Industrial Strength Laziness: What's Next?
The story of Haskell is that of a Utopian dream and the struggle to make it real. Both purity and laziness are radical departures from the low-level details of computer hardware, and yet today we have an industrial-strength compiler and a thriving library ecosystem. Haskell is used in industry for purposes as varied as payment processing, formal verification of cryptography, freight forwarding, and spam fighting. By bringing the same attention to detail, practicality, and respect for elegant theory to bear on new problems, researchers can continue the cycle of improvements to Haskell that has given us all so much.
High-quality batch-mode compilation, an unusually expressive type system, and a fast concurrent runtime system are not the only relevant aspects of Haskell implementations. In 2022, an implementation of a programming language is additionally expected to assist its users with writing a program, by offering useful feedback as quickly as possible and by providing operations on the program text that are at a higher level of abstraction than the insertion and deletion of characters. While the open-source Haskell community is working on tools to address these needs, there are also opportunities for the research community to do work with real impact on programming practice. In this talk, I’ll describe some of these opportunities, as well as some ways that the Haskell Foundation can work to multiply the impact of research on Haskell practice.