[Haskell-cafe] Announcing the Haskell Error Index

Douglas McIlroy douglas.mcilroy at dartmouth.edu
Fri Oct 21 13:53:52 UTC 2022

(comment mostly for entertainment)

The announcement of the Haskell error index conjured memories of the
Fortran I stop book. On an error, the original Fortran compiler
executed a halt instruction. To find the cause, one would read the
memory address of the halt from the console lights and manually look
the address up in the stop book, a thick 11"x17" computer printout.

In the Haskell error index, the codes are permanent identifiers for
evolving diagnostic explanations. In contrast, Fortran stop numbers
varied with compiler version, while the explanations were essentially
static. The stop book was indispensable, but far from user-friendly.
If reasonably curated, the error index could be a big advance in the
latter respect.

Doug McIlroy

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