[Haskell-cafe] Market Place for Haskell development teams?

Alberto G. Corona agocorona at gmail.com
Tue Sep 29 07:18:28 EDT 2009

Some thoughs:

Most successful languages spread because they are part of a platform which
solves an IT problem. C was part of Unix, both brougth CPU independence when
this was necessary. Java is part of the Java platform, that brougth OS
independence and interoperability at the right time. .Download-execution on
the client was also a reason for the initial success of Java in the Internet
era.  Javascript is part of the web browser. The .NET languages are part of
NET.  Rubi and Pyton came with libraries targeted to Rapid development of
Internet applications.
What is the vehicle that haskell can use to enter the mainstream?. I think
that the mere interest of the ideas in the language is not enough.  Many
people will play with Haskell in the spare time, and many of them will be
permitted to develop some non critical applications at work. But that is
all.  Java was not designed for the Internet but it was re-targeted to it
because some needed features where already implemented in Java. Maybe
something like that will happen to Haskell.

I think that all the current niches are filled, but new niches  are coming.
specially with higher level programming that is made on top of current
sorware software infrastructure such are BPM, workflows, more flexible
scientific applicatins, creation of  models in business intelligence, as
part of ERPs,.Data mining too.  And higuer levels of netwrok communications(
for example, Google Wave robots) etc.

About the last point, sometimes a basically identical infrastructure is
re-engineered to a higher level, and a new language takes over. For example,
the  architecture of many Internet applications in the 80s was client-server
based, where C, C++ was the king. This was substituted by  the web
architecture with Java because Java was involved in the gradual change by
filling the holes of the new architecture.  It could be that in a few years,
instead of Web sites people could develop interoperable gadgets for
aggregators such are netvibes or IGoogle or, even more radical, robots and
gadgets in google Wave. Anyway, for sure, people will think and develop at a
higher level.

Financial applications are an example of higher level programming where
tasks usually performed by humans are now automatized and there is no or few
traditions about that. The need to think at a higher level without being
worried by side effects and other details are specially needed in such kind
of areas. That's where haskell could have its own niche.


2009/9/29 Jörg Roman Rudnick <joerg.rudnick at t-online.de>

>  These problems are critical -- but not hopeless, I think:
> (1) A simple technical matter, any average Haskell programmer (including
> myself...) can build a platform, e.g. in Happstack or the like, to clear
> this up (given you want to do this in Haskell ;-).
> (4) This is a special one, which I have pondered on some time ago. The
> customers' main concern seems to be "will this company still support me in n
> years??"
> o   if the project is interesting enough, I see hope there might be some
> academic unit willing to partake in this, as I have heard enough complaint
> of not having enough examples to demonstrate business relevance to students.
> Normally, the customer should have no problem in believing an academic unit
> and its interests to last some time.
> o   I would propose to pick up the insourcing concept -- as, what I can
> confirm by my own teaching experiences, it sometimes is easier to introduce
> Haskell to beginners (once the do have sufficient OS experience) then to
> people who already are adherents of some other language. Ok, we might need
> some more introductory literature etc.
> (3) Yes, there seem to be lots of people organized at a smaller level than
> what I described -- groups of one or very few members, working on a limited
> time range.
> Yesterday, I would have written there should be remarkable interest in
> greater projects, but, due to the poor resonance to my mail, I feel wary to
> do so now.
> (3)&(2) Such a reserved reaction might indicate many Haskellers are not
> motivated by the money but by the fame, and -- as the lively succJava thread
> shows -- what could be greater fame (besides the evaluation of 42) than
> stealing the Java etc. community just another attractive project? ;-))
> Do I go wrong in saying there's a good deal of competitive spirit in the
> Haskell community interesting in taking claims away of other programming
> cultures which have grown saturated over the years? And, isn't the this
> *Haskeller bonus* indicating that doing the step to larger project should
> not be as hard as for others?
> A remaining issue might be a need for some facility to find cooperations
> and realize synergies -- see (1).
> Enough blah-blah. I got one email response (not posted to here) of a highly
> qualified Haskeller whom I could name two projects which might have
> interested him in his proximity, 80 miles and 75 miles away (and I do not
> have so many...). My learning is that a communication platform in this
> concern might be interesting to at least some of us. There are larger
> projects possible -- if we pick them up.
> All the best,
>     Nick
> John A. De Goes wrote:
>  It's very difficult to find information on:
>  1. How many Haskell developers are out there;
> 2. What a typical salary is for a Haskell developer;
> 3. Whether or not the skills of a typical Haskell developer scale to large
> applications (most Haskell developers are "hobby" Haskellers and have only
> written tiny to small Haskell apps);
> 4. How many shops are capable of handling Haskell development &
> maintenance.
>  These are the kinds of information one needs to make an informed decision
> about whether to introduce Haskell into the workplace.
>    Regards,
>  John A. De Goes
> N-Brain, Inc.
> The Evolution of Collaboration
>  http://www.n-brain.net    |    877-376-2724 x 101
>  On Sep 28, 2009, at 7:01 AM, Jörg Roman Rudnick wrote:
>  In the last months, I made the experience it seems difficult to find
> commercial Haskell developer teams to take responsibility for projects in
> the range of $ 10.000 - 100.000. The Industrial Haskell Group does not seem
> to be the appropriate place for this, while harvesting Haskell team at
> general market places appears to be tedious.
> I would be very interested in others' experiences, and inhowfar my opinion
> is shared that there should be a demand for such a market place, for
> developer teams as well as those sympathizing with introducing Haskell
> somewhere.
> Nick
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