[Haskell-cafe] Time for a new logo?

Richard O'Keefe ok at cs.otago.ac.nz
Wed Dec 17 19:58:56 EST 2008

[Names removed as a courtesy]
>> True, true, and who cares about folks afraid of unknown operators  
>> which
>> might do wonderfull stuff ;-)))
> That's the kind of mentality I am talking about. The "we are better
> than you" mentality, should stay with the Java and .NET people.

The subject is a LOGO (abbreviation of LOGOTYPE or LOGOGRAM
(a symbol designed to represent an object, concept, or attitude
in simple graphic form, as found in road signs, advertising, and so on))
-- OED, paraphrased slightly.

Historically, some company symbols have been very complex.
Some have used mathematical symbols:  many Prolog people will
recognise ⊢≣⊨, for example, even though none of those symbols
is actually used in the language.  Egyptian hieroglyphs are
clearly recognisable pictures.  A Haskell hieroglyph could,
for example, be turmeric roots arranged to form a lambda.

But wait!  "Folks afraid of unknown operators" will be put off by
lambdas.  To acknowledge that such people *exist* is IN NO WAY to
make any claim of superiority.  They may be vastly better than us
as moral beings, as speakers of many human languages, as singers,
in their good looks, in their capacity as parents, in any way you
like.  The only claim of superiority that can be sustained or even
implied is that Haskell programmers are happier with a mathematical
approach to programming than say Visual Basic programmers.  (I have
been known to tell a classroom of students that there are problems
for which VB is the right answer, and I was hopping mad when M$oft
yanked VBA out of Office for MacOS.)

I actually liked the >⋋= logo when I first saw it; and it wasn't
until I saw the version with the different shading in the lambda
that I realised that it was lambda on top of >>=.  So I can fairly
claim to have experienced it in much the same way as someone who
had never heard of Haskell before.  I liked the look of it, AND
I didn't realise that it was a Haskell operator at all.  (That's
ASCII art for you...)

If you know Haskell and you see this logo, it will recall Haskell
to you.  If you don't know Haskell and you see this logo, it will
not suggest anything to you, least of all superiority, BUT it is
visually distinctive and memorable.

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