Status of Haskell'?

Roman Cheplyaka roma at
Sat Dec 1 12:27:37 CET 2012

* Simon Peyton-Jones <simonpj at> [2012-11-30 16:36:01+0000]
> Why not?  I don't think it's laziness or selfishness; just look at how
> helpful people are on the mailing list.  Rather, I am guessing that
> it's a subconscious assessment of cost/benefit.  The cost is certainly
> significant, and (unlike a quick email response on Haskell Cafe) takes
> place over months.
> The benefit, for an individual, is harder to articulate.   GHC defines
> a de-facto standard, simply by existing, and for many practical
> purposes that is good enough.  However, GHC is (quite consciously)
> exploring stuff that may or may not ultimately turn out to be a good
> idea: it's a laboratory, not an every-detail-thought-out product.
> [Though of course we try hard to be good enough for production use.]
> So there is real merit in having a group, not too closely coupled to
> GHC, that picks off the best ideas and embodies them in a language
> standard.   But if for any one individual, GHC is "good enough", then
> the benefits of a language standard may seem distant and diffuse.
> I don't have a solution to this particular conundrum.  As many of you
> will remember, the Haskell Prime
> process<>
> was itself developed in response to a sense that making a "big
> iteration" of the language was so large a task that no one felt able
> to even begin it.  Hence the deliberately more incremental nature of
> Haskell Prime; but even this lighter-weight process is rather stuck.
> I'm sure that any solution will involve (as it did in earlier stages)
> motivated individuals who are willing to take up leadership roles in
> developing Haskell's language definition.  I'm copying this to the
> main Haskell list, in the hope of attracting volunteers!

Thanks — I think this is a good analysis of the situation.

One thing I'd like to add is that working on the standard not only
takes more effort compared to responding on the mailing list, but it
also requires a much higher level of competence.


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