[Haskell-beginners] is Haskell practical?

Blake Hyde syrion at gmail.com
Fri Nov 27 15:17:38 UTC 2015

On Fri, Nov 27, 2015 at 8:17 AM, Dennis Raddle <dennis.raddle at gmail.com>
> Martin,
> One issue I can foresee is having both good Haskell programmers and
> non-creative Haskell programmers on the same team. The good ones can easily
> write code that is incomprehensible to the non-creative ones.
> It actually happened in my team twice that C++ code was thrown out and
> assigned to someone else for a complete rewrite, because the senior
> software engineer deemed that the original code was incomprehensible. In
> both cases it was code that used a few tricks that I think were good, and
> in both cases the replacement code was buggier.
This is not unique to Haskell; this is a problem with programming in
general. People with more ability can write code that is clean, fast, and
easy to read, but which "average" programmers find confusing. I don't think
it's realistic to avoid that in any language; I've even had people review
my Ruby code that used the "Hash[]" constructor to build a hashmap from a
list and call that confusing.

> Very well put. I didn't really think about what meant by "practical," and
> it depends on context.
>  I am gaining some Haskell momentum, and I see how the potential for
> conciseness seems to encourage the kind of thinking about a problem that
> leads to simplifications and optimizations. When I spend some time thinking
> about a good way to write it in Haskell, it's guiding me toward a better
> understanding of the problem itself that would potentially be helpful no
> matter what language I'm using. But using Haskell provides the impetus for
> this thinking.
> In my opinion, thinking about the problem up front is the most vital
aspect of writing reliable, readable code, in any language. Haskell allows
you to encode those insights into the types; in other languages, they
frequently live only in your short term memory (or, if you're particularly
conscientious, docstrings--although those are neglected the minute anyone
else touches them).
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