What I love about the Haskell community

Dear friends

Today, January 18th, is my 65th birthday. I am almost exactly twice as old as Haskell – the Haskell 1.0 report came out in April 1990.

To me that sounds pretty old, but happily I don’t feel old. But I think I am now, finally, content to be described as middle aged.

Haskell and its community has been such a rich journey for me that I thought I’d write down a few things I love about the Haskell community

  • I love that the Haskell community is a gift economy. Many people lavish incredible skill and effort on Haskell and its ecosystem. For a few it’s their day job, but for many it is a labour of love, a word I use advisedly.

  • I love the quirkiness that Haskell seems to inspire, a combination of playfulness and deep intellectual insights – just browse the contents of the Haskell Weekly News (another labour of love) to see what I mean.

  • I love the way that Haskell has continued to grow as a language that you can use to get Real Work done; but that it continues to be a Petri dish on dynamism, energy, and innovation. To be sure, there is a real tension here, one that we grapple with daily, and one that takes painstaking work to manage – but it’s a creative tension, not a toxic one.

  • I love the Haskell Foundation. However well meaning we all are, it’s simply hard for a bunch of volunteers, all with other day jobs, to collaborate effectively on a project as large and diverse as “Haskell”. The Haskell Foundation is a huge help and will become huger. David’s job as Executive Director is not an easy one – responsible for everything and nothing – but he does it brilliantly. The Foundation is key to the future of Haskell; let’s all support it.

  • I love the individuals of the Haskell community. You are so smart, so motivated, so hard working. Through your efforts, Haskell has gone from an academic project with a not-so-great compiler to an industial-strength ecosystem with a huge collection of libraries and tools. The dominant tone is one of respect and grace, for which I am deeply grateful. (Yes, everyone is passionate, which can lead to to misunderstandings and occasional conflict, but I think we are getting better at resolving these.)

Thank you all so much!

Now, back to fixing #22717.

best wishes for 2023


PS: as some of you know, our cat Haskell sadly died a couple of years ago. But he has a successor, who looks almost identical, and is called Scratch, after another programming language beloved
of my son.


We love you Simon! Happy Birthday, and many, many thanks for your leadership and hard work, hugely benefitting all of us.


Many happy returns Simon! And thank you for half a life’s worth of contributions to this wonderful language and community which we enjoy so much.


Happy birthday Simon! And thank you for all you’ve done for us.


Happy birthday from a Haskell tinkerer who will be 79 in March!


Happy birthday Simon! Thank you for all the work you’ve done on Haskell and the efforts you put to create this great community.

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Happy birthday! :partying_face: And thank you for this fine language — I had the pleasure of enjoying it since my late youth.

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Very happy birthday, Simon! Thank you for your continued hard work and seemingly boundless passion and enthusiasm for Haskell and its community.

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Happy birthday, Simon!

Dear Simon, happy birthday! Thank you for your continued leadership. I’m happy to be experiencing your love for Haskell and us first hand!

I jokingly tell people you’ve changed my life through your papers, talks, and Haskell, but I’m most definitely not joking :stuck_out_tongue:.

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Thank you for all your efforts over the years! Your efforts to explain Haskell to the non-experts and your infectious energy in your various talks plus the welcoming Haskell community is what makes being a part of Haskell quite fun!
Happy birthday Simon! We expect you to write a similar email at your 75th, 85th and 95th birthdays!


Dear Simon! While you and many others have achieved great technical things with Haskell, I believe one of your greatest gifts to the community is your exemplary kindness. I hope we can enjoy and aspire to it for many more years.


Thank you very much to those who have responded with such generosity.

I forgot to add to my original post: if you feel like replying, do consider giving your own answer to the question “what do I love about the Haskell community, or about Haskell?” I’m using my birthday as an excuse for us to reflect together on what we do well – and that in turn might help encourage us all to do more of that!



Kindness and generosity to beginner Haskell folks, especially how folks keep working with me when I’m stuck.

And Happy Birthday!
I’m about 3 weeks ahead of you :slight_smile:


Happy birthday Simon!

“what do I love about the Haskell community, or about Haskell?”

I love Haskell. The people who inhabit the greater Haskell ecosystem of pure functional programming are the most sane, honest, decent and humane community that I’ve ever encountered. Haskell itself is the main deck of the bridge that will take us from first-century improvised computing to second-century mathematical computing.


Happy birthday Simon. Keep rocking, you words are always inspiring!