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

John A. De Goes john at n-brain.net
Thu Feb 26 17:23:54 EST 2009

On Feb 26, 2009, at 1:36 PM, Jonathan Cast wrote:
> On Thu, 2009-02-26 at 13:25 -0700, John A. De Goes wrote:
>> No, I hate C and will never use it again in my entire life unless
>> forced to at the point of a gun.
> Why?  Its libraries are far better, its editors are far better [1],  
> its
> compilers are far better, its tool support is far better, it's
> incomparably superior in every possible way to Haskell.

There are better languages than C with more libraries and better tools  
(e.g. Java). I would chose one of those over Haskell for a commercial  
product needing short time-to-market and a long shelf life. Even  
though Haskell is a superior language, there are other, often more  
important considerations for anything but hobby coding.

> Except the relatively narrow criterion of the *language itself*.   
> Maybe
> making languages better is a worthwile pursuit, then?  Or do you still
> think languages should be frozen in time[2] so the tools, compilers,
> editors, libraries, etc. can undergo vast improvements?

I think to reap the benefits of a language, it must necessarily stop  
evolving in ways that impose high costs on its user base.

> [2] For the record: I'd be content to see a frozen production  
> language,
> like Haskell, frozen in time; as long there's a credible other
> evolveable language --- preferably one with zero backward- 
> compatibility
> requirements w.r.t. Haskell 98 or current or past GHC.

Let me ask you this question: If I wanted a language like Haskell, but  
which is "Enterprise ready", where should I turn?

My answer: Haskell. It's maturing and its slowed rate of evolution is  
already having beneficial effects on other dimensions.

>  Re-designing a
> purely function research language from the ground up would be neat ---
> but then it wouldn't be Haskell at all, and I wouldn't use Haskell,  
> I'd
> use the new language.  If I thought I could realistically leave the
> Haskell community, I wouldn't be nearly so opposed to Haskell's
> continued slide into practicality.

Why do you think you'll have no where else to go if Haskell continues  
moving away from being a research language? There are plenty of people  
who would join you. I think you'd have far more company than you seem  
to believe. And a fresh start, with absolutely zero requirements for  
any backward compatibility, would open up many new directions.


John A. De Goes
The Evolution of Collaboration

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

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