a proposal regarding libraries

Josef Svenningsson josef.svenningsson at gmail.com
Fri Mar 3 21:00:16 EST 2006

On 3/3/06, Isto Aho <isto.aho at dnainternet.net> wrote:
> What do you think of the discriminating hackers competition?

I'm sorry but I'm not aware of it.

Ok & thanks! Maybe the idea was bad. However, I was thinking
> something very much simpler than in the article not involving
> any money.  Idea was to have a "speed contents" (who does most in
> a few moments - there is no time to steal or exchange ideas), "with
> relatively easy tasks" (like some statistical distributions, tests,
> density functions found
> from elementary text books or some missing utility functions, if
> there are such etc), "with spirit to do quickly something to be
> reorganized later". But of course, if the user base is so small that
> topic would be interesting to only a couple of users, then who would
> do the reorganization or just maintenance - probably nobody.
> Isn't this situation the "egg-chicken" problem?

Hmmm. Maybe a speed contest would be a rather nice thing after all.  Having
a small contest will at least draw some programmers attention to the
problem. When the competition is over there will be at least a few libraries
that one can start working from and improve for those programmers that get
hooked by the problem. And given that the contest isn't too long or too
ambitious the amount of duplicated work and avoided communication could be
held to a minimum. Well, that would be the ideal scenario anyway. But even
though we might not so lucky as to get the ideal scenario I think it is
worth a shot. I guess I've changed my mind :-)

The other thing that I consider a barrier is the often mentioned truth
> that there are lots of other libs available in other languages and FFI.
> Somehow, this sounds like "if you need to do math, use octave, R etc,
> but not Haskell".  Why to introduce an extensive Haskell math or
> some other lib?  Feeling like I could list tons of reasons but probably
> none really strong ones :)

Yes, tell me about it. It's like we only pretend that it's nice to program
in Haskell but when it comes down to actually implementing a library nobody
wants to do it. Or is it just that people aren't interested?


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