[Haskell-cafe] who's in charge?

Ben Millwood haskell at benmachine.co.uk
Fri Oct 29 08:31:16 EDT 2010

On Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 5:06 AM, Steve Severance <steve at medwizard.net> wrote:
> whenever I here any open source community
> (yeah...everyone not just haskell) tell beginners to contribute a
> package I always scratch my head with a little bit of wonder. Would
> you really want a package that someone like me who is still trying to
> figure out how to utilize haskell's features would build? Do you want
> my outrageous non-use of the Monads that haskell offers?

Can I just take up this point and say, yes I do. It's much easier to
fix a bad library than write a good one :P

Besides, I'd think that often what Haskell developers lack is time
more than skill - there are plenty of tasks that could be done without
advanced knowledge of deep abstractions, if only someone could put
aside a few weekends for them. For example, writing low-level FFI
bindings is almost mechanical (i.e. requires basically no actual
ingenuity) with the right tools, but it takes time and effort, so
libraries go unbound.

In short, you do not need a PhD to write a decent and useful library!
Just open a github and give out commit access like confetti and
everything will be fine :)

I also think that it's a good idea to review Haskell packages more
thoroughly, but I think shiny-new-hackage is going to help a little in
that regard with reverse dependencies prominently visible on package
pages. I also think that it should be convention to link every hackage
package with a page on the wiki for discussion (perhaps creating a new
namespace in mediawiki for this purpose). This would be as simple as
adding an autogenerated link to hackage's template. This is not a new
idea, but it's yet to be popularised, and I think it needs backing
from Hackage itself to do that.

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