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> What's the deal with Haskell strings?

I think the linked article laid the case fairly well. Basically, Haskell has a bunch of string types you need to understand and fret about, and the one named "String" is the one you almost never want, but it's also the only one with decent ergonomics unless you know to install a compiler extension.

I think it's a fair criticism. The "Lots of different string types" thing isn't (IMO) such a big deal coming from a language of Haskell's vintage. Given what Python's "decade-plus spent with a giant breaking change right in the middle of the platform hanging over our heads" wild ride has been like, I can't blame anyone for not wanting to replicate the adventure.

But, for newcomers, the whole thing where you need to know to

  {-# LANGUAGE Support, Twenty, First, Century #-}
is a pretty big stumbling block.

I think that "deal" is just complains coming from someone that doesn't yet understand the engineering tradeoffs between strong static and weak type systems. That the nice functions for String come in the Prologue and that you need to implement or use other libraries for the functions for byte sequences or other stuff is not an excuse or a problem of the language as a tool.

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