[Haskell-cafe] Re: Libraries for Commercial Users

Magnus Therning magnus at therning.org
Sun Oct 25 04:31:15 EDT 2009

On 24/10/09 23:08, Iain Barnett wrote:
> If you're in business, you're trying to keep your costs lower than your
> income. That means that a language with a stable code base, good/many
> libraries, and a large pool of developers is a good choice.

I'm not sure it necessarily means that.  There is a good case to be made for
choosing a good, but obscure language, on the basis that the people who have
bothered to learn it are likely to be self-motivated, enjoy the language, and
quite likely be clever.  Having a smaller pool of developers to choose from is
not necessarily bad, as long as it is offset by a higher ratio of first-rate

Also, as I'm sure you've found out re libraries, more isn't necessarily
better.  I'd argue that many, if not most, commonly used libraries are
excellent for "common" tasks, but as soon as you go into a niche many fall
short of your requirements for scalability, speed, resource usage, etc.  In
the end you're likely to have to put considerable work into writing your own
or modifying other's.

> These things mean getting quicker to market, cheaper developers, and you can
> replace a developer if one leaves. No use having fancy pants code if you
> can't find anyone who understands it.

You get what you pay for, if you have extreme requirements in any area you'll
have to pay well in order to get good developers who can handle the task.

In my experience good developers don't produce "fancy pants code", they'll
produce code that is easier to understand and maintain.  The fancy parts are
limited to where it is required.  Cheap, mediocre developers are more likely
to produce fancy-pants-looking code, that is overly complicated, harder to
understand and maintain, and often is buggy.

Just my 2p. :-)


Magnus Therning                        (OpenPGP: 0xAB4DFBA4)
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