[Haskell-cafe] [Haskell] GHC is a monopoly compiler

Tom Murphy amindfv at gmail.com
Mon Sep 26 22:53:10 UTC 2016

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On Tue, Sep 27, 2016 at 7:48 AM, Tony Day <tonyday567 at gmail.com> wrote:

> I would argue that the adventure that is GHC is a natural monopoly - an
> example of collaboration trumping competition.  Certainly the results speak
> for themselves, and I personally find it the most satisfying, the only sane
> way to practice the craft of coding.  So, as an enthusiastic user of a
> monopolistic service (the best power to weight ratio I could find to
> misquote Kmett), I would like to suggest to the community that we have a
> respectful discussion on the implications of natural monopolies.
> Monopolies have their problems.  They create power imbalances that need
> active management to control.  A community should be particularly wary of
> monopolies attempting to vertically integrate up the production chain into
> areas where a monopoly makes less sense.  I would call the whole cabal
> versus stack drama a text-book case of over-reach. Everyone agrees stack
> operates at a higher level of abstraction then cabal, on top of it is
> accurate.  Cabal shouldn't even be allowed to compete above it's current
> abstraction point.
> Haddock is another example of being blessed by ghc.  It hits a corner-case
> of perfection for the "I'm a hackage library" monopoly.  But the outside
> world of documentation, editing, rendering and conversion is invisible to
> this monopolistic use case. We are forced to learn and use haddock, and,
> for those of us with documentation needs outside hackage, the resultant
> workflow is cruel and unusual.
> GHC is a great compiler, but should actively be discouraged from
> monopolizing the associated tooling and documentation chains.  There is
> evidence of healthy open-source competition and significant gains to be
> had, and Haskell runs the risk of missing out.
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