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Hugs

David Feuer

Apparently, Eric Meijer is now teaching a large class using Hugs, which leads to many of his students asking questions about it on StackOverflow. I therefore suggest that we change the status of Hugs on the website from "is no longer in development" to "has been maintained by Eric Meijer since 2015". I think we should also include on the website a statement to the effect that people seeking help using Hugs should contact Eric Meijer directly, and provide his email address to facilitate that. Obviously, he'll need full write access to the Hugs source repo to fulfill his duties as maintainer.

Yes, this is all a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I really do think that pointing students to an unmaintained language implementation (regardless of the pedagogical reasons) has negative consequences for the functional programming community as a whole.


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Re: Hugs

Dan Burton
Presumably the reason for using hugs is friendlier error messages for new Haskellers, or something of the sort?

On Wednesday, April 13, 2016, David Feuer <[hidden email]> wrote:

Apparently, Eric Meijer is now teaching a large class using Hugs, which leads to many of his students asking questions about it on StackOverflow. I therefore suggest that we change the status of Hugs on the website from "is no longer in development" to "has been maintained by Eric Meijer since 2015". I think we should also include on the website a statement to the effect that people seeking help using Hugs should contact Eric Meijer directly, and provide his email address to facilitate that. Obviously, he'll need full write access to the Hugs source repo to fulfill his duties as maintainer.

Yes, this is all a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I really do think that pointing students to an unmaintained language implementation (regardless of the pedagogical reasons) has negative consequences for the functional programming community as a whole.



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Re: Hugs

Christopher Allen
That's not the real reason and the errors aren't better.


On Apr 13, 2016, at 11:38 AM, Dan Burton <[hidden email]> wrote:

Presumably the reason for using hugs is friendlier error messages for new Haskellers, or something of the sort?

On Wednesday, April 13, 2016, David Feuer <[hidden email]> wrote:

Apparently, Eric Meijer is now teaching a large class using Hugs, which leads to many of his students asking questions about it on StackOverflow. I therefore suggest that we change the status of Hugs on the website from "is no longer in development" to "has been maintained by Eric Meijer since 2015". I think we should also include on the website a statement to the effect that people seeking help using Hugs should contact Eric Meijer directly, and provide his email address to facilitate that. Obviously, he'll need full write access to the Hugs source repo to fulfill his duties as maintainer.

Yes, this is all a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I really do think that pointing students to an unmaintained language implementation (regardless of the pedagogical reasons) has negative consequences for the functional programming community as a whole.



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Re: Hugs

Robin Palotai
By the way, I have some patches around that package Hugs as a native Chrome app (via NaCL), and has a working REPL console in the browser.

It could use some love - integrating with HTML5 file API or such to save/load files, packaging up and releasing on Chrome store. I'm not likely to have time for that, but if anyone is interested please ping me and will hand it over.

Christopher Allen <[hidden email]> ezt írta (időpont: 2016. ápr. 13., Sze, 18:41):
That's not the real reason and the errors aren't better.


On Apr 13, 2016, at 11:38 AM, Dan Burton <[hidden email]> wrote:

Presumably the reason for using hugs is friendlier error messages for new Haskellers, or something of the sort?

On Wednesday, April 13, 2016, David Feuer <[hidden email]> wrote:

Apparently, Eric Meijer is now teaching a large class using Hugs, which leads to many of his students asking questions about it on StackOverflow. I therefore suggest that we change the status of Hugs on the website from "is no longer in development" to "has been maintained by Eric Meijer since 2015". I think we should also include on the website a statement to the effect that people seeking help using Hugs should contact Eric Meijer directly, and provide his email address to facilitate that. Obviously, he'll need full write access to the Hugs source repo to fulfill his duties as maintainer.

Yes, this is all a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I really do think that pointing students to an unmaintained language implementation (regardless of the pedagogical reasons) has negative consequences for the functional programming community as a whole.



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Re: Hugs

Oleg Grenrus
In reply to this post by Dan Burton
https://twitter.com/headinthebox/status/652834731806052352

and in the thread:

> This round of #FP101x we will use https://www.haskell.org/hugs/  instead of GHCi because it is not changing.

