[Haskell-cafe] Re: Why the Prelude must die

Arthur van Leeuwen arthurvl at cs.uu.nl
Tue Mar 27 16:00:19 EDT 2007

On 27-mrt-2007, at 20:17, Nicolas Frisby wrote:

> Gut feeling: the quick'n dirty script case occurs far less than the
> whole module case. Thus I think the benefit of automatically importing
> the Prelude if the module declaration is omitted should not happen:
> the Principle of Least Surprise out-weighs the small benefit to a rare
> case.

In my experience quick'n'dirty scripts tend to end up as full-blown  
later on in their life. This, to me, is a strong indication to make  
the prelude explicit. Furthermore, the arguments against explicit  
seem to be easier teaching and shorter code, as one needs much of the
Prelude almost everywhere. However, Java seems to offer a reasonable
datapoint in this argument: almost everything in the language needs
to be explicitly imported, but for java.lang. Ofcourse, java.lang is  
annoyingly big... so a good example it is not.

> Regarding type variable naming, a few of my more hardware minded
> friends I've asked to try Haskell often tease me about the opaque type
> variable names in the Prelude--it seems greater consideration of type
> variable names in the Prelude might behoove new users.

Good point. It would also make the Prelude sources (and Haddock docs)
*much* easier to understand.

Doei, Arthur.


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