[Haskell-cafe] The Lisp Curse
andrewcoppin at btinternet.com
Sat May 21 11:05:48 CEST 2011
On 19/05/2011 11:00 PM, Daniel Peebles wrote:
> I agree that from an end-user's perspective it isn't always a clear win,
> but I do think that having a bunch of libraries (even ones that do the
> same thing) an indicator of a healthy, active, and enthusiastic
I won't argue with that. ;-)
> Sure, it's decentralized and people will often duplicate
> effort, but different variations on the same idea can also help explore
> the design space and will reveal to everyone interested what works and
> what doesn't.
Yeah, as some others have said, it depends on the problem domain. For
some things, it's really not clear what the correct abstractions are
yet, and there's still a lot of design space to explore. (I might pick
at random, say, Functional Reactive Programming. As best as I can tell,
several people have ideas, but there's no clear "best way" of doing this
yet. We're still experimenting.) For stuff like that, it's useful to
have lots of people trying different stuff.
> But yeah, if you want to do X and you encounter 15 libraries that do X
> and can't find a clear consensus on what's best, I can understand why
> that might be frustrating.
Moreover, there can be network effects involved. A while back somebody
from Google wrote that everybody agrees that String is too slow for
high-performance I/O, but each library that involves high-performance
I/O tends to end up using a different text representation, which rather
impedes compatibility between them.
> I don't think there's really a clear solution
> to that though, other than gently encouraging collaboration and scoping
> out of existing work before starting new work. But people generally hate
> working with other people's code, so I doubt that'll have much of an
> effect :)
Yeah, I'm not going to present I have a solution. I merely wanted to
point out that it's a problem which does exist. Some of the other folks
in this thread seem to be coming up with useful ideas though.
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