[Haskell] Haskell as a disruptive technology?

Malcolm Wallace Malcolm.Wallace at cs.york.ac.uk
Mon Mar 27 08:48:56 EST 2006

Paul Johnson <paul at cogito.org.uk> wrote:

> Is there a market that is poorly served by the incumbent languages for
> which Haskell would be an absolute godsend?

Yes.  Safety critical systems, encompassing everything from avionics to
railway signalling equipment, to medical devices.  These markets are
relatively small / low-volume, with needs for high assurance, and better
development times.

However, despite these appealing characteristics, I would say Haskell is
still currently unsuitable for those areas.

  * These tend to be embedded systems, with daunting memory, speed, and
    power-consumption limits.
  * Analysing and guaranteeing performance characteristics (time,
    memory) is something we still can't do well with Haskell.  

Note, this is not a question of raw speed, it is a question of hard
guarantees to meet deadlines.  In this field, a slow implementation that
provably meets a deadline of 2ms is better than a fast implementation
that claims a cycle time of .02ms, but cannot be shown to be


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