[Haskell-beginners] is Haskell practical?

Martin Vlk martin at vlkk.cz
Wed Nov 25 17:50:07 UTC 2015

Dennis Raddle:
> On Wed, Nov 25, 2015 at 4:56 AM, Alexander Berntsen <alexander at plaimi.net>
> wrote:


> I don't agree. Having worked for 16 years in a government aerospace
> contractor doing C++ and Python programming, what I saw is that maybe half
> the programmers struggled with precise thinking and abstraction. They
> thought of programs as step-by-step recipes and implemented those recipes
> in exactly the same way they themselves had always thought about a problem.
> Also having worked as a math tutor, I see many people who struggle with
> abstract thinking.


> Can an "okay" imperative programmer become an "okay" Haskell programmer?
> Does the necessary skill, work, motivation, and talent to program at an
> "ordinary" imperative level serve as a sufficient prerequisite for
> functional programming? I really don't think so, but I could be wrong.

What'd be the definition of an okay programmer? If we agree that's the
one that "learns how to solve a few standard problems and then applies
the same thing over and over without much creativity", then I'll argue
this will work with Haskell just like with any imperative language. If
you train them on Haskell that is. :-)


> But I wonder if the same mechanisms that make Haskell concise (which are
> some of the things that make it hard) also are bound up with its practical
> advantages so that they can't be separated.

What you mean by practical? Does it mean that you can find enough people
able to use it in your real-world project, without putting too high
requirements on training them?

If so, then we could say that given the current state of affairs, where
the mass of okay programmers are trained on a different paradigm,
Haskell is not all that practical.

But if practical means that the language is well suited for solving
real-world problems, in beautiful ways, once you get it, then it is
uberpractical! :-)


More information about the Beginners mailing list