[Haskell-cafe] Re: Haskell philosophy question

Jon Fairbairn jon.fairbairn at cl.cam.ac.uk
Sun May 17 10:49:02 EDT 2009

"Vasili I. Galchin" <vigalchin at gmail.com> writes:

> Hello,
>      I am confused between Haskell as delineated in the Haskell Report VS
> ghc "pragmas" which extend Haskell beyond the Haskell Report.

Pragmas are part of the report, and while I agree that using
them for extensions is stretching the meaning a bit, it's
clearly the best way of doing it -- they're not supposed to
change the semantics of the language as defined, but it
doesn't say anything about what they do to stuff that isn't
part of the language.

> I am sure I am not the first to ask. Caveat: on my part, I
> am not against innovation/extensions, but I don't like to
> see language "bloat".

Me neither, but many of the extensions are for things that
hadn't been invented (or perhaps finalised, such as
heirarchical modules, IIRC) when the standard was written,
and which make the language more expressive, which is a
worthwhile aim. Among the stated aims of Haskell was to be a
platform for language development. Pragmas keep the
experimental stuff separate from the stuff one can rely on
because it's part of H98.

Jón Fairbairn                                 Jon.Fairbairn at cl.cam.ac.uk

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