[Haskell-beginners] ANN: MOOC course on Functional Programming

Rustom Mody rustompmody at gmail.com
Sun May 19 18:36:33 CEST 2013

We are offering the Haskell/FP related course:
which goes online if it gathers enough votes.

It  is our contribution towards getting Haskell and FP up on MOOC (Massive
Open Online Course).

The aim is:
1. To use Haskell as medium to understand and showcase functional
2. To show how using Haskell *as a thinking language* can change the
quality of programming in more conventional *coding languages* -- eg python.

It has been designed in the spirit of using haskell to play with ideas, and
then idiomatically refine them for any implementation contexts including
Therefore, in this course (classical) typeful functional programming will
take precedence over (modern) 'type hackery'. Some aspects of this shift of
emphasis is [3].
Also some paradigm/philosophy questions, eg why much-hyped paradigms like
OOP are not such a good idea [4]

Functional Programming has never had it so good as today!
Books like RWH, implementations like ghc, and of course the Haskell
language itself are all part of this 'Never Before.'

spj has often joked about 'avoiding success at all costs'.  This may be
somewhat tongue-in-cheek yet is also serious.
As Haskell enters the mainstream and begins to compete head-on-head with C,
C++, Java, Python etc, we need to separate out these aspects:

1. Mastering Haskell is harder today than when FP was an academic passtime
2. *Haskell-the-technology* is obscuring the possibilities and reach of *
*3. The elegant computer science (FP) + powerful modern technology (ghc) is
obscuring the questions of paradigm and perspective that marked the
inception of the field in an earlier era [1]

One of the main intentions behind this course is to take cognizance of
these facts and work on the Haskell-learning-curve to make it accessible to
people with a wide swathe of interests/backgrounds.

Those who are called to the above, Please Vote!
And those who are not called, also please vote [After all the choice is
between this Haskell/FP course and none <wink> ]

[1] Think of AI → Lisp, Denotational Semantics → ML, Notation as a tool for
thought → APL etc
[3] A shopping-list of topics in 'classic FP' :
     Recursion as a wider concept than just recursive functions
[4] Folly of OOP
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