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

Benjamin L.Russell DekuDekuplex at Yahoo.com
Fri Jul 11 08:40:31 EDT 2008

Please allow me to thank everybody for their feedback.

So far, including the three private messages I have received, there
have been the following responses on creating a new mailing list for

Haskell-Beginner (or Haskell-Edu for beginners):
  8 votes

Haskell-Edu (for teaching):
  2 votes

No new mailing lists:
  1 vote


  1 vote

So, 8/12 of the responses have been in favor of creating some kind of
new mailing list for education, with 8/10 of those being in favor of
creating a new list for beginners, and 2/10 of those being in favor of
creating a new list for teachers.  Other than that, 1/12 of the votes
has been in favor of not creating a new list unless "the perceived
problem is the high-brow stuff scaring newbies off," and 1/12 of the
votes has been undecided.

It seems that the consensus is in favor of creating some kind of new
list for beginners, with a less urgent possibility of creating another
new list for teachers.

I would be happy to spend the time to administer the new mailing list
if that is acceptable.

The only issue is the name of the new list, though:  it would seem a
better idea to keep the name mnemonic and short, with the suffix
following "Haskell-" within three or four characters.  Typing
"haskell-beginner at haskell.org" seems a bit of a hassle;
"haskell-edu at haskell.org" seems much better.

The only possible problem is that it would then make later creating a
second list just for teachers more difficult, but this seems rather
unlikely at the moment.  Also, I doubt that a teachers-only list would
be able to gather enough critical mass to stay alive, because then
only teachers would participate.  I don't see why teachers wouldn't be
able to participate together with students in consulting each other as
to what topics to offer in beginner courses.

Therefore, I would suggest the following new mailing list.  To save
your time, may I suggest the following entries for the fields at
"Create a haskell.org Mailing List"

Name of List:  Haskell-Edu

Initial list owner address:  DekuDekuplex at Yahoo.com

Auto-generate initial list password?:  Yes

Should new members be quarantined before they are allowed to post
unmoderated to this list?  No

Initial list of supported languages.  English
(If possible, Japanese and French also, since I know several members
of a local Haskell Category Theory user group in Tokyo who could also
participate in such a list, and know the name of at least one
professor in France who occasionally contributes to Haskell-related
topics.  Other relevant languages could also be welcome.)

Send "list created" email to list owner?  Yes

In addition, for the "List" and "Description" columns at "haskell.org
mailing lists - Admin Links", the following entries might be

List:  Haskell-Edu
Description:  Discussion about beginner questions and issues in
teaching Haskell

What do you think, Simon?

-- Benjamin L. Russell

On Tue, 08 Jul 2008 15:38:34 -0400, Paul Hudak <paul.hudak at yale.edu>

>Simon Marlow wrote:
>> 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.
>> Cheers,
>>     Simon
>Using Simon's names, I think that there is a greater need for 
>haskell-beginners than for haskell-edu.  Despite the friendly people on 
>haskell-cafe, it is very intimidating, and very busy (sadly, I've mostly 
>stopped reading it for the latter reason).  I don't think that 
>haskell-cafe serves well at all as a forum for beginners, whereas it 
>might serve just fine as a forum for instructors.
>In any case, these are two distinct purposes, and I agree with Simon 
>that it's probably unwise to have a single mailing list for both.  I 
>would vote for starting a haskell-beginners list and see how it goes.  I 
>think that a decent number of experienced people will chip in to answer 
>questions (they don't have to be experts -- just good at explaining 
>things), and in my experience beginners like to help fellow beginners -- 
>i.e. it will sustain itself.
>I would also be interested in a haskell-edu list, but as I said before I 
>don't think the demand for it is as great as that for haskell-beginners.
>By the way, the haskell-art mailing list is not very active, but it has 
>served a useful role.  I wonder if it would help to have a description 
>of it (and any new lists that we create) to the descriptions at:
>    -Paul Hudak

More information about the Haskell mailing list