[Haskell-cafe] Haskell not ready for Foo [was: Re: Hypothetical Haskell job in New York]

John Goerzen jgoerzen at complete.org
Fri Jan 9 10:23:27 EST 2009

John A. De Goes wrote:
> My statements refer not to the FFI, but as I said, to "FFI code".
> FFI-based libraries seldom compile without excessive amounts of work,
> they're often poorly documented, and in general they seem to be


I maintain a couple of FFI libraries, and strive to have them just work
with one line of calling cabal.  There are plenty of other FFI libraries
that also work that way.  In fact, I don't really notice a difference
these days, at least with the FFI libraries I've used.

In any case, apt-get usually grabs stuff I want anyhow.

I don't really see why the underlying details of an implementation (C or
Haskell) would necessarily correlate with levels of documentation, and
it doesn't seem to for me anyhow.

> maintained much less than pure Haskell libraries. The FFI is necessary,
> of course, but in general I view it as a bootstrapping process leading
> to pure Haskell libraries -- a crutch you have to live with until you
> can afford to pay the price of walking.

Well, you pretty much always have to get down to the C level on a *nix
platform at some point, anyhow.  You've got to make syscalls somewhere.

I don't think FFI is so evil.  There is value in avoiding wheel
reinvention, too.  If zlib already works great, why re-invent it when
you can easily just use what's there?

-- John

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