HP 2012.4.0.0 -- Call for Proposals

Simon Peyton-Jones simonpj at microsoft.com
Wed Aug 29 09:59:41 CEST 2012

| > *         And primitive is a Terrible Name for a package.  Really
| unacceptably bad.
| Hmm, I'm not sure I agree :-)
| Could you please explain why it's so terrible? 
| I would really find it useful to have agreed upon guidelines on what
| constitutes a Terrible Name so that I can try to avoid picking one in
| the future.

Firstly, this is a matter for the libraries list and the Haskell Platform team. Just because I think it's a bad name doesn't mean that it *is*.  GHC is happy to go with whatever the HP team decide; we'd just like it to be a conscious decision.  Making it conscious was the point of our message.

Why do I think it's a poor name?  Because "primitive" conveys no information to me about its actual content except that it's, well, somehow primitive.  "ghc-prim" isn't much better, but at least it declares that it's a GHC internal thing and no one else need bother with it.  Likewise we have "integer-simple" and "integer-gmp", which say something about their content.

So the guideline is: convey as much information as possible in the package name.

Names like "basic-array" or "basic-vector" would convey a lot more information.

Still, if HP team are happy with "primitive" (and changing it does have costs), then so be it.

| It is actually for end users rather than for people doing vector stuff
| which is why it's a separate package. So I wouldn't want to do this.

Aha!  Clearly I had misunderstood -- the name didn't sound end-user like to me!

| > *         Absorb it into the vector package, which is currently its
| only client (we think).
| Definitely not this. I had what I consider good reasons for making it a
| separate package when I implemented it.

Great. Perhaps it would help to articulate those reasons?  Even in the cabal file? Being explicitly told the cohesive unity in the mind of the package author, is really really useful.

I'm not disputing that it's a useful package, or a well designed one. I just want the HP team to explicitly consider, bless it, and suggest changes if they think they are necessary.


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