWS is an *exception*. It's the only Haskell related
> thing that I had trouble to find.

This is the only thing I disagree with in your post.

I've had at least one of the following questions/problems with all of
the libraries/tools that I'm about to list.  I'd say some of the
questions are normal and expected regardless of language choice but I
mention them here because in the case of Haskell it was significantly
a problem compared to what I'm used to:

* finding which version is "current"
* where is the documentation
* is it still maintained
* is this what people are actually using or was it just a proof of concept
* where are the tutorials (research papers don't count)
* how does it compare with the version commonly found in "mainstream" languages

* H/Direct
* HOpenGL
* HaXML vs. HXT
* .NET interoperability?
* QuickCheck
* TH

Those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.  With
the exception of HOpenGL I've looked at them with the intention of
using them at work where I do windows application development.  I now
know that most of them have some information I can get from the
haskell wiki assuming I search long enough (for some reason the wiki
search and google don't find the relevant wiki pages very often when I

In many cases I end up at the tool/library website and many of my
questions are still unanswered.  I've now started reading the research
papers when I don't immediately see the information I want to know,
but a research paper is not what "industry" types want to look at when
they want to know how to write QuickCheck properties (as an example).
With a few of the listed libraries I resorted to reading the code to
find out what I wanted to know.  That's a nice fall back but it
shouldn't be the normal way to learn about libraries.  The best source
of info I've found when trying to pick a library is to ask in #haskell
on freenode.

Some of the problems I've had are quite silly in some sense.  As in
the case of HOpenGL.  With HOpenGL the documentation can be found and
even some extensive PDFs detailing how to use it.  But as anyone who
has played with HOpenGL can tell you, those long PDFs contain many
errors about the exact names of functions (I suspect the library has
evolved since the PDF was written) and HOpenGL is quite different than
OpenGL in terms of function names.  This is partly why I created my
ne-he tutorial conversion.  So that people would have working example
code to play with when they want to start learning HOpenGL.


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