[Haskell-cafe] On the verge of ... giving up!

ajb at spamcop.net ajb at spamcop.net
Sun Oct 14 20:24:13 EDT 2007

G'day all.

Quoting Derek Elkins <derek.a.elkins at gmail.com>:

> The first goal listed in the Haskell 1.0 Report is:
> "It should be suitable for teaching, research, and applications,
> including building large systems."
> Haskell was never intended to be solely a teaching or research language.
> (You didn't necessarily say that, but it is a widely held and propagated
> misconception.)

I'd argue that you're kind of both right.

The purpose of Haskell (i.e. "Haskell 89") was to unify all of those
Miranda-like systems into a single language that everyone could share.

However, arguably the biggest imperatives for Haskell 98 was to remove
features that would confuse undergraduates.  Even though we may not like
to admit it, H98 really is primarily a teaching/research language.

If we were doing H98 today, I don't think that would happen.  The
"research" part is bigger and better than ever, but we seem to weight
"applications, including building large systems" more highly than
"teaching" now.

Having said that, in retrospect, the clean break was probably for the
best.  H98 gave us a simpler core on which to add the glasgow-exts.
There's some stuff from Haskell 1.3 that I miss, and I hope it will
come back, but there's also stuff that we're better off without.

Andrew Bromage

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