[Haskell-cafe] Re: Rewriting a famous library and using the same name: pros and consf

Jason Dagit dagit at codersbase.com
Tue Jun 8 22:11:14 EDT 2010

On Tue, Jun 8, 2010 at 6:28 PM, John Lato <jwlato at gmail.com> wrote:

> > From: Stephen Tetley <stephen.tetley at gmail.com>
> >
> > Hello all
> >
> > While new libraries develop at pace, their documentation rarely does;
> > so I'd have to disagree with John's claim that re-naming libraries
> > makes development by new users harder. I'd argue that having tutorials
> > not work for later revisions is more confusing than having various
> > packages doing the same thing. I'd also contend that beginners are
> > better off lagging behind the cutting edge and using Parsec 2,
> > QuickCheck 1, Haskore-vintage, as the earlier version all have
> > comprehensive documentation - Parsec 2 and Haskore have extensive
> > manual/tutorials, QuickCheck 1 was small enough that the original
> > QuickCheck paper covered its use.
> Lagging behind the cutting edge is one thing, but learning
> possibly-deprecated or soon-to-be-obsolete interfaces is another.  I
> would contend that in each case the intention is for the earlier
> version to be superseded because of significant (hopefully
> user-driven) benefits provided by the new design.  Now beginners are
> in the very frustrating situation of having invested time with a
> codebase that they learn is obsolete.  Depending on the significance
> of the changes, some amount of that knowledge can be carried forward,
> but it's a disheartening position to be in and I would expect a few
> could give up entirely at that point.  I think that's worse than
> floundering around with no documentation at all.
> Of course a better solution is for maintainers to update their manuals!

Or write translator tools for upgrading to the new API :)  Pipe dream?

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