I have become a personal investor in FP Complete. Why have I
In the Haskell community our current model is based on
open-source volunteers. Together we have achieved some pretty
remarkable things. I’m biased about GHC, of course, but Cabal
and the extraordinary flowering of libraries on Hackage are even
more impressive. People make new tools and libraries all the time,
the Haskell Platform has been a huge step forward, and the
community has a strong culture of mutual support. That
is so great. I love you all.
And yet there is stuff that isn't getting done, and is
standing in the way of adoption. Curated libraries, IDEs,
integrated tool support, and plain training, are all
important. They are not researchy, so university
academics aren't interested. They are a lot of
work, so volunteers without much spare time can’t take it on.
This is one of the reasons that Haskell can be more talked about
than used, and it limits the goodness that Haskell can give to the
To fill this gap we need someone who wants to build a business
by making Haskell great in the commercial sphere.
Making money is what makes it sustainable, and holds out the hope
of scaling to much more ambitious goals.
Best of all would be a business that itself plays an active role
in the Haskell ecosystem, giving back as well as building on the
foundations we have laid, by sharing ideas, vision, and code.
That’s what I think FP Complete will be. Other companies,
like Galois and Well Typed, use Haskell a lot, and also give a lot
back to the community; but FP Complete is the first to focus on
Haskell itself, and its tools and libraries.
Of course, FP Complete thereby faces the challenge of making a
business out of a language ecosystem, something known to be
difficult! Here I am encouraged by the fact that Aaron and
Bartosz are not, like many of us, primarily techno-geeks whose
primary motivation is the technology itself (just read the Haskell
Weekly News if you have any doubt what I mean). They are
excited by Haskell all right, but they want to build a
business, and they have experience of doing just
that. And I’m very encouraged by the fact that Michael
Snoyman (a giant of the Haskell community) has joined them, along
with several others.
On a personal note, I won’t have any management or consultancy
role in FP Complete. My job is to be a researcher at
Microsoft Research, who give me amazing freedom. In practice
my research is largely focused on Haskell and GHC -- but research
is the #1 goal. I constantly have to balance my research
goals (pushing onwards) with my desire to make GHC into a fantastic
product (fast, reliable, usable...) for people to use. So
another reason I am excited about FP Complete is that it will help
to “thicken up” the ecosystem of people who maintain and develop
Welcome to the Haskell community, FP Complete! The future
is bright. Let’s have fun together.
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