[Haskell] How to make Haskell more popular
Jon.Fairbairn at cl.cam.ac.uk
Fri Apr 1 05:28:53 EST 2005
1) If another language has a feature, add it to Haskell, so
that absolutely everything can be done in more than one
way. This allows people to write Haskell programmes
without going through the tiresome process of learning
2) Overload the syntax so that the Hamming distance between
syntactically valid programmes is very small
3) Allow casting of any type to any other.
2 and 3 together mean that the programmer wins the
"fight" with the compiler more often, and can get on with
the exciting business of debugging.
4) Add lots of libraries with widely different styles of
interface lacking any recognisable algebraic
properties. This makes it hard to learn the libraries, so
the programmer gets increased satisfaction when the task
is finally completed, and a programmer who understands a
given library becomes more valuable in the market.
4a) write the libraries at a low level of abstraction, using
as few sophisticated features as possible. This makes it
easier for novice programmers to modify libraries and
5) Static type checking is for wimps. Move it all to
runtime, so debugging is even more exciting. With 3, this
allows us the glorious possibility of using the same
value in different types with different meanings,
mimicking PHP's wonderful strpos etc, where the return
value zero indicates failure if it's a boolean or success
if it's an integer.
6) Use strings for abbreviated syntax, so avoiding even
syntax checking at compile time.
7) On second thoughts, all syntax checking is for
wimps. Move the rest of it to runtime too. After all,
/part/ of the programme might produce plausible output,
and we wouldn't want to miss out on that. This adds the
further exciting possiblity that end-users will get to
see Haskell syntax errors, so more of the world will hear
Jón Fairbairn Jon.Fairbairn at cl.cam.ac.uk
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