[Haskell-cafe] Status of Haskell + Mac + GUIs & graphics

Tom Murphy amindfv at gmail.com
Wed May 18 20:25:20 CEST 2011

On 5/18/11, Donn Cave <donn at avvanta.com> wrote:
> Quoth =?iso-8859-1?Q?Jurri=EBn_Stutterheim?= <j.stutterheim at me.com>,
> ...
>> So here's my (perhaps slightly provoking) question: do we need to
>> care at all about good GUI toolkits being available? Web applications,
>> especially with an HTML 5 front-end, have become increasingly more
>> powerful. If we can also find a good, standardized way to generate
>> JS from our Haskell code, we're pretty much all set.
> That isn't so controversial - do we need to care about good GUI
> toolkits being available?  Evidently not, we can say that from the
> fact that we're still looking for GUI support on the Mac in 2011.

I'd give three reasons for disagreeing:
1. Developing a complete GUI has been a low priority up until now, but
now that other, more urgent areas of development are starting to
thrive, its time has come.
2. Yes, having essentially no complete GUI support has suited our
needs up until now, but these have been the needs of a certain type of
programmer. IF the community would like to grow, or would like to be
able to use Haskell at work, I'd say a GUI supporting the above would
be very valuable.
3. Using the web as Haskell's main method of non-command line
(graphical) deployment seems to lose two of Haskell's most powerful
features: its type safety, and its speed.
     If we use Haskell essentially as a JS abstraction layer, we lose
all type safety (in the event that anyone goes in and tinkers with the
generated JS).
     A main reason people are showing interest in FP is because of
purity, and therefore its potential speed on multicore machines. If we
just generate to JS, this is also lost. In fact, speed on single-core
machines is lost also.

Again, my 2¢,

More information about the Haskell-Cafe mailing list