[Haskell-cafe] Re: ANNOUNCE: Utrecht Haskell Compiler (UHC) --firstrelease

Sittampalam, Ganesh ganesh.sittampalam at credit-suisse.com
Thu Apr 23 10:53:51 EDT 2009

Jon Fairbairn wrote:
> "Sittampalam, Ganesh" <ganesh.sittampalam at credit-suisse.com> writes:

>> So I would say that {Haskell 98 - (n+k)} is itself a worthwhile
>> standard to implement.
> It's not a standard. You have to document the difference (waste of
> time), programmers have to notice the difference (waste of time),
> books that describe H 98 no longer apply (waste of effort).

Interestingly, the removal discussion from Haskell'
explicitly mentions "some Haskell books use it (this was the main reason
it was kept in Haskell 98)" and also points out that the report
explicitly warned that they might be removed in future.

Presumably those were books about Haskell 1.4 or before. If n+k was only
kept to keep those books still valid, then they certainly shouldn't
survive any longer; any H98 books that used them deserve their fate,

> You can
> argue that the wastes here are individually small, but you have to
> multiply them by the number of times they happen (and again, I'm
> taking n+k as an example of a general problematic attitude that's
> been with us since FORTRAN I*, rather than really arguing about n+k
> specifically).       

> [*] The FORTRAN IV standard contains some really quite entertaining
> examples of what happens when you try to standardise the intersection
> of divergent implementations of a programming language.  

I'd be much more inclined to agree with you if the example in question
was not n+k. Also, divergence by omission of features is much easier to
recover from than mutually incompatible implementation of the same


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