[Haskell-cafe] expanded standard lib

Duncan Coutts duncan.coutts at worc.ox.ac.uk
Tue Nov 20 06:55:50 EST 2007

On Mon, 2007-11-19 at 10:25 -0800, brad clawsie wrote:
> i would categorize myself as a purely practical programmer. i enjoy
> using haskell for various practical tasks and it has served me
> reliably. one issue i have with the library support for practical
> problem domains is the half-finished state of many fundamental
> codebases such as networking and database support. 

So far I am pretty happy with the progress we've been making with
hackage. It has massively increased the number of packages that are
easily available. Most of our problems with it are down to it being
successful so we now need more infrastructure to do searching and help
users gauge stability, whether packages work in various circumstances
etc. I think these mostly have technical solutions.

That said, I think there is a place for a Haskell development platform.
This should not be confused with GHC, though GHC obviously takes central
place in our standard tool chain. Managing GHC releases has become
increasingly difficult so we should continue the trend to reduce the
size of GHC releases and not try to synchronise them with the release of
every other part of our tool chain.

I would like to compare this to the GNOME development platform. It has
Gtk+ at it's hart but GNOME releases are not synchronised with Gtk+
releases. The GNOME development platform consists of a collection of
standard packages. The collection is released on a time-based schedule,
not a feature-based one. It puts a QA stamp on specific versions of its
constituent packages that are known to work together. It has a procedure
for getting packages included which include standards of API design and
documentation. There is an infrastructure for maintaining, testing and
releasing this platform.

This is a model I think we should consider seriously.


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