wren ng thornton
wren at freegeek.org
Tue May 21 00:49:28 CEST 2013
On 5/19/13 7:25 PM, Anthony Cowley wrote:
> I think this issue may be too big to rely on mailing list +1s. Is there any precedent for having a web-based poll of some sort? We often get more engagement in debates on IRC and /r/haskell than the mailing list, so let's not let the choice of forum drive the result.
Personally, I'm all for blessing Foldable/Traversable as "built-in" and
getting rid of the monomorphic legacy. But then, I'm also all for making
Applicative a superclass of Monad, not having all the mtl modules
re-export everything from Control.Monad, etc. However, all of these
issues have a long history of discord, and that discord cannot be
resolved on this list IMO.
I'm generally a staunch advocate of backward compatibility. However,
these issues are ones where we've known the right answer for a long time
(unlike refactoring the numeric type class hierarchy), and we've simply
been unwilling to burn bridges in order to do the right thing. I love
Haskell, and I respect the haskell' committee, but I think it's time to
just burn it all down.
Let us not forget the original reasons for many of these warts. Some of
them stem from ignorance or oversight (superclasses of Monad); others
stem from the desire to help newcomers (monomorphism); and others stem
from circularities in the language definition (the existence of the
Prelude). As Haskell has developed, we have learned more ---therefore we
should not embrace prior ignorance---, our standard idioms have evolved
---therefore clinging to list-monomorphism *causes* confusion rather
than alleviating it---, and we've tried to remove much of the
circularity involved in desugaring the various built-in notations for
lists, arithmetic sequences, do-notation, etc.
With all that has changed in the last 15 years, I think it's high time
to fork Haskell, tear off all the bandaids, and begin afresh. This won't
solve all the problems, of course. We will still despair of the numeric
hierarchy; we will still despair of the partial functions demanded by
the Haskell spec; we will still worry about how to resolve things like
MPTCs, type families, and all that. But at least we can finally put
these particular ghosts to rest. Alas, to fork the language is to split
the community. And while I advocate such drastic measures, they are
measures which cannot be resolved either on this list or by the
(intentionally conservative) haskell' committee.
More information about the Libraries