Two Quotes

These are very refreshing:

From Hudak et al., “A History of Haskell” [1]:

The fact that Haskell has, thus far, managed the tension between these two strands of development [as a mature language, and as a laboratory in which to explore advanced language design ideas] is perhaps due to an accidental virtue: Haskell has not become too successful. The trouble with runaway success, such as that of Java, is that you get too many users, and the language becomes bogged down in standards, user groups, and legacy issues. In contrast, the Haskell community is small enough, and agile enough, that it usually not only absorbs language changes but positively welcomes them: it’s like throwing red meat to hyenas.

And Alan Perlis [2]:

I think that it’s extraordinarily important that we in computer science keep fun in computing. When it started out, it was an awful lot of fun. Of course, the paying customers got shafted every now and then, and after a while we began to take their complaints seriously. We began to feel as if we really were responsible for the successful, error-free perfect use of these machines. I don’t think we are. I think we’re responsible for stretching them, setting them off in new directions, and keeping fun in the house. I hope the field of computer science never loses its sense of fun. Above all, I hope we don’t become missionaries. Don’t feel as if you’re Bible salesmen. The world has too many of those already. What you know about computing other people will learn. Don’t feel as if the key to successful computing is only in your hands. What’s in your hands, I think and hope, is intelligence: the ability to see the machine as more than when you were first led up to it, that you can make it more.”

Thanks to Benjamin Russell for pointing these out on the Haskell-cafe list.

[1] Hudak, Paul, Hughes, John, Peyton Jones, Simon, and Wadler, Philip. “A History of Haskell: Being Lazy With Class.” San Diego, California: The Third ACM SIGPLAN History of Programming Languages Conference (HOPL-III) (2007): 12-1 - 12-55, 2007.

[2] Abelson, Harold and Sussman, Gerald Jay with Sussman, Julie. Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, Second Edition. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press and New York: McGraw-Hill, 1996.