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

Kelleher, Kevin KKelleher at homesite.com
Mon May 20 19:33:49 CEST 2013

The key question to me is: what kind of time commitment must one make?
Is it one hour a week? An hour a day?

From: beginners-bounces at haskell.org [mailto:beginners-bounces at haskell.org] On Behalf Of Rustom Mody
Sent: Sunday, May 19, 2013 12:37 PM
To: beginners
Subject: [Haskell-beginners] ANN: MOOC course on Functional Programming

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 programming
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 Haskell.
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 Haskell-for-CS
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
[2] https://moocfellowship.org/submissions/the-dance-of-functional-programming-languaging-with-haskell-and-python
[3] A shopping-list of topics in 'classic FP' : http://blog.languager.org/2012/10/functional-programming-lost-booty.html
     Recursion as a wider concept than just recursive functions http://blog.languager.org/2012/05/recursion-pervasive-in-cs.html
[4] Folly of OOP http://blog.languager.org/2012/07/we-dont-need-no-ooooo-orientation-4.html
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