It has long been thought that commercial users of Haskell could benefit from an organisation to support their needs, and that as a side-effect the wider Haskell community could benefit from the actions of such an organisation. The stronger community would in turn benefit the commercial users, in a positive feedback cycle.
At last year's CUFP, users of several FP languages raised the issue that there was no organisation that they could pay to do the important but boring work of maintaining and improving common infrastructure. Shortly after CUFP, in partnership with major commercial users of Haskell such as Galois and Amgen, we started to set wheels in motion, and in March 2009 we announced the birth of the Industrial Haskell Group (IHG).
The IHG is starting off with a limited set of activities, but already it is having an impact on the state of the Haskell development platform. We expect that as it expands, it will become a significant force driving Haskell forwards.
In this presentation we will talk about the motivation leading to the formation of the IHG, how it has worked thus far and what lessons we can learn that might benefit other FP communities. We will also look at how we can encourage the positive feedback cycle between commercial users and the wider community.