- Oleg Grenrus


> On 13 Apr 2016, at 19:38, Dan Burton <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Presumably the reason for using hugs is friendlier error messages for new Haskellers, or something of the sort?
>
> On Wednesday, April 13, 2016, David Feuer <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Apparently, Eric Meijer is now teaching a large class using Hugs, which leads to many of his students asking questions about it on StackOverflow. I therefore suggest that we change the status of Hugs on the website from "is no longer in development" to "has been maintained by Eric Meijer since 2015". I think we should also include on the website a statement to the effect that people seeking help using Hugs should contact Eric Meijer directly, and provide his email address to facilitate that. Obviously, he'll need full write access to the Hugs source repo to fulfill his duties as maintainer.
>
> Yes, this is all a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I really do think that pointing students to an unmaintained language implementation (regardless of the pedagogical reasons) has negative consequences for the functional programming community as a whole.
>
>
>
> --
> -- Dan Burton
> _______________________________________________
> Haskell-Cafe mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://mail.haskell.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe

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Re: Hugs

Francesco Ariis
In reply to this post by Christopher Allen
On Wed, Apr 13, 2016 at 11:41:10AM -0500, Christopher Allen wrote:
> > On Apr 13, 2016, at 11:38 AM, Dan Burton wrote:
> >
> > Presumably the reason for using hugs is friendlier error messages for
> > new Haskellers, or something of the sort?
>
> That's not the real reason and the errors aren't better.

Indeed not the real reason (he wants/ed something that didn't change
often -- hugs, a haskell 98 interpreter, apparently fits his bill), but
I think there is some value in Hugs error reporting (tabular, slightly
more concise, expression-to-type instead of type-to-expression).
I think there was even a discussion on Trac but now I cannot fish it.

    λ> and True
    <interactive>:23:5:
        Couldn't match expected type ‘t0 Bool’ with actual type ‘Bool’
        In the first argument of ‘and’, namely ‘True’
        In the expression: and True

    Hugs> and True
    ERROR - Type error in application
    *** Expression     : and True
    *** Term           : True
    *** Type           : Bool
    *** Does not match : [Bool]
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Re: Hugs

Johannes Waldmann-2
In reply to this post by David Feuer
> https://twitter.com/headinthebox/status/652834731806052352

This mentions    and :: Foldable t => t Bool -> Bool
as an example of "abstract nonsense".

Well, I will run into teaching this soon myself,
though not to freshmen - my students had some Java before
but not Haskell.

With regards to the type of "and",
I will first have them write "data List a = ..."
and a concrete "and :: List Bool -> Bool" from scratch.

Later, to explain the type of "the true and" I will claim
that the corresponding Java method would have type
"static Boolean and (Iterable<Boolean> xs)"
where Iterable<> is an interface (that the students should know).

That's not too bad:  xs.iterator() corresponds
to  toList xs  (a lazy stream).  "toList" would even be
a complete definition for the Foldable instance?
(since  foldr f z = foldr f z . toList )

So perhaps "Foldable \approx Iterable \approx Enumerable"
is a useful guideline. (Yes, there is a difference
between a one-argument type class and an interface.
But they have some common use cases.)

- J.W.
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Re: Hugs

Rustom Mody
On Thu, Apr 14, 2016 at 2:57 AM, Johannes Waldmann <[hidden email]> wrote:
> https://twitter.com/headinthebox/status/652834731806052352

This mentions    and :: Foldable t => t Bool -> Bool
as an example of "abstract nonsense".


I find it sad... that people like Erik Meijer, Mark Lentczer... (even Doug McIllroy recently demonstrated that there are 2⁹⁹ dialects of haskell!!) are not being heeded
And this complaint could be greatly alleviated with one little leaf drawn from racket -- language-packs: teachpacks
Along with the single lightweight directive #lang

It may naturally be asked how is #lang different from ghc's language "-X" options
A teachpack would be a bunch of coherent -X options maybe along with a suitable prelude

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Re: Hugs

Aloïs Cochard
I don't think it's fair to say it's not being heeded, a few folks proposed solution including usage of custom prelude and such... which seems quite similar to that feature from Racket you mention (delta the the extension thing, but solution can be found if there is enough interest for it).

I feel like with a bit of good will we could go a long way.

Cheers

On 14 April 2016 at 14:35, Rustom Mody <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Thu, Apr 14, 2016 at 2:57 AM, Johannes Waldmann <[hidden email]> wrote:
> https://twitter.com/headinthebox/status/652834731806052352

This mentions    and :: Foldable t => t Bool -> Bool
as an example of "abstract nonsense".


