String != [Char]

Christian Siefkes christian at
Fri Mar 23 14:33:46 CET 2012

On 03/23/2012 02:13 PM, ARJANEN Loïc Jean David wrote:
> 2012/3/22 Greg Weber <greg at>:
> But now we have at least two tasks to do before we can put up the
> proposal: define what operations should be supported by String and
> should we apply this proposal in the next batch. Given that this
> proposal will break many codebases (we shouldn't hope to apply all of
> list's syntax to this string type) should we apply it alone or wait
> until we have more other codebase-breakers to apply ?

I very much hope that the Haskell committee will never ever accept a
proposal that "will break many codebases"! That's what ruined Perl 6 und
Python 3, and quite unnecessarily so.

Even if I a future Haskell standard defines String as something that doesn't
have to be implemented as a list of Char, it still would have to behave as
if it was [Char] for most practical purposes (except performance-wise, of
course!). That's necessary for compatibility. Or String could just be
complemented with an additional standardized Text type, as Greg suggested.

Best regards

|------- Dr. Christian Siefkes ------- christian at -------
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I won't.
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