[Haskell-cafe] Re: New slogan for haskell.org

Aaron Denney wnoise at ofb.net
Fri Oct 5 18:01:00 EDT 2007

On 2007-10-05, Aaron Denney <wnoise at ofb.net> wrote:
> On 2007-10-05, Peter Verswyvelen <bf3 at telenet.be> wrote:
>> But where is the great IDE Haskell deserves??? :-) Seriously, 99% of the 
>> programmers I know don't want to look at it because when they see Emacs 
>> or VIM, they say "what the f*ck????, I don't want to go back to the 
>> stone age". If you want to attract more people that are inside the 
>> "imperative-OO-with-nice-IDE-blob", create a great looking and 
>> functional IDE.
> Bluntly, I don't see why the Haskell community needs those sorts of
> programmers.  I like Haskell with a big enough community to have useful
> libraries, but a small enough community such that the language can
> readily evolve and serve as a useful research platform.

This is not say that nice tools aren't useful or that we should be less
than welcoming to anyone interested in Haskell.

But the best tool that makes a language more useful is the language
itself.  If I don't have as much boilerplate all over the place, then I
don't need a tool that goes and finds all this boilerplate and changes
it.  When the language manages memory for me, I don't need valgrind.
If I write a program that can't crash, I don't need crash-analysis
tools.  If my programs minimize state-change, I have less need of
traditional debuggers with watchpoints and breakpoints.  If my functions
are guaranteed by the compiler to be pure, /semantic/ debuggers, that
algebraicly manipulate definitions and can iteratively zero in on
meanings being wrong rather than just implementations "glitching" become
useable.  When I can autogenerate test data for my functions based
solely on the type, testing can be much easier.

We already have a lot of nice tools that do what we want.  Slapping a
GUI on them and maintaining integration while they're evolving is less
useful to me than programmers exploring other additional useful tools.

Aaron Denney

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