[Haskell-cafe] Things to avoid (Was: Top 20 ``things'' to know in Haskell)

Henning Thielemann lemming at henning-thielemann.de
Thu Feb 10 06:50:16 EST 2005

On Thu, 10 Feb 2005, [ISO-8859-1] Thomas J=E4ger wrote:

> Altogether, the spirit of the page seems to be "use as little
> syntactic sugar as possible" which maybe appropriate if it is aimed at
> newbies, who often overuse syntactic sugar (do-notation).

This overuse is what I observed and what I like to reduce. There are many
people advocating Haskell just because of the sugar, which let interested
people fail to see what's essential for Haskell. When someone says to me
that there is a new language which I should know of because it supports
definition of infix operators and list comprehension, I shake my head and
wonder why he don't simply stick to Perl, Python, C++ or whatever.

For me it was the same with LaTeX: Someone who was very convinced about
LaTeX tried to convince me. He loved the nice type setting of formulas,
but the way he worked with LaTeX (trying around centi-meter measures,
adding \skip here and boldface there) didn't convince me and I stuck to a
WYSIWYG text processor. Today I'm using LaTeX all the time, because I like
the easy extensibility, the simple work with large documents, the
programmability, the possibility to generate LaTeX code automatically.

That's why I want to stress that the syntactic sugar is much less
important or even necessary than generally believed. I hope that the
examples clarify that.

More information about the Haskell-Cafe mailing list