[Haskell-cafe] [Newbie] Why or why not haskell ?

Sebastian Sylvan sebastian.sylvan at gmail.com
Sat Dec 10 12:44:22 EST 2005

On 12/10/05, Christophe Plasschaert <christophe.plasschaert at wanadoo.fr> wrote:
> First, i'd like to say good day to everybody.

Good Day.

> I didn't find enough information to anwser this question:
> Being interesting in learning another way of programming
> besides C and perl i started watching other languages.
> These are my candidates:

Okay, here we go. This is all very subjective from my own limited
experience, of course.

> - ada;

Never really got into it, but seems better than "some" (I'm looking at
you, C++!)

> - erlang;

Isn't strongly typed, isn't pure, and isn't lazy. However, it IS
functional so that makes it quite pleasant to program in. Code is
often short and elegant, just like in Haskell.
It's excellent for network and concurrent programming. Better than
Haskell even, despite STM. Erlang was built with this in mind so it's
quite convenient to send messages etc.

> - clisp or scheme;

I only have limited experience but both seem nice. I can't see a real
compelling reason to use it over Haskell. The main reason I think
Haskell is a better choice is purity.

> and of course
> - haskell.

My language of choice for most problems.
Elegant and pure.
It does lack some libraries, though. Especially for dealing with
"lower level" stuff, and there's no real standard (official or de
facto) data structures library (Edison was a great start, but for some
reason it never amounted to anything truly useful).

If you hadn't mentioned networking specifically, I would've
recommended Haskell without hesitation. But you did, and therefor I'll
also recommend Erlang.
I do think Haskell is a better starter language for FP though, because
it's pure and strongly typed. So learn the ropes in Haskell and then
take a look at Erlang and hopefully some of your bad C habits will
have died off so that you won't abuse the unsafe features of it :-)


Sebastian Sylvan
UIN: 44640862

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