[Haskell-cafe] an idea for modifiyng data/newtype syntax: use `::=` instead of `=`

Sven Panne svenpanne at gmail.com
Sat Aug 8 23:25:59 UTC 2015

2015-08-09 1:01 GMT+02:00 Hilco Wijbenga <hilco.wijbenga at gmail.com>:

> On 8 August 2015 at 14:46, Brandon Allbery <allbery.b at gmail.com> wrote:
> [...] Everybody is talking about tiny language tweaks that (hopefully) make
> the language better. If the agreement is that, yes, it does make the
> language better than the blanket counter argument "it breaks existing
> code" should not stop progress. If you don't make improvements now
> because of existing code then tomorrow there will be more existing
> code and thus even more inertia.

This is flawed reasoning, ignoring basically all reality in business,
larger projects, legacy projects etc.: Of course languages should evolve,
but there is always a cost associated with it, and this should outweigh the
disadvantages. And I can't see this happening here at all: We are talking
about perhaps 5min of confusion (if at all) when starting Haskell compared
to millions (billions?) of existing LOC perhaps needing a change (or not,
who knows?), books (which can't be updated by something like 'gofix'),
brains of people using Haskell for over a decade etc.

Programming languages are just like natural languages: Even if they are
often irregular, they form a common ground for communication and
understanding each other. Do we need irregular verbs? No. But try to take
them away from native speakers... :-) Are irregular verbs really a problem?
No. When you are fluent in a language you don't even think about them
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mail.haskell.org/pipermail/haskell-cafe/attachments/20150809/f8eaccff/attachment.html>

More information about the Haskell-Cafe mailing list