[Haskell-cafe] Re: Hiding side effects in a data structure

Jon Fairbairn jon.fairbairn at cl.cam.ac.uk
Sat Oct 20 05:29:31 EDT 2007

Simon Peyton-Jones <simonpj at microsoft.com> writes:

> I realise belatedly that my message might have sounded
> dismissive.  My apologies; it wasn't intended to be.  Good
> ideas are just that: good.  Reinventing them is a sign of
> good taste.
> As to documenting GHC, we try to do that by writing papers.
> That's easy to motivate because we get research brownie
> points for papers. 

One of the irritating effects of this process is not that
the reports are research papers, but that they are on-line
sporadically and only very rarely html.  The overhead of
having to download a big file (or search through one's own
copies) and fire up some other viewer (for .ps or .pdf) --
or worse find a printed copy or fork out £55.97 to read
something online) is a significant obstacle when all one
wants to do is to is check the syntax of something or look
up a short bit of code. 

A hyperlink of the form <a
interesting bit</a> is far more useful than one of the form
<a href="http://.../long-research-paper.pdf">look for
section 49.7.3</a>.  It may not seem significant, but when
one is attempting to learn some new part of Haskell it's
really off-putting.

Jón Fairbairn                                 Jon.Fairbairn at cl.cam.ac.uk

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