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

Claus Reinke claus.reinke at talk21.com
Mon Jul 14 09:28:53 EDT 2008

>>   beginners at haskell.org (I like the plural better too, thanks Dan)

That might be useable, but is likely to suffer from the variety of
Haskell beginner backgrounds and the resulting variety of initial
interests (topics that got them interested in Haskell, or that would
help them to get up to speed with Haskell):

- abstract maths: categorical connections 
- numeric maths: optimizations/libraries/profiling/..
- logic: Curry-Howard/advanced types
- web programming: database libraries/cgi/html/xml/..
- sml/ocaml: how do I do my higher-order functors and 
    side-effects in Haskell?
- biocomputing: how do I do high-volume data harvesting
    efficiently in Haskell?
- etc, etc

If you throw all Haskell beginners into a single list, won't you
end up with, well, haskell-cafe@? 

IIRC, the subject of this thread was about a specific group of 
Haskell beginners and their projected needs, in particular, that
they might find beginning easier if isolated from the buzz of
haskell-cafe@, in a community of similar interests, different
from those of other Haskell beginners.

Using topics to focus interests within a single haskell-cafe
would at least have a chance of getting there (the one drawback:
I can't think of a way to ensure that beginner's emails have a
[newbie] keyword, so they might not see their own mails),
and would make the helpful subscribers of said list available
for answers (they might even be able not to mention
unsafePerformIO, higher-order type class dodomorphisms,
and the like in a [newbie] thread?-).

You could, of course, try beginners@, and whenever someone 
gets no answers there, direct them to try haskell-cafe at . But
would you want to force the threads in beginners@ to be
interest-independent, to avoid scaring other beginners with
specialist discussions?

>>   help at haskell.org
>>   questions at haskell.org

These seem misleading - noone is promising help/answers on that
list, and many subscribers are happy to provide both on other lists.

> Personally, I think that there are problems with all three names,
> though:
> Since this new list is about beginner issues for Haskell, a functional
> programming language, ideally, the name should simultaneously be
> short, easy to remember, academic, suggest general beginner issues,
> and, if possible, suggest a sense of community.  The best alternatives
> that I have come up with are the following:

IMHO, all of this is seriously starting to move in wrong directions.

What is needed is a discussion of list charter. The only thing I've
seen was "Discussion about beginner questions and issues in
teaching Haskell", with the implicit assumption that those beginners
are non-academic students, but in some form of education/school.

If that is the target, with the idea that teachers can point their
students someplace suitable, and students/teachers can meet
others in the same boat, then edu at haskell or school at haskell 
might work.


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