I find it sad... that people like Erik Meijer, Mark Lentczer... (even Doug McIllroy recently demonstrated that there are 2⁹⁹ dialects of haskell!!) are not being heeded
And this complaint could be greatly alleviated with one little leaf drawn from racket -- language-packs: teachpacks
Along with the single lightweight directive #lang

It may naturally be asked how is #lang different from ghc's language "-X" options
A teachpack would be a bunch of coherent -X options maybe along with a suitable prelude

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Re: Hugs

Chris Smith-31
In reply to this post by Rustom Mody
I suspect this wouldn't actually address too many of these concerns.  Perhaps it would work for Eric's case, where he's willing to use Hugs, which is definitely not a realistic development tool anyway.  Outside of that, I think it's a bit revisionist to cast concerns about recent language development as being about wanting a teaching sublanguage for new programmers.  A lot of the rest of the concern is actually people's belief that Haskell is becoming too complex to be the right trade-off for general-purpose software development.  New programmers are mentioned because some percentage of a realistic software engineering setting is *always* made up of new programmers, and programmers who are new to the tools or language.  That isn't addressed by adding teaching modes; you can't partition off your coworkers and relegate them to the teaching dialect.

For what it's worth, it's already not too hard to build simplified dialects of Haskell for teaching.  I did it with http://code.world, and ran into few problems despite some big changes.  In my view, it doesn't matter much if there's a single short directive to make it work with the ghc command line.  There are plenty of other advantages to wrapping GHC for education.  Once you've crossed the gulf from "the Haskell that everyone uses" to "special island only for teaching new programmers", you've already lost the benefits of living in the core Haskell ecosystem, and it no longer matters if you add a few differences here and there.

On Thu, Apr 14, 2016 at 5:35 AM, Rustom Mody <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Thu, Apr 14, 2016 at 2:57 AM, Johannes Waldmann <[hidden email]> wrote:
> https://twitter.com/headinthebox/status/652834731806052352

This mentions    and :: Foldable t => t Bool -> Bool
as an example of "abstract nonsense".


I find it sad... that people like Erik Meijer, Mark Lentczer... (even Doug McIllroy recently demonstrated that there are 2⁹⁹ dialects of haskell!!) are not being heeded
And this complaint could be greatly alleviated with one little leaf drawn from racket -- language-packs: teachpacks
Along with the single lightweight directive #lang

It may naturally be asked how is #lang different from ghc's language "-X" options
A teachpack would be a bunch of coherent -X options maybe along with a suitable prelude

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Re: Hugs

Doug McIlroy
In reply to this post by David Feuer
> I really do think that pointing students to an unmaintained language
> implementation (regardless of the pedagogical reasons) has negative
> consequences for the functional programming community as a whole.

If it works, maintenance doesn't matter. So, I assume the real concern
is that Hugs isn't evolving. To put it in the worst light, this may be
read as a complaint that Hugs doesn't keep up with some party line. I
would hate to think that the "community as a whole" is that conformist.

The disdain for "pedagogical reasons" brushes aside an implicit wakeup
call to the community. Hugs is attractive because it is well described
and bounded, whereas Haskell realized in GHC lacks a coherent description
and presents a myriad of often inscrutable faces. To the extent that
the community is defined by such an artifact, it has turned away from
educators, not vice versa. Learning how to wrangle a marvelous, but
cantankerous, beast should not be confounded with initiation to the
insights of functional programming.

Doug McIlroy
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Re: Hugs

Manuel Gómez
On Thu, Apr 14, 2016 at 9:35 PM, Doug McIlroy <[hidden email]> wrote:
> The disdain for "pedagogical reasons" brushes aside an implicit wakeup
> call to the community.

I use GHC 7.10 to teach Haskell for pedagogical reasons.  There is no
consensus on the pedagogical virtue of the most recent changes to the
compiler and base libraries, but a good portion of us happen to prefer
and achieve apparently good results teaching post-AMP, post-FTP
Haskell with various GHC extensions.

> Hugs is attractive because it is well described and bounded, whereas
> Haskell realized in GHC lacks a coherent description and presents
> a myriad of often inscrutable faces.

Haskell 98 has many qualities that can be understood as shortcomings
resulting from historical accidents, and the current realization of
Haskell in GHC fixes several of those.  Yet more arguable infelicities
are solved by teaching to a certain set of language extensions, some
even quite recent.  Avoiding these problems has pedagogical benefits.

Although precise, coherent descriptions are available for Haskell 98
and Haskell 2010 for reference in the Reports, the documentation
shipped by GHC for many language extensions is often reasonably close
in precision and coherence, as far as many students are concerned —
and, more importantly, the learning process for a student rarely
involves consuming a precise, coherent definition, and often involves
a greater degree of experimentation and consumption of explanations
aimed to teach, not to serve as reference for language implementors.

