[Haskell-cafe] Why the Prelude must die

Sebastian Sylvan sebastian.sylvan at gmail.com
Sat Mar 24 05:36:10 EDT 2007

On 3/24/07, Chris Eidhof <chris at eidhof.nl> wrote:
> > Given all these issues, I consider the only reasonable option is to
> > discard the Prelude entirely.  There will be no magic modules.
> > Everything will be an ordinary library.  HOFs like (.) are available
> > from Control.Function.  List ops come from Data.List.  Any general
> > abstractions can be added in abstract Sequence, Monad, etc. modules.
> > Haskell will regain the kind of organic evolution whose lack
> > currently causes Haskell to lose its lead over Python et al by the
> > day.
> I basically agree with a lot of the things you say. The only thing
> is: it's so convenient to have the Prelude. I can just start writing
> my haskell programs and don't have to worry about all kinds of
> imports. And you'll end up being repetitive: you'll import (.) and
> stuff like that in _every_ file. Yeah, this will definitely be more
> modular, but if we go for it, it's going to be so much more (tedious)
> work to create a new program.

The solution is simple:

* If there is a "module M where" clause in the beginning of the file,
then it's a "proper" module and shouldn't import the Prelude.
* If there is no module declaration then it's a "quick'n dirty script"
and should have the Prelude implicitly imported.
* Interactive interpreters should probably import the Prelude.

That should take of most issues.

Sebastian Sylvan
UIN: 44640862

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