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

Benjamin L.Russell DekuDekuplex at Yahoo.com
Tue Jul 15 04:49:41 EDT 2008

On Tue, 15 Jul 2008 08:24:44 +0100, "Claus Reinke"
<claus.reinke at talk21.com> wrote:

>>>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.
>> How about the following mailing list description?
>> "Discussion about beginner issues in learning Haskell"
>> Would this be suitable?
>It differs from/is more general than your original interests/aims:
>    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 primary audience of this new mailing list would be [educators and]
>    students in a liberal arts curriculum who are interested in studying Haskell 
>    for studying functional programming. 
>but whether that is a good thing or not, I couldn't say. I was merely
>suggesting that thinking in more detail about the charter and possible
>users of that list might help you see whether it is likely to serve your
>interests, or serve other needs in the community. I had the feeling 
>that, while most posters were positive about a new list/forum, they
>actually had quite different ideas regarding the purpose/target audience
>for that list, each assuming that this list would be "their" list. Names 
>can follow once the purpose is clear.

In that case, how about the following, more detailed charter:

"Beginner-level discussion about primarily non-research-oriented
topics serving the needs of non-computer-science students of Haskell
wishing to focus on Haskell as a language for learning programming as
part of a well-rounded liberal arts education"

Although admittedly rather long-winded, this charter is more detailed,
and better elucidates the purpose of the list.

>> The overall reasoning by users against that name was that it was not
>> suitable because it confused teaching and learning, without clearly
>> separating the two issues.  Would you have an argument that I could
>> use to refute this theory?
>"There is no teaching, only contexts for learning"?-) The argument
>was that lists for those engaged in learning and those engaged in 
>providing suitable learning contexts should be separate, not that
>edu@ couldn't be used as a name for either list (although it might
>not be specific enough for (2), and too specific for your new

That's what I thought, too, until I got the following response to the
contrary from a reader in private e-mail:

> Not sure if another list is a good idea or not, but if it is a good
> idea, it should be beginner focused.
> >  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.
> haskell-learn at haskell.org ?
> haskell-edu just seems to say the wrong thing, for the sole reason
> that it's short, which seems like a bad idea.

Until I received this message, I was originally interested in
haskell-edu at haskell.org, because I felt that "haskell-edu" suggested a
discussion forum for both beginner-level students and non-research
educators of Haskell, where non-research-related beginner-level
questions would be encouraged.  However, some other readers felt that
this scope would be too broad, insufficiently beginner-focused,
potentially educator-focused, and that it could potentially conflict
with that of Haskell-Cafe (despite the fact that Haskell-Cafe is de
facto a research-oriented discussion forum).

So then, after numerous tosses and turns and helpful suggestions, I
agreed to the alternative haskell-beginners at haskell.org.  If you have
a sufficiently convincing and overriding argument for the original
haskell-edu at haskell.org name, by all means, please let us know!

-- Benjamin L. Russell

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