[Haskell-cafe] Hugs

Augustsson, Lennart Lennart.Augustsson at sc.com
Fri Apr 15 08:09:00 UTC 2016

Very well put!

-----Original Message-----
From: Haskell-Cafe [mailto:haskell-cafe-bounces at haskell.org] On Behalf Of Doug McIlroy
Sent: 15 April 2016 03:05
To: haskell-cafe at haskell.org
Subject: Re: [Haskell-cafe] Hugs

> 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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Haskell-Cafe at haskell.org

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