Leaving Haskell Behind

This page summarizes the projects mentioned and recommended in the original post on news.ycombinator.com

Our great sponsors
  • Onboard AI - Learn any GitHub repo in 59 seconds
  • InfluxDB - Collect and Analyze Billions of Data Points in Real Time
  • SaaSHub - Software Alternatives and Reviews
  • hython

    Haskell-powered Python 3 interpreter

    This really resonates with me.

    I’ve been using it in a decidedly industrial application for about 1.5 years now. I had some fairly significant experience with it prior (https://github.com/mattgreen/hython).

    For the first time in a long time (20 years experience) I’ve needed to learn a significant amount of things. It’s a combo of the domain and the language. It’s rather exhilarating, and also exhausting. Could also be a lot to bite off on with a busy home life too.

    Regardless, the language is brilliant. My manager exhorts me to generally write in a top-down manner a lot because Haskell’s flexibility really conveys dev intent well, so think hard about how it should read, and start from there. This is a huge mindset shift from most langs, where you can feel your brain shut off to save cycles as you type “function” over and over. It really feels like it is meant to be write-friendly. Point-free functions are wonderfully terse to write. I joke that TH is my favorite language: a type-checked macro language that lets me write almost anything I want.

    And there’s the rub: even with controlled effects via monads, the syntax is still hard for me to scan and read. I don’t know if this comes eventually or what, but this feels like a function of how dense a line could be. I miss early return dearly, and understand why it isn’t a thing (except if you have a MonadZero at hand) but I know it’s a syntactic transformation that won’t make it in. I really miss the amazing Rust LSP. Haskell’s recently lost the ability to flesh out pattern matches due to Haskell internals shifting with 9.x. I still hate and screw up stacking monads. Compile times can be brutal, esp if you hit the lens library.

    I really think the community is one of the strongest group of programmers I’ve already seen. I don’t want to belabor this and dwell on the big brain memes, it’s more that they think hard on this stuff and actually push forward, vs just telling each other that web frameworks are rocket science and it’s impossible to do better than what it exists.

    Ultimately, Haskell fits like a glove for our domain of program analysis. Beyond that, I’d still be a bit wary. I’m still thirsty for a PL that is essentially OCaml but with a better syntax. But that’s just me.

  • stackage

    Stable Haskell package sets: vetted consistent packages from Hackage

    > That is fine, as far as it goes, but obviously this will, at some point, be at odds with the interests of programmers looking to use Haskell as a practical, stable tool.

    That's what Stackage is.

    Stackage provides consistent sets of Haskell packages, known to build together and pass their tests before becoming Stackage Nightly snapshots and LTS (Long Term Support) releases. [1]

    Java will never get this.

    [1] https://www.stackage.org/

  • Onboard AI

    Learn any GitHub repo in 59 seconds. Onboard AI learns any GitHub repo in minutes and lets you chat with it to locate functionality, understand different parts, and generate new code. Use it for free at www.getonboard.dev.

  • I went to the same meetup (ZuriHac), and arrived at the opposite conclusion.

    I gave a lightning talk there on how the Haskell job market has been growing steadily since 2008 [1] [2].

    The GHC bug tracker is full of new people filing bugs from production environments.

    Consultancy blogs such as [3] regularly show industry-sponsored improvements to GHC, which was much more infrequent 10 years ago.

    A this year's ZuriHac, around 50% of attendees were new to Haskell / had never visited ZuriHac before (this was an audience question).

    In the past, there were a few well-known companies that used Haskell, in specific niches. Today, the big niches are diminished, and there are more companies that use it in more niches.

    > the developer experience and ecosystem for Haskell is as bad as it was

    The developer experience improved significantly over the last years.

    Today, you can get a good quality IDE environment with VSCode and Haskell-Language-Server that works in both simple and complex environments, and includes all the features you'd expect (completions, immediate type error checking, scoped renames, go-to-definition, find-all-references, call hierarchy, docs-on-hover).

    [1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=36742311

    [2] https://github.com/nh2/haskell-jobs-statistics

    [3] https://well-typed.com/blog/

  • Coconut

    Simple, elegant, Pythonic functional programming.

    Have you had a look at Coconut? I don't know if it'll push all your buttons but whenever I hear someone who's reasonably content with Python but wants more FP goodies I always think of it. https://github.com/evhub/coconut . It's basically a superset of Python3 that transpiles into Python3 and is compatible with MyPy. I don't think I'd code Python w/o it ever again assuming I had the choice. The biggest negative for me is that there's no IDE support for the language last I looked, though of course you can work with the transpiler output (plain Python) in your favorite Python IDE. It might be fun to play around with, I know that I really enjoyed it but then I got spoiled by the language+tooling of Scala3, but if you don't have that option ...

  • FunctionalPlus

    Functional Programming Library for C++. Write concise and readable C++ code.

    Hoogle is really amazing!

    Inspired by it, I implemented something similar for FunctionalPlus (a functional-programming library for C++): https://www.editgym.com/fplus-api-search/

    I'd love to see more projects taking this path too. :)

  • stack

    The Haskell Tool Stack

    Ah, didn't run into this issue, as I don't use vscode.

    Apparently there is some work being done to improve the stack <> hls experience, but I wouldn't know how it's going and when it's being delivered: https://github.com/commercialhaskell/stack/issues/6154

  • Cargo

    The Rust package manager

    > ...but at the end of the day Cargo is the reason that Rust is popular.

    FWIW, maybe that's true for you, but there are numerous other advantages to the language for which many people choose to use Rust--some even "despite" Cargo: you see Google having had to put in way way WAY too much work to get Bazel working for Rust :/--that it honestly feels a bit like belittling an extremely important language to make this claim so flippantly.

    > You can set a default build target for a Cargo project with two lines of configuration, no nightly features necessary...

    This doesn't work as, as soon as you start setting target-specific options, it infects the host build, as they incorrectly modelled the problem as some kind of map from targets to flags. If you don't believe me, on your Linux computer, try cross-compile something complicated that will runs on a "least common denominator" Linux distribution, such as CentOS 7.

    > Can you clarify what this is referring to?

    Sure. I've Googled rust cargo target host bugs for you (which, FWIW, finds a number of bugs I've filed or have talked about, but it isn't as if I have a list anywhere). Note that one of these bugs is "closed", but I still provide them for context as a patch might have been merged but (as you'll find out if you read through all of these) it isn't stable.






    The result of this work being left incomplete is that increasingly large numbers of "serious" projects--things I'd expect people in packaging land to have heard of, such as BuildRoot--are being forced to set the ridiculous environment variable __CARGO_TEST_CHANNEL_OVERRIDE_DO_NOT_USE_THIS="nightly" in order to get access to a flag that makes Cargo sort of work.

    (And yet, I often see people surprised at how long it is taking for various of the more important clients to fully get into using Rust, as the safety issues are so severe from continuing to use C/C++: as you made the contention that you believe the reason why people use Rust is Cargo, I will say the opposite: the reason why we don't see more Rust is also Cargo.)

  • InfluxDB

    Collect and Analyze Billions of Data Points in Real Time. Manage all types of time series data in a single, purpose-built database. Run at any scale in any environment in the cloud, on-premises, or at the edge.

NOTE: The number of mentions on this list indicates mentions on common posts plus user suggested alternatives. Hence, a higher number means a more popular project.

Suggest a related project

Related posts