Haskell: Batteries Included

Duncan Coutts, Isaac Potoczny-Jones and I have just finished a short proposal for this year’s Haskell Symposium for a standard library platform for Haskell. Beyond just the core libraries, this would provide a complete, stable base for the majority of Haskell development, and a straightforward task for distros to support Haskell – just provide the Haskell Platform.

The platform well and truly subsumes the current core and extra libraries, and provide all the other nice libraries from Hackage, for networking, databases, data and control structures, guis, XML, graphics and so on. Haskell with batteries included, on every machine.

The plan is to have this all in place by the Haskell Symposium, so the main challenge is to automate the production of the library quality assurance. By September we hope to have at least one or two distros fully supporting the platform (there are already tools to generate distro native packages for at Arch, Gentoo, Fedora and Debian, so that task is easy). Who knows, with any luck we may see Haskell on a few distros, out of the box.

What do you think? Is the idea of a stable, comprehensive library suite for Haskell, widely available, an attractive proposition as a developer?

On a related note, if you’re a developer interested in FP, you might consider attending the Developer Tracks on Functional Programming, alongside the Commercial Users of FP workshop at ICFP this year, in Vancouver. Lots of practical talks on Haskell and Erlang for building commerical systems.

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