[Haskell-cafe] Very freaky

Jim Burton jim at sdf-eu.org
Wed Jul 11 15:25:51 EDT 2007

Andrew Coppin wrote:
> Jim Burton wrote:
>> Andrew Coppin wrote:
>>> On the one hand, it feels exciting to be around a programming language 
>>> where there are deep theoretical discoveries and new design territories 
>>> to be explored. (Compared to Haskell, the whole C / C++ / Java / 
>>> JavaScript / Delphi / VisualBasic / Perl / Python thing seems so
>>> boring.)
>>> On the other hand... WHAT THE HECK DOES ALL THAT TEXT *MEAN*?! >_<
>> I agree, it's exciting to use Haskell because of its theoretical
>> underpinning and the sense of it as a lab for PL ideas.
> The other downside is that you end up with a world where most of the 
> "tools" are in fact one-man research projects or small toys.
> There are a few good, powerful, useful things out there. (GHC and Parsec 
> immediately spring to mind.) But there's also a vast number of really 
> tiny projects which don't seem to be terrifically well supported. Kind 
> of makes me sad; Haskell seems almost doomed to be a language with 
> fantastic potential, but little real-world traction.
AFAIK Haskell wasn't designed for real-world traction in the first place,
but as a way of consolidating FP research efforts onto one platform, so in
that sense it's a resounding success rather than "doomed". It also seems to
have gained some traction, and we know that FP can be an eminently practical
real-world secret weapon, so the tools you're waiting for someone else to
write could well be on their way. At the same time, the only evidence for
this at the moment is a lot of blogs, O'Reilly investing in a book and
Eternal September on haskell-cafe. If you want a language with a bigger user
base or that is less confusing, there are plenty to choose from.

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