Talk: 12:00-12:45 (English)

The Lessons of 14 Years of Open Source Haskell

Haskell is part of the open source ecosystem and is here to stay. We use pandoc, the swiss army knive of document conversion, which created in 2006 by John MacFarlane, to dive into the effects of using Haskell in an open source project. Pandoc enjoys widespread use among technical and less-technical users and is one of the best known open source Haskell programs with millions of downloads. Yet, even programmers interested in functional programming are frequently unaware of pandoc’s implementation language.

We use pandoc as an example to answer many real-life questions which surround Haskell: How did the choice of programming language effect the development of the project? Do developers get scared away by a language with a reputation of being difficult to learn? Is anyone but computer scientists and mathematicians able to contribute in a meaningful way? The answers will help decision makers to know the pros and cons of using Haskell for their applications.

Albert Krewinkel


Albert is a molecular biologist turned mathematician turned software developer. He looks at close to a decade of industry experience and serves a pandoc core developer with a special interest in pandoc’s Lua subsystem. No matter the programming language, he always tries to make code safer through proper application of types. After spending time in Lübeck, Hamburg, and Menlo Park, Albert now lives in Berlin with his wife and kids.