[Haskell] on starting Haskell-Edu, a new education-related Haskell-related mailing list

Simon Marlow marlowsd at gmail.com
Fri Jul 4 05:40:17 EDT 2008

Manuel M T Chakravarty wrote:
> Benjamin L. Russell:
>> I am interested in starting a new mailing list on Haskell.org, aimed 
>> mainly at liberal arts teachers and elementary-level learners of 
>> Haskell, called "Haskell-Edu: The Haskell Educational Mailing List."  
>> This new mailing list would be guided by the principle that Haskell is 
>> useful not just in research, but also in teaching programming as part 
>> of a liberal arts education, on a par with Scheme.  When I suggested 
>> the idea of this mailing list to Simon Marlow, the Haskell.org mailing 
>> list administrator, he suggested that I post this idea on The Haskell 
>> Mailing List, so I am posting it here to ask for feedback.
>> The main purposes of this new (proposed) mailing list would be as 
>> follows:
>> 1) To provide a primarily non-research-oriented discussion forum to 
>> serve the needs of users wishing to focus on the uses of Haskell in 
>> education, such as in high school and in introductory computer science 
>> college courses, as opposed to in research.
>> 2) To provide a primarily non-research-oriented discussion forum to 
>> serve the needs of non-computer-science students of Haskell who wish 
>> to focus on Haskell as a language for learning programming as part of 
>> a well-rounded a liberal arts education, as opposed to an 
>> engineering/mathematics/science-oriented education.
> The Haskell community seems to be growing quickly and clearly becomes 
> more diverse.  So, a mailing list aimed at users with less experience 
> and/or a non-computing, non-math background makes sense to me.
> Whether you will be able to gather a critical mass of knowledgeable 
> people who are happy to answer questions on the list is hard to answer 
> without trying your idea.  But mailing lists are cheap.  So, I'd say, 
> let's give it a try and see whether it works.  In any case, it'd be 
> important to describe the purpose of the list at
>   http://www.haskell.org/haskellwiki/Mailing_lists
> properly to make clear which discussions should go to which list.

My main concern here is that the remit for the new list is not clear 
enough.  I can see a potential need for two lists:

   * a list for discussion related to teaching Haskell;

   * a list devoted to those learning Haskell, with a less research-
     oriented feel than haskell-cafe.

it's not obvious to me that both of those needs should be served by a 
single list.  I believe it's important that the mailing lists served by 
haskell.org should have clear non-overlapping topics.

So I suggest that we add haskell-edu for the purposes of discussing the use 
and teaching of Haskell in education.  For the second point above, I'd be 
inclined not to add a new list, but I don't feel that strongly - if there's 
a concensus in favour of adding haskell-beginners (for example), that would 
be fine.


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