[Haskell-cafe] Re: Libraries for Commercial Users

Magnus Therning magnus at therning.org
Sun Oct 25 12:39:31 EDT 2009

On 25/10/09 14:48, Iain Barnett wrote:
> On 25 Oct 2009, at 08:31, Magnus Therning wrote:
>>   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.
> But if someone has already done some of the work, or an app or language is
> known to have been (at least) partially successful in an area, then this
> makes it a lot more likely to be picked, right?

To some extent yes.  Again based on personal experience it's not uncommon to
decide to use a pre-existing library, and then half-way through find that
there are some serious limitations that only manifested after heavy usage.
Prompting a rewrite in the end.

>> 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
>> developers.
> You could make the case, but are you saying that programmers of major
> languages like Java, Perl, Ruby, PHP, C#, C++... aren't self-motivated,
> don't enjoy their language, and aren't clever?

Oh, far from it.  All I'm saying is that my experience tells me that the ratio
of good to bad is higher in non-main stream languages.

> Fact is, you'll get good and bad, self motivated and not, in every pool of
> developers, in every language - these aren't properties given to people by
> the language. If you're going to get a higher proportion of the "good" in a
> smaller language then that isn't necessarily offset by the risks to a
> project of having a smaller pool to pick from.

Of course it's not the language that influences people.  However, during the
lifetime of a language it pulls in different types of developers.

Again, in my own experience the amount of work to find a good developer is
about the same, and sometimes stacked in favour of using an obscure language.
It's never been the opposite for me.  AFAICS the choice is between possibly
having to work harder to reach good developers, or work hard wading through
piles of CVs just to find the few that are good.


Magnus Therning                        (OpenPGP: 0xAB4DFBA4)
magnus@therning.org          Jabber: magnus@therning.org
http://therning.org/magnus         identi.ca|twitter: magthe

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