I do not aim to suggest that standards are not useful —they surely
are—, but standards are of limited use to many students.

> Learning how to wrangle a marvelous, but cantankerous, beast should not
> be confounded with initiation to the insights of functional programming.

In any case, an initiation to the insights of functional programming
surely must not begin with a general-purpose programming language
adequate for industrial application, but rather with a discussion of
the nature of functional programming supported by a review of the
theory upon which it is founded: at the very least, the lambda
calculus, preferably along with some basic ideas from type theory.
Programming in a number of concrete languages is helpful for this:
some modern descendent of LISP, perhaps some proof assistant over a
functional language, and indeed, some Haskell.  If these students are
to become industrial practitioners, it serves them well to teach GHC
Haskell to illustrate one facet of the complex industrial side of
functional programming.  This, indeed, is not quite adequate for the
most basic bits of an initiation — and that is fine.
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Re: Hugs

Richard A. O'Keefe


On 15/04/16 4:16 pm, Manuel Gómez wrote:

> Although precise, coherent descriptions are available for Haskell 98
> and Haskell 2010 for reference in the Reports, the documentation
> shipped by GHC for many language extensions is often reasonably close
> in precision and coherence, as far as many students are concerned —
> and, more importantly, the learning process for a student rarely
> involves consuming a precise, coherent definition, and often involves
> a greater degree of experimentation and consumption of explanations
> aimed to teach, not to serve as reference for language implementors.
>
> I do not aim to suggest that standards are not useful —they surely
> are—, but standards are of limited use to many students.

I'm reminded of a Prolog textbook that was written with much thought and
care, diligently adhering scrupulously to the then-current draft of the ISO
Prolog standard, and tested in a Prolog implementation written to conform to
it.  The book ended up being useless because the standard changed to be
somewhat less of a complete break from the past, so eventually there were
*no* Prolog systems compatible with the book.

Students themselves mostly do not know or care what the standard is.
What they *are* affected by is whether their teaching materials agree
with the implementation they are using.


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Re: Hugs

Augustsson, Lennart
In reply to this post by Doug McIlroy
Very well put!

-----Original Message-----
From: Haskell-Cafe [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Doug McIlroy
Sent: 15 April 2016 03:05
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [Haskell-cafe] Hugs

> I really do think that pointing students to an unmaintained language
> implementation (regardless of the pedagogical reasons) has negative
> consequences for the functional programming community as a whole.

If it works, maintenance doesn't matter. So, I assume the real concern is that Hugs isn't evolving. To put it in the worst light, this may be read as a complaint that Hugs doesn't keep up with some party line. I would hate to think that the "community as a whole" is that conformist.

The disdain for "pedagogical reasons" brushes aside an implicit wakeup call to the community. Hugs is attractive because it is well described and bounded, whereas Haskell realized in GHC lacks a coherent description and presents a myriad of often inscrutable faces. To the extent that the community is defined by such an artifact, it has turned away from educators, not vice versa. Learning how to wrangle a marvelous, but cantankerous, beast should not be confounded with initiation to the insights of functional programming.

Doug McIlroy
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Re: Hugs

Johannes Waldmann-2
In reply to this post by David Feuer
> the learning process for a student rarely
> involves consuming a precise, coherent definition,

But it should! I do make a point of embedding references
to actual standards in my teaching, mostly in exercises
like "what paragraph of the (e.g., Java) language spec.
says that the following program is illegal".

The intention is: students should
a) get used to reading (semi-)formal specifications
b) see that concepts from "theory" (lecture, papers)
   appear verbatim in actual "industrial" specs
c) get scared of using software/language that has no specification

> .. the nature of functional programming supported by a review of the
> theory upon which it is founded: at the very least, the lambda
> calculus, preferably along with some basic ideas from type theory.

That. And I do start my FP teaching with term rewriting,
as a model of first-order programming.
(gives you terms as a model of data,
and rewrite rule application as a model of pattern matching)

- J.W.
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Re: Hugs

Giacomo Tesio
In reply to this post by David Feuer
2016-04-13 17:51 GMT+02:00 David Feuer <[hidden email]>:
Yes, this is all a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I really do think that pointing students to an unmaintained language implementation (regardless of the pedagogical reasons) has negative consequences for the functional programming community as a whole.

Today I was looking for a simplified version of Haskell that could compete in size with Lua or Wren.
Nothing exist.

I thought: oh... but what about Hugs98? Not Lua sized, but still better than GHC!
Let see the age of the last related mail in haskell-cafe... you can't imagine my surprise reading this thread!

