[Haskell-cafe] library sort

Sven Panne Sven.Panne at aedion.de
Wed Mar 8 07:26:05 EST 2006

Am Mittwoch, 8. März 2006 11:25 schrieb John Hughes:
> When I surveyed Haskell users, I asked respondents to name the most
> important tools and libraries they use. (Caveat: respondents saw the
> list of tools and libraries already named, and could include these just
> by selecting them, so tools mentioned early in the survey were more
> likely to be named by subsequent respondents). Here are a few relevant
> entries, where the percentage is the proportion of respondents who named
> the tool:
> 29% Parsec
> 19% wxHaskell
> 16% QuickCheck
> 16% haddock
> 12% Monadic Parser Combinators
> 11% Gtk2Hs
> 9% hs-plugins
> 8% HaXml
> 7% Data.*
> 7% Monad foundation classes
> 6% Arrows
> 6% HOpenGL
> The list includes all libraries named by more than 5% of respondents.
> Sure enough, wxHaskell and Gtk2Hs are more popular, but 6% naming
> HOpenGL as among the "most important" libraries is quite respectable.

Well, I've never said that it is among the "most important" libraries, but 
OTOH I really much doubt that the way the survey was done delivers anything 
near reliable results. It heavily biases early entries, and I dare to 
speculate that the people taking part in the survey were probably not even 
near to a representative group, but a bunch of highly motivated, experienced 
non-Joe-Programmer kind of people who are actively participating on the 
mailing lists etc. Furthermore, some of the percentages above are extremely 
strange, e.g. how can people use huge GUI toolkits with 30% while staying 
largely away from something as fundamental as Data.*? The best we can 
probably get from your survey is a rough indication what the research 
community wants, but probably nothing more.

I don't claim to have a better idea how to get more reliable numbers, but I've 
never trusted any web survey and probably never will.


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