[Haskell-cafe] imports at bottom

Doug McIlroy doug at cs.dartmouth.edu
Wed Apr 23 01:05:56 UTC 2014

> A language pragma could be used to select between top imports or bottom
> imports (can't use both).
> What do you think?

Warning. This one touches a personal hot button, mostly off topic.

To my mind, language pragmas are blemishes. Reasonable, assuredly, to
announce that code uses some nonstandard feature of a compiler, but
generally unreasonable as an integral part of the language definition.

As originally promulgated for ALGOL, pragmas had no effect on the
meaning of a program or its conformance to the standard, though
they could, for example, affect the efficiency of object code.
Language pragmas stray far from this intent.

As unstable features, often incompletely described (just what 
does FlexibleInstances permit, anyway?), language pragmas might 
well be banned from the Haskell Platform.

Doug McIlroy

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