The future of Haskell discussion

Bill Halchin
Sun, 16 Sep 2001 00:24:40

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<P>Jeff has hit the nail on the head .. thanks Jeff. You said eloquently&nbsp;what I was hinting at</P>
<P>or saying very implicit (because I didn't know how to say it eloquently). The "Haskell</P>
<P>library" seems to be contributions by individuals (who should be commended!!), but&nbsp;as</P>
<P>an "industrial" programmer who writes in imperative languages everyday (and sees</P>
<P>them as many times getting in the way, e.g. C++,&nbsp;and not modeling&nbsp;a particular</P>
<P>problem very elegantly!), with Haskell I would like to see a library API part of the</P>
<P>Haskell Report, i.e. a nice list of type signatures by topic, e.g. numeric. (maybe this</P>
<P>is already the situation ... I unfortunately have not had a lot of chance to write </P>
<P>Haskel code even though I like FPL's and Haskell in particular). The haskell library API</P>
<P>should be part of the Haskell standard just as the standard C library is part of the </P>
<P>ANSI C standard!</P>
<P>Regards, Bill Halchin</P>
<DIV></DIV>&gt;From: Jeffrey Palmer <JEFF@CURIOUSNETWORKS.COM>
<DIV></DIV>&gt;Subject: Re: The future of Haskell discussion 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;Date: 14 Sep 2001 17:06:49 -0500 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;On Fri, 2001-09-14 at 15:12, Mark Carroll wrote: 
<DIV></DIV>&gt; &gt; On Fri, 14 Sep 2001, Bill Halchin wrote: 
<DIV></DIV>&gt; &gt; 
<DIV></DIV>&gt; &gt; &gt; Probably this question has been brought before. Besides the Preludes, 
<DIV></DIV>&gt; &gt; &gt; why doesn't 
<DIV></DIV>&gt; &gt; &gt; 
<DIV></DIV>&gt; &gt; &gt; Haskell have libraries like Java, Squeak (Smalltalk). I found this: 
<DIV></DIV>&gt; &gt; (snip) 
<DIV></DIV>&gt; &gt; 
<DIV></DIV>&gt; &gt; I'm puzzled - it does! - see for some of 
<DIV></DIV>&gt; &gt; them. 
<DIV></DIV>&gt; &gt; 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;I think the question is more along the lines of "Why doesn't Haskell 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;come bundled with complete, useful and _supported_ libraries?" 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;For example, the Edison home page describes the library in this way: 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;"in its current state, the library is mostly a framework. That is, I 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;provide signatures, but not yet very many implementations..." 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;This is not the type of thing that your standard software engineer wants 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;to hear. Professional software developers need to be highly productive, 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;and are often unwilling to invest time learning libraries that aren't 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;part of the core language environment. However you feel about the 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;design of the Java Collections API, at least it's a supported part of 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;the language. Developers feel comfortable that any time spent learning 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;the how to use these APIs is worthwhile. 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;I felt this very recently when looking for a quality GUI framework for 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;Haskell. There appear to be many(!) libraries available, and all seem 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;to be in various states of completion. Personally, I would like to see 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;someone complete the port of the Clean library that was attempted, as 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;that library seems to have been pretty battle-tested, and there are lots 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;of good, real-world examples. 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;That, I suppose, is the key point. Whatever libraries are chosen for 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;final inclusion in the Haskell environment, they should be treated as 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;integral to the language experience. Extensive documentation and 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;examples should exist, perhaps of book length (I really liked Hudak's 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;text for this reason, and only wish that it had been written with the 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;"standard" Haskell GUI libs). Finally, any libraries should be beaten 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;upon to such an extent that there is a solid guarantee that they are 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;"safe" for production use. 
<DIV></DIV>&gt; - j 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;Jeffrey Palmer 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;Curious Networks, Inc. 
<DIV></DIV>&gt;Haskell mailing list 
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