Experience report: using hackage to inform language design

J. Garrett Morris

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Hackage, an online repository of Haskell applications and libraries, provides a hub for programmers to both release code to and use code from the larger Haskell community. We suggest that Hackage can also serve as a valuable resource for language designers: by providing a large collection of code written by different programmers and in different styles, it allows language designers to see not just how features could be used theoretically, but how they are (and are not) used in practice.

We were able to make such a use of Hackage during the design of the class system for a new Haskell-like programming language. In this paper, we sketch our language design problem, and how we used Hackage to help answer it. We describe our methodology in some detail, including both ways that it was and was not effective, and summarize our results.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 3rd ACM SIGPLAN Symposium on Haskell, Haskell 2010, Baltimore, MD, USA, 30 September 2010
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-0252-4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010

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