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

Claus Reinke claus.reinke at talk21.com
Thu Apr 23 12:39:05 EDT 2009

> Let's turn this around. You invest 4 months of your life coming out 
> with your own experimental Haskell compiler designed to easily test 
> new language features. Then a bunch of ungrateful wretches on Haskell 
> Cafe demand that you stop distributing your compiler until you have 
> full support for Haskell 98. :-)
> Do you think that's fair?

|Well, if it doesn't implement the full standard, perhaps it should rather be called 
|UVNABNQHC (Utrecht very nearly, almost but not quite Haskell compiler)?

uHC: unsafeCompileHaskell ?-)

joking and bikeshedding aside:

- Haskell'98 is a fixed standard. Haskell'98 (revised) is a revised version of
    the same standard. The discussion on what is in either is over. Unless 
    someone wants to start and edit a new revision of Haskell'98. Or someone
    wants to write about experience with and criticism of the existing standards.
    None of which seems to relate to this thread's subject, though either would
    fit into other threads on this mailing list.

- the UHC announcement states (emphasis added): "UHC supports 
    _almost all_ Haskell98 features plus many experimental extensions".
    Once they start claiming to have a full Haskell'98 implementation,
    everybody can start filing bug reports. Actually, you can start doing
    that now as they explicitly relate UHC to Haskell'98, not Haskell,
    not Haskell'. But once you've filed a bug report about a deviation
    from the version of the standard being referred to, it is up to them.

- there are one or two more interesting things to discuss about UHC.
    That would require some actual work to find out more about it.

- implementing a Haskell compiler requires a lot of work. So does
    detailing language extensions, to say nothing about providing 
    supporting evidence for suggested language extensions by 
    actually implementing them side-by-side with Haskell's other

- anyone who gets through the work of implementing something,
    let alone a Haskell compiler, to the stage of releasing/announcing
    it, is likely looking forward to getting feedback on their work.

    In reality, the only feedback most projects get is from bug reports
    (and not always those), web access logs, and rumours on blogs
    or irc. One really, really, does not need one's project name to be 
    used for other unrelated entertainment as well.

May I respectfully suggest that further postings under _this_ subject 
give something back to the UHC implementers, in the form of investing 
some actual work and time to find out about the fruits of their work?


PS. Sorry for going meta about this. Just one reader's and fellow
    programmer's over-sensitive opinion. Feel free to colour bikesheds 
    or have interesting discussions on non-UHC-specific Haskell 
    standard issues, in non-UHC-specific threads. Or to ignore this 
    suggestion alltogether.

PPS. If you want to see future announcements of real software
    appear on the haskell@ list only, excluding the haskell-bikeshed@ 
    list. That is assuming that people will still be motivated to implement
    such software, if vapourware could trigger the same responses.

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