Non-Academic Haskell was Re: [Haskell-cafe] Non-technical Haskell question

Shae Matijs Erisson shae at
Tue Nov 30 10:57:27 EST 2004

GoldPython <goldpython at> writes:

> Has anyone tried presenting the language to the average rank and file
> programming community?  If so, was it successful? If not, is there
> interest in doing so?

The #haskell irc channel on is composed of many different
flavors of programmer, from self-educated 16 year olds on up to post doctoral
students studying functional programming.
I'm a self-educated, self-employed programmer. I use Python in most of my
paying work but would very much prefer to use Haskell.
It seems obvious to me (but not to most of my clients :-) that the various
powerful and expressive patterns in Haskell allow programmers to deliver more
business value in less time than almost any other programming language.

> By "rank and file" I mean, outside of the acedemic world where a large
> number of the programmers I see have very little math background. This
> would be the typical commercial Visual Basic crowd and the like.

I have no math background. I started with BASIC on a Sinclair, and my first
real programming job was with Visual Basic 4, 5, and 6 for trust management.

It seems that Haskell is about finding essential patterns and making those
available for easy use. Most of my code starts out fuzzy and complicated, but
as I understand the problem better, my code gets smaller.
In the process, I find and refactor more and more places where my code is
special or general cases of Prelude functions.

Implicit For Each looping in Visual Basic was easier than manual looping in C.
The map function in Python was another improvement.
Now I have monads as the next step up in power, and I'm reading up on arrows.
I'd think every programmer who preferred Visual Basic over C would end up
loving Haskell.
Shae Matijs Erisson - - Sockmonster once said:
You could switch out the unicycles for badgers, and the game would be the same.

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