Meta-point: backward compatibility

Chris Smith cdsmith at
Wed Apr 23 14:16:35 EDT 2008

There appears to be some question as to the backward compatibility goals 
of Haskell'.  Perhaps it's worth bringing out into the open.

>From conversations I've had and things I've read, I've always gathered 
that the main goal of Haskell' is to address the slightly embarrassing 
fact that practically no one actually writes code in Haskell, if by 
Haskell we mean the most recent completed language specification.  This 
obviously argues strongly for a high degree of backward compatibility.

On the other hand, I am assuming everyone agrees that we don't want to 
replicate Java, which (in my view, anyway) is rapidly becoming obsolete 
because of an eagerness to make the language complex, inconsistent, and 
generally outright flawed in order to avoid even the most unlikely of 
broken code.


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