[Haskell-beginners] Haskell as a useful practical 'tool' for intelligent non-programmers

Mike Meyer mwm at mired.org
Sun Apr 29 02:47:17 CEST 2012

On Sat, 28 Apr 2012 15:50:36 -0600
"Nicholas Kormanik" <nkormanik at gmail.com> wrote:

> A bit frustrating that you mention four as candidates: "Groovy, Clojure,
> Ruby, Python."

I'd not recommend starting with Groovy or Clojure. While Clojure is a
great language, the most popular implementation is hooked into the
JVM, and you wind up needing to deal with a lot Java infrastructure
fairly quickly. Being able to use that infrastructure is a design
goal, but adds to the learning curve. I haven't looked into Groovy,
but suspect some of the same issues will arise (and hope a Groovy
programmer will correct me if I'm wrong).

Ruby makes a bad fit if Haskell is a goal (and that's a good
goal). Ruby functions aren't first-class objects, and can't simply be
passed to other functions as arguments. Last time I looked, there were
a half-dozen workarounds for that, none of them really very
elegant. That ability is a critical feature in Haskell. Python at
least allows it, though it's not as nicely integrated as in Haskell,
or even Clojure.

> But it sounds like you are leaning toward recommending Python as the best
> way to start. 

Given those for, and that this is a Haskell list, I'd certainly agree
with that.

Mike Meyer <mwm at mired.org>		http://www.mired.org/
Independent Software developer/SCM consultant, email for more information.

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