GHC is too complex for a wide variety of use case.
Porting Hugs to an new operative system used to be approachable for a single programmer, GHC have never been.

Is this a language issue?
I don't think so... but apparently, despite the abundance of language hackers in the Haskell community, nobody still tried to prove that an interpreter for the core Haskell language can be written in a reasonable amount of C code.


Thus, to my money (and admittedly for my own use cases), if somebody renew the interest around a simpler Haskell implementation, he's going to have a really positive effect.


Giacomo
PS: if somebody knows about a similar project please drop me a line (Helium does not fit the requirements, as it depends on GHC itself).




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Re: Hugs

Kosyrev Serge
Giacomo Tesio <[hidden email]> writes:
> Is this a language issue?
> I don't think so... but apparently, despite the abundance of language
> hackers in the Haskell community, nobody still tried to prove that an
> interpreter for the core Haskell language can be written in a
> reasonable amount of C code.

What is the value of using C as an implementation language [1]?

Shouldn't there be intrinsic value in a self-hosted implementation?

--
с уважениeм / respectfully,
Косырев Сергей
--
1. ..resource efficiency aside..
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Re: Hugs

Roman Cheplyaka-2
In reply to this post by Giacomo Tesio
On 04/20/2016 08:06 PM, Giacomo Tesio wrote:

> 2016-04-13 17:51 GMT+02:00 David Feuer <[hidden email]
> <mailto:[hidden email]>>:
>
>     Yes, this is all a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I really do think that
>     pointing students to an unmaintained language implementation
>     (regardless of the pedagogical reasons) has negative consequences
>     for the functional programming community as a whole.
>
>
> Today I was looking for a simplified version of Haskell that could
> compete in size with Lua or Wren.
> Nothing exist.
>
> I thought: oh... but what about Hugs98? Not Lua sized, but still better
> than GHC!
> Let see the age of the last related mail in haskell-cafe... you can't
> imagine my surprise reading this thread!
>
> GHC *is* too complex for a wide variety of use case.
> Porting Hugs to an new operative system used to be approachable for a
> single programmer, GHC have never been.
>
> Is this a language issue?
> I don't think so... but apparently, despite the abundance of language
> hackers in the Haskell community, nobody still tried to prove that an
> interpreter for the core Haskell language can be written in a reasonable
> amount of C code.

You are contradicting yourself. Mark P Jones and other "language
hackers" who contributed to Hugs have already proven that.

That no-one seems to be willing to maintain Hugs may indicate that there
aren't as many use cases as you claim.

> Thus, to my money (and admittedly for my own use cases), if somebody
> renew the interest around a simpler Haskell implementation, he's going
> to have a really *positive *effect.

Would you put your money where your mouth is? I'm sure you would find
someone who could maintain and improve Hugs for you.

Roman
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Re: Hugs

Karel Gardas
In reply to this post by Kosyrev Serge
On 04/20/16 07:15 PM, Kosyrev Serge wrote:
> Giacomo Tesio <[hidden email]> writes:
>> Is this a language issue?
>> I don't think so... but apparently, despite the abundance of language
>> hackers in the Haskell community, nobody still tried to prove that an
>> interpreter for the core Haskell language can be written in a
>> reasonable amount of C code.
>
> What is the value of using C as an implementation language [1]?
>

Some OSes are C-centric so...


> Shouldn't there be intrinsic value in a self-hosted implementation?

...bootstraping Haskell from Haskell raises some concerns. At least IIRC
the situation in OpenBSD -- if I understand this correctly.

Karel

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Re: Hugs

Giacomo Tesio
The value of C as an implementation language is it's portability.
Also usage as embedded language in many applications is easier with C.

Self hosting is valuable as a proof that a compiler (and the compiled language) can be used for a complex real world program.
But it does not help with portability.


Giacomo


2016-04-20 20:30 GMT+02:00 Karel Gardas <[hidden email]>:
On 04/20/16 07:15 PM, Kosyrev Serge wrote:
Giacomo Tesio <[hidden email]> writes:
Is this a language issue?
I don't think so... but apparently, despite the abundance of language
hackers in the Haskell community, nobody still tried to prove that an
interpreter for the core Haskell language can be written in a
reasonable amount of C code.

What is the value of using C as an implementation language [1]?


Some OSes are C-centric so...


Shouldn't there be intrinsic value in a self-hosted implementation?

...bootstraping Haskell from Haskell raises some concerns. At least IIRC the situation in OpenBSD -- if I understand this correctly.

Karel



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