[Haskell] Haskell as a disruptive technology?
rjmh at cs.chalmers.se
Mon Mar 27 09:25:17 EST 2006
Dusan Kolar wrote:
> Malcolm Wallace wrote:
>> 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.
> Well, the market is growing and not that small. ;-) Think of mobile
> phones and cars, for instance, they are "full" of embedded computers.
Mobile phones are a big market, but they are not safety critical. In
fact, you can make a phone which crashes quite often and still sell it
successfully (as I know to my cost!). Low power (==long battery life) is
probably more important for phone software. Here execution time is
strongly correlated with energy use, but things like compacting garbage
collection can actually help--you can turn off part of your memory after
a GC and save the leakage current. I think low power functional
programming could be very interesting, but we certainly have no good
story on this point at the moment.
Car components are commodities and sold under extreme price pressure.
Because volumes are high, the price per unit is all that matters, and
there is typically no way to charge for software at all--it's assumed
that the subcontractor develops it as part of the development cost of
the component. Maybe that could give Haskell an advantage--lower
software development costs--as long as the hardware doesn't need to cost
a penny more. But again, with hard real time constraints, this doesn't
feel like a natural market for Haskell in its current state.
I think Paul asked just the right question--but I wonder if we'll see
the answer on this list? After all, anyone with a really *good* answer
stands to make a lot of money...
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