[Haskell-cafe] Elevator pitch for Haskell.

Andrew Coppin andrewcoppin at btinternet.com
Sat Sep 8 12:36:06 EDT 2007

Michael Vanier wrote:
> Awesome!
> I'm reminded of the IRC post that said that "Haskell is bad, it makes 
> you hate other languages."

How true it is...

I've often thought about a sort of "elevator pitch" for Haskell. 
However, every time I sit down to think about this, I come to the same 
conclusion: Haskell isn't "ready" yet. It's sad but it's true. Think 
about it; if you're a normal programmer trying to write real-world 
programs, the very first things you're likely to want to do include:

* Create sophisticated GUIs.
* Read and write standard binary file formats. (Images, compressed 
files, etc.)
* Talk to a database.
* Use various network protocols (possibly custom, possibly standardised).
* Access the Windoze registry and play with COM stuff.
* Get system-specific file information (protection bits, modification 
times, security information, etc.)
* Query the OS. (How many CPUs? How much RAM? What is my IP address?)

I don't know how to do any of that in Haskell. Some of it can be done, 
just not very easily. Other items are, AFAIK, impossible.

And then there's just random stuff like the Prelude numeric classes 
being "broken", the fact that the array API is virtually skeletal 
compared to what you can do with lists, the lack of a clean, 
standardised character encoding system [that handles more than 2 
encodings], etc.

I'd like to think that Haskell will soon be "ready" for prime-time. But 
let's face it, the language is 20 years old already...

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