[Haskell-cafe] Re: statep haskell-lang [was: Re: Hoogle and Network.Socket]

John A. De Goes john at n-brain.net
Thu Feb 26 15:18:26 EST 2009

Are you saying has been no progress since K&R C in the number of  
libraries available to C programmers? And that C programmers still  
have to edit files with vi and compile and link by specifying all  
files on the command-line?

You may disagree, but the evidence points in the opposite direction.  
There are tens of thousands of robust C libraries available to suit  
any particular programming need. Many of Haskell's own libraries are  
based on C versions. Tool support for the C language (not for some  
successor you might think would exist if the language continued  
evolving) can detect memory leaks, detect memory overwrites, apply  
dozens of automatic refactorings to C large-scale C programs, etc.

Library and tool support for the C language is light years beyond  
Haskell. It wouldn't be there if we had been through 20 iterations of  
C each completely breaking backward compatibility.


John A. De Goes
The Evolution of Collaboration

http://www.n-brain.net    |    877-376-2724 x 101

On Feb 26, 2009, at 1:08 PM, Achim Schneider wrote:

> "John A. De Goes" <john at n-brain.net> wrote:
>> What do you mean by "progress"? I noted before that there are
>> tradeoffs. Constraining the evolution of the language in backward
>> compatible ways leads to substantial improvements in tools,
>> libraries, and the speed of compiled code. That's progress in several
>> dimensions -- just not along the dimension of "language".
> I disagree. Backwards compatibility can be the very reason no
> progress _can_ be made in the areas you mention. The C toolchain was
> and is a mess for anything but small, uniform, single-platform
> programs, things like valgrind of course outperform plain lint in a
> variety of ways, but are still hacks around the language's major flaws
> (And I'm speaking as a C-fan, here). Further breakthroughs in C
> compiler technology will require stalin-like brute force and library
> support... well, did you ever use yacc or libxml and compared them to
> Haskell solutions?
> Java generics are broken by design, for the questionable benefit of
> backwards compatibility. Leave those Bad Decisions to language
> communities who don't care about Doing It Right. "Right" being a
> technological measure here, not how well politics sell to accountants.
> -- 
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