[Haskell-cafe] The Lisp Curse

Daniel Patterson lists.haskell at dbp.mm.st
Thu May 19 21:17:05 CEST 2011

Correct my ignorance as I'm rather new around here, but I'm not sure if I actually think this happens that much. 

Different approaches are often put forth, which does mean that there are incompatible libraries that fill the same space for a while, but it seems that once it becomes clear what the best approach is, that becomes pretty well accepted. Are there really example of multiple libraries that use the same approach to solve the same problem that are incompatible and actively used? Right now there are a bunch of iteratee/enumerator/whatever term you want to call it libraries, but those are new ideas, and it isn't clear yet what the best approach is. 

In an open source community, there will always be multiple approaches to common problems. If as soon as one person came up with a solution, all others had to build upon that, there would be no progress, as no one would be able to try out new ideas. 

What is important is that there is visibility for packages so that people can see what else is out there and can decide if it makes the most sense to:
A. use an existing solution
B. improve an existing solution
C. start from scratch, because of wanting a fundamentally different approach.

I think hackage provides that. So what's the problem?

> Short history, for example, why do we have to have N libraries to read
> a file? can't we have just one damn good one?

The only way to get there is to have many solutions and then decide what the best one is!

Just my .02

On May 19, 2011, at 2:56 PM, Gilberto Garcia wrote:

> I think what Andrew meant is that it's not a good idea to have big
> pile of different implementations of the same library, and all trying
> to solve the very same problem.
> I see this kind of problem in the java community. It seems that
> developers have a need to create everything from scratch more than
> making existing ones better.
> Cheers
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