[Haskell-cafe] Hugs

Doug McIlroy doug at cs.dartmouth.edu
Fri Apr 15 02:05:12 UTC 2016

> I really do think that pointing students to an unmaintained language
> implementation (regardless of the pedagogical reasons) has negative
> consequences for the functional programming community as a whole.

If it works, maintenance doesn't matter. So, I assume the real concern
is that Hugs isn't evolving. To put it in the worst light, this may be
read as a complaint that Hugs doesn't keep up with some party line. I
would hate to think that the "community as a whole" is that conformist.

The disdain for "pedagogical reasons" brushes aside an implicit wakeup
call to the community. Hugs is attractive because it is well described
and bounded, whereas Haskell realized in GHC lacks a coherent description
and presents a myriad of often inscrutable faces. To the extent that
the community is defined by such an artifact, it has turned away from
educators, not vice versa. Learning how to wrangle a marvelous, but
cantankerous, beast should not be confounded with initiation to the
insights of functional programming.

Doug McIlroy

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