[Haskell] on starting Haskell-Edu,
a new education-related Haskell-related mailing list
jur at cs.uu.nl
Wed Jul 2 06:59:52 EDT 2008
On Jul 1, 2008, at 1:37 PM, Benjamin L. Russell wrote:
> I am interested in starting a new mailing list on Haskell.org, aimed
> mainly at liberal arts teachers and elementary-level learners of
> Haskell, called "Haskell-Edu: The Haskell Educational Mailing
> List." This new mailing list would be guided by the principle that
> Haskell is useful not just in research, but also in teaching
> programming as part of a liberal arts education, on a par with
> Scheme. When I suggested the idea of this mailing list to Simon
> Marlow, the Haskell.org mailing list administrator, he suggested
> that I post this idea on The Haskell Mailing List, so I am posting
> it here to ask for feedback.
> The main purposes of this new (proposed) mailing list would be as
> 1) To provide a primarily non-research-oriented discussion forum to
> serve the needs of users wishing to focus on the uses of Haskell in
> education, such as in high school and in introductory computer
> science college courses, as opposed to in research.
> 2) To provide a primarily non-research-oriented discussion forum to
> serve the needs of non-computer-science students of Haskell who wish
> to focus on Haskell as a language for learning programming as part
> of a well-rounded a liberal arts education, as opposed to an
> engineering/mathematics/science-oriented education.
> Currently, there are two main Haskell mailing lists:
> a) The Haskell Mailing List, currently used mainly for announcements
> and for non-beginner discussions
> b) The Haskell-Cafe, currently ostensibly used for everything else,
> but in fact used primarily for serious academic computer-science
> research-oriented discussion of the language Haskell.
> Neither mailing list addresses Haskell as a tool for teaching
> functional programming as part of a liberal arts education, and
> while The Haskell Cafe is ostensibly responsible for addressing
> beginner questions, I have witnessed several instances in which new
> users who were not familiar with the academic culture of The Haskell
> Cafe have been frowned upon for either posting messages that did not
> assume enough mathematical background, or for posting messages that
> were written in a tongue-in-cheek style, and that therefore did not
> fit into the serious tone of the mailing list.
> (For example, a few months ago, one poster received a private e-mail
> message from another poster asking the former not to "pollute" The
> Haskell-Cafe Mailing List for assuming that screen pixel resolution
> was somehow related to the precision of an algorithm that picked
> points randomly from a square in approximating pi. Avoiding this
> question required the knowledge that screen resolution could be
> considered independently from the precision of the algorithm itself,
> but while this point may be elementary to mathematicians and
> researchers, the poster was not familiar enough with the issue to
> grasp this immediately, and received the above-mentioned response.)
> This new mailing list is intended to cover both the issue of
> teaching Haskell as part of a liberal arts curriculum, and of
> answering beginner questions about Haskell from students who may not
> have a sophisticated mathematics background. The primary audience
> of this new mailing list would be educators and students in a
> liberal arts curriculum who are interested in studying Haskell for
> studying functional programming. Currently, the language Scheme is
> often used in this context (even though Scheme is not a true
> functional programming language), but Haskell has recently been
> gaining ground rapidly as a programming language in industry as
> well, and many students of Haskell may either not have a computer
> science background, or may not have a sophisticated mathematical
> background. Posts from such users may tend to irritate serious
> researchers, who are impatient and hard-pressed for time to find
> valuable information to aid their research, but may be welcome
> in a more education-focused context.
> It would seem that creating a new mailing list, Haskell-Edu,
> focusing on using Haskell in teaching programming in a liberal arts
> context, and fielding questions from students in that context, would
> help increase the scope of Haskell users, and help spread knowledge
> about Haskell to potential future users in industry. Teachers in a
> liberal arts curriculum could discuss teaching Haskell in a non-
> research context, and students of Haskell with a liberal arts-
> related background would be able to ask elementary questions to
> educators willing to discuss such questions, without being expected
> to have a sophisticated mathematical or computer science background.
I am all for a separate channel or resource for beginners in Haskell.
I can imagine that even the run-of-the-mill discussions in the
will scare them off. It might also be a good place for educators and
students to talk about their experiences in teaching and being taught
E.g., what kind of assignments work, which don't.
Also it will give me a venue to bring Helium to the attention of these
beginners and their educators.
I am currently bringing the Helium compiler up to speed (but this is
not a formal announcement).
However, if you simply cannot wait, set your browser to http://www.cs.uu.nl/wiki/Helium
> --- On Sat, 6/28/08, Simon Marlow <marlowsd at gmail.com> wrote:
>> From: Simon Marlow <marlowsd at gmail.com>
>> Subject: Re: on starting a new Haskell-related mailing list
>> To: "Benjamin L. Russell" <dekudekuplex at yahoo.com>
>> Cc: "John Peterson" <jpeterson at western.edu>
>> Date: Saturday, June 28, 2008, 4:20 AM
>> Hi Benjamin,
>> Normally we create new mailing lists when the new list has
>> a narrow
>> focus and covers a clearly unoccupied niche. In this case
>> proposing a list that is very broad, and so I think it
>> needs discussion
>> amongst the community before we create the list, so that we
>> can keep a
>> consistent strategy.
