[Haskell-cafe] Tiny documentation request

Andrew Coppin andrewcoppin at btinternet.com
Mon Sep 10 14:47:02 EDT 2007

Sven Panne wrote:
> On Sunday 09 September 2007 18:41, Andrew Coppin wrote:
>> Oh goodie... So it's there to keep the machines happy?
> No, it's there to keep *me* happy when I'm looking for a module. ;-)

Well, there's over 200 modules relating to graph theory alone. (Modules 
that I will never ever need, since I don't even know what graph theory 
*is*...) There's also a few hundred OpenGL modules - which I won't be 
looking at unless I specifically want to do something with OpenGL... In 
summary, it's probably quicker to be able to just expand the ones I want 
to look at, rather than collapse the ones I don't want to look at. 
(Works for Windows Explorer and the file system, eh?)

> I still fail to understand why you have to scroll or collapse manually, every 
> browser I know of has a search facility. And there is the index page, where 
> you have an incremental search facility even when your poor browser (guess 
> which one I mean? :-) doesn't have it, at least when the index has been 
> generated by a recent Haddock.

I dislike searches. When all the categories are collapsed, they fit onto 
a single page. The hierachy is sufficiently shallow that from there you 
can instantly get to any module. And if you can't remember the exact 
name of the module, searches are useless but you can probably find it 
visually in a few clicks.

OTOH, I recently discovered that GHCi has the ability to show you what's 
defined in a given module without me having to wait 40 seconds for 
Firefox to start... Shame you can't scroll its output. (And still no 
help if you're not sure of the module name.)

If you're really stuck, there's always Hoogle. Assuming you can guess 
either the likely function name or the correct order and type of its 
arguments... (And on occasion it has a habit of not showing the function 
you're looking for, or just showing it very far down the list, even 
though the type signature *exactly* matches what you typed... but 
usually it's quite good.)

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