I also blog frequently on the Yesod Web Framework blog, as well as the FP Complete blog.

Haskell Success Stories

April 24, 2017

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I've probably blogged, spoken, Tweeted, and commented on a variation on this theme many times in the past, so please excuse me for being a broken record. This is important.

I think we have a problem in the Haskell community. We all know that using Haskell to create a simple web service, a CRUD app, a statically linked command line tool, or a dozen other things is not only possible, but commonplace, trivial, and not even noteworthy. So we don't bother commenting when we create general purpose reverse proxy tools with prebuilt Docker images for auth-enabling arbitrary webapps. It's boring. Unfortunately, people outside our community don't know this. By not bothering to talk about this (for us) boring topic, we're hiding away the fact that Haskell is a practical language for creating real things.

Instead, we like to talk about better preludes, optimizing common functions, or dangers in our standard libraries. I'm picking on myself here with these examples, but my comments apply far more generally.

I know personally at least 10-15 Haskell success stories that have never been talked about publicly. And I have to apologize for not leading by example here; unfortunately most of my work in the past few years has either been under NDA, or been of absolutely no interest to people outside the Haskell community (usually open source infrastructure and libraries). So I'm hoping to inspire others to step up to the plate.

I'm not trying to tell anyone to stop talking about the things we find interesting. I just want to point out that just because we, within the Haskell community, may not find a "I launched a web service, and it's running, and it's not as buggy as we would have expected v1 to be" kind of blog post noteworthy, I think others will. These kinds of blog posts are also a much easier way to get started talking publicly about Haskell, since not all of us can explain zygohistomorphic prepomorphisms (I know I certainly can't).

As I was batting the idea for this post around with my wife last night, she pointed out that, most likely, the people best suited to write these kinds of posts may not have dedicated blogs at all right now. If you fall into that category, but would still be interested in writing up a post about your Haskell success story, I'd like to offer assistance. I'm happy to let guests write posts on the Yesod blog. Articles may also be relevant to haskell-lang.org. And we've run Haskell experience reports on FP Complete's website many times in the past.

I hope this time around this message had a bit of a different twist, and maybe can hit a different group of readers.

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