[Haskell-cafe] W3C discussion: Principle of Least Power

Graham Klyne GK at ninebynine.org
Fri Dec 23 06:45:34 EST 2005

There's a possibly-interesting thread running on the W3C TAG mailing list [2]
about the "Principle of Least Power" [1], in which Haskell gets a mention.

The debate gets kind-of interesting around discussion of analyzability of
language expressions vs expressibility, with passing reference to Turing
completeness.  Intuitively, I've felt that expressions in a pure functional
language are easier to analyze than expressions in (say) C or Java, despite them
all being fully Turing complete (so no difference in expressive power there).

Can it truly be said that it's easier to analyze a functional expression than a
C program?  What could that actually mean?  I feel the discussion is (so far)
missing a trick, but I'm not sure what it is.


[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-tag/2005Dec/0101.html

[2] http://web3.w3.org/2001/tag/

Graham Klyne
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