OSCON 2014 - Speaking

Slides available at the bottom of this post.

I’ll be speaking today at OSCON. It’s been nearly 6 months since I proposed The Case for Haskell, so I’m all too excited to share what I’ve learned since then. Believe me, there’s a lot to be excited about!

However, there’s a plot twist: the goals of my talk have changed and so has the title. I’m now presenting Ask More of Your Programming Languages. This blog post explains my rationale.

The first problem I started to encounter in principle is that by its very nature, the title “The Case for Haskell” is exclusive. It segregrates Haskell as a functional programming tribe where all the good ideas are at. That’s wrong and toxic. This is not the message I want to share when I gush with excitement about functional programming and type systems.

This leads into my next problem: the title is too specific. There’s a pun here about good design and leveraging parametricity. Most of the ideas I’m sharing are applicable to all functional programming languages with type systems. Through gradual typing, a few more get added in! So instead of presenting:

-- The Case for Haskell
awesome :: Haskell -> IO Conference

I’m now speaking about:

-- Ask More of Your Languages
awesome :: FunctionalLang a , Typed a => a -> IO Conference

The implementation and the presentation are now generic, and help bring great ideas closer together. This is more likely to pass my personal community test suite.

One final problem that I noticed was that I think I was ruling out the agency of the audience by pressuring a particular language or ecosystem. I don’t know the needs that others have. It that line, I don’t feel it’s my place to criticize their language choices. We have an incredible burden of legacy, and owning that is no small matter that can be simply rewritten away.

In sum:

My hope is that I can share this excitement as inclusively as possible. See you all at 5pm Pacific time!

Slides (PDF)