proposal for moving forward

Ravi Nanavati ravi at
Thu Feb 16 15:21:27 EST 2006

Isaac Jones wrote:
> My intuition (and a proposal) is that our job will be to:
>  1. conservatively standardize some of the most robust extensions,
>  2. clean up the class hierarchies and some libraries,
>  3. solve the MPTC dilemma (see above), and
>  4. pick one other "big idea" such as records or bang patterns.
> Thoughts?

Given the amount of excitement and interest in new extensions (and in 
doing more than a conservative standard), I see a fifth goal: come up 
with some way of helping users and implementers cope with the complexity 
of lots of different (and sometimes conflicting) extensions.

Some possibilities I see here are:
(a) some standard, documented way for groups to come together to "bless" 
a widely-used extension (and, consequently, a way for people to find out 
what the blessed extensions are)
(b) a way for programs to test what extensions are provided by their 
implementation (so users know what specific things a program depends on 
- rather than just saying you need some specific implementation)
(c) a way for programs to conditionally configure themselves based on 
what extensions are available - so it is easier to write portable 
programs and libraries that use extensions beyond Haskell'

The long-run hope I would have is that this sort of infrastructure might 
make the  next standardization round easier - it will be more 
immediately obvious which extensions exist and where they belong in the 

  - Ravi

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