[Haskell] Haskell as a disruptive technology?

Jan-Willem Maessen jmaessen at alum.mit.edu
Wed Mar 29 21:40:32 EST 2006

On Mar 29, 2006, at 4:28 PM, Paul Johnson wrote:
> ...
> 2: Sun and Microsoft bring out support for STM in Java and C#  
> respectively.  The trade press editorialize on this wonderful new  
> technology.  Haskell may get a mention as the original prototype,  
> "but now its ready for mainstream use".

I had to chuckle at this one in particular, since the implementation  
of transactions in Haskell was based on experiences with prototype  
software TM in Java and C#!  In truth, Haskell adds a few things to  
the mix that make STM dramatically better.  Most important are STM  
and STRef---it's no longer possible to accidentally commingle  
transactional and non-transactional access to the same storage, or to  
do I/O in the middle of a transaction by mistake.  Without Haskell's  
support for monadic typing this would have required wholesale  
reworking of the language implementation.  That's the situation most  
other languages find themselves in.

As long as we keep discovering new techniques that fit within the  
monadic box, Haskell will remain ahead of mainstream languages here.

-Jan-Willem Maessen

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