[Haskell-beginners] Re: Haskell described as a "rigid" language

Heinrich Apfelmus apfelmus at quantentunnel.de
Tue May 18 05:46:52 EDT 2010

Am 18.05.10 02:22, aditya siram wrote:
> Haskell is considered by many as an inflexible language [1] . I
> describe a flexible language as one that supports any design you want
> (even a bad one) - if you can think it, you can code it and run it
> (bugs and all).
> I share this opinion about Haskell but pursue it because I feel that
> one day it will open up and let me think more about the problem and
> less about how to get GHC to approve it.

The key point of the "rigidity" is that it forces you to think about the
problem. If GHC does not approve my code, then it's either a typo
manifesting as a type error, or it's a much deeper problem that
highlights that I didn't think enough about it.

And with a strict typing discipline, something else begins to happen:

"Still, as usual, the types were a remarkable aid to writing the code:
when we finally agreed on the types presented above, the code almost
wrote itself."

  Ramsey, Dias, Peyton Jones.
  Hoopl: A Modular, Reusable Library for Dataflow Analysis
    and Transformation.
  http://tinyurl.com/hoopl-dataflow  [pdf]

Heinrich Apfelmus


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