Aelve Guide: alpha version released

Today we’re releasing the first version of Aelve Guide – an informal wiki for the Haskell ecosystem and community. It’s written in Haskell, too. There is a small core team working on it, but outside contributions are very welcome.

Why?

There are many frustrations around documentation in the Haskell community. To list just a few:

  • It’s hard to find the right package on Hackage;

  • Many libraries don’t have good tutorials, or if they do, those are also hard to find;

  • Haskell.org and Haskell-lang.org are competing with each other over minor questions like “do we point people to Stack or to the Haskell Platform”, and each side accuses the other of being driven by some kind of ideology and not by wanting to help the user;

  • Important books like Real World Haskell are outdated (people actually offered to update RWH for free, but it never happened);

  • The only “official” wiki – i.e. the Haskellwiki – requires people to actually write an email to somebody to get an account, which likely provided a major obstacle for people who just wanted to do small edits (not to mention that Haskellwiki seems to be mostly dead at this point).

Our goal is to create a “free-for-all” place for Haskell documentation. For instance, Guide doesn’t require registration, because the Haskell community is well-mannered and doesn’t destroy things (at least judging by the fact that nobody has snuck a compile-time rm -rf into any libraries on Hackage yet).

Eventually, Guide become a good enough platform for hosting any kind of information about Haskell – from tutorials and library comparisons, to cookbook-style recipes and code snippets, lists of must-watch Haskell talks, and maybe even papers (integrating Overleaf might be tricky, but not impossible).

Roadmap

The current release is pretty rough, but already usable. In the next two months we plan to:

  • Rewrite the frontend from a mess of templates to Vue.js (with TypeScript, of course), making editing easier in the process.
  • Add users and Github authentication.
  • Make the content structure easier to understand and more flexible.
  • Implement instant full-text search.

After the foundation is there, we will start adding optional-but-nice features – like automatic link archival to Archive.org, or compilation of code blocks in text (with notifications when they go out of date), or whatever other features that are “not a job” of a wiki engine but we don’t care and we’ll do them anyway.

If you want to keep up with the feature updates, subscribe to our RSS newsfeed. And if you want to talk about the project, either create topics in the sibling Guide category or head to our Gitter chat – or just comment below!

(P.S. If you want to contribute, then the chat is better for coordinating the writing process. I think.)

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Now it is clear what is “Aelve guide” and what benefits it brings to people!