>> That's not to say that I disagree with your proposal.
>> But it doesn't
>> seem immediately clear what the focus would be, and why
>> shouldn't serve the purpose. One thing that isn't
>> clear is whether the
>> list you're proposing is for people interested in
>> *teaching* Haskell (in
>> which case I'd say it's a great idea), or people
>> *learning* Haskell (in
>> which case I'd consider carefully whether haskell-cafe
>> shoudn't be
>> serving that need). That's something you need to
>> clarify when proposing
>> this list to the community.
>> So I suggest you send this proposal out to
>> haskell at haskell.org in the
>> first instance, and see what response you get. Discussion
>> should move
>> to haskell-cafe quickly.
>> Benjamin L. Russell wrote:
>>> John Peterson suggested that I send you an e-mail
>> message requesting you to perform set-up of a new
>> Haskell-related mailing list that I plan to
>> moderate/administrate, since he said that you are the
>> administrator of the mailing lists on Haskell.org.
>>> My name is Benjamin L. Russell, and I am interested in
>> starting a new mailing list on Haskell, which I plan to call
>> Haskell-Edu, specifically devoted to non-research
>> beginner-level educational matters, guided by the
>> philosophy that Haskell should be more accessible to
>> non-computer science major students.
>>> This topic is not covered by any of the other mailing
>> lists. I have regularly read both Haskell and Haskell-Cafe
>> for the past six months or so, but the former is devoted to
>> announcements, and the latter de facto to research matters.
>> Also, the general tone of Haskell-Cafe is overly academic
>> and research-oriented, and I feel that this creates an
>> unnecessary learning curve for non-computer science majors
>> interested in learning Haskell.
>>> Since John Peterson recommended that I request you to
>> set-up the mailing list on Haskell.org, could you please
>> set it whenever you have free time, as follows:
>>> Name of Mailing List: Haskell-Edu
>>> E-mail Address: haskell-edu at haskell.org
>>> Description: The Haskell-Edu Mailing List:
>> Discussion About Non-research Issues on Haskell in
>>> Could you please advise me on what I need to do to
>> start this mailing list? Should I host it on haskell.org,
>> or just start it by myself using a non-Haskell.org mailing
>> list service? Also, how should I have it listed in the
>> "www.haskell.org Mailing Lists"
>> (http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo) page for the
>> benefit of other members of the Haskell community?
>>> Thank you very much for your time and cooperation.
>>> Sincerely yours,
>>> Benjamin L. Russell
>>> --- On Fri, 6/27/08, John Peterson
>> <jpeterson at western.edu> wrote:
>>>> From: John Peterson <jpeterson at western.edu>
>>>> Subject: RE: on starting a new Haskell-related
>> mailing list
>>>> To: "Benjamin L. Russell"
>> <dekudekuplex at yahoo.com>
>>>> Date: Friday, June 27, 2008, 12:05 AM
>>>> Hi Benjamin,
>>>> There's no problem starting a new mailing
>> list. Simon
>>>> Marlow is the administrator of our lists - if you
>> drop him
>>>> and email he'll do the setup for Haskell.org.
>> Once the
>>>> list is going, you can go into the wiki and add it
>> to the
>>>> appropriate pages.
>>>> We've had a bunch of these special interest
>> lists and
>>>> most of them go dead after a few months but you
>> never know
>>> --- On Thu, 6/26/08, Benjamin L. Russell
>> <dekudekuplex at yahoo.com> wrote:
>>>> From: Benjamin L. Russell
>> <dekudekuplex at yahoo.com>
>>>> Subject: on starting a new Haskell-related mailing
>>>> To: "John Peterson"
>> <jpeterson at western.edu>
>>>> Date: Thursday, June 26, 2008, 4:37 PM
>>>> My name is Benjamin L. Russell, and I am
>> interested in
>>>> starting a new mailing list on Haskell, which I
>> plan to
>>>> call Haskell-Edu, specifically devoted to
>>>> beginner-level educational matters, guided by the
>>>> philosophy that Haskell should be more accessible
>>>> non-computer science major students. (This
>> message is
>>>> being addressed to you because I had already sent
>>>> portion below twice to other administrators at
>>>> first to mailman-owner at haskell.org, and then to
>>>> simonmarhaskell at gmail.com, but had not received a
>>>> on either occasion.)
>>>> This topic is not covered by any of the other
>>>> lists. I have regularly read both Haskell and
>>>> for the past six months or so, but the former is
>> devoted to
>>>> announcements, and the latter de facto to research
>>>> Also, the general tone of Haskell-Cafe is overly
>>>> and research-oriented, and I feel that this
>> creates an
>>>> unnecessary learning curve for non-computer
>> science majors
>>>> interested in learning Haskell.
>>>> Could you please advise me on what I need to do to
>>>> this mailing list? Should I host it on
>> haskell.org, or
>>>> just start it by myself using a non-Haskell.org
>>>> list service? Also, how should I have it listed
>> in the
>>>> "www.haskell.org Mailing Lists"
>>>> (http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo) page for
>>>> benefit of other members of the Haskell community?
>>>> Thank you very much for your time and cooperation.
>>>> Sincerely yours,
>>>> Benjamin L. Russell
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