[Haskell-cafe] Python?

Erik de Castro Lopo hc-erikd at mega-nerd.com
Tue May 10 20:29:59 EDT 2005

Daniel Carrera wrote:

> Hello,
> This might be a strange question to ask on a Haskell list, but I do want 
> to hear your opinions. What do you think of Python?

Its good for small scripting tasks. Its good for string processing.
I find the dynamic typing a pain.

> I have a lady friend who wants to learn how to program. I just decided 
> to teach her Python for practical reasons:

Its a great first language for people who aren't interested in
making a career of programming.

> But I do hesitate. I would like to teach her Haskell because I think 
> it's a better language.

Its a better language for people who either have a computer science
background or intend to study computer science. I would not inflict
a language like Haskell on someone who just wants to get the job
done with as little fuss as possible.

> So I'm thinking that perhaps I can use Python, but try to teach her 
> functional principles, like not changing the value of a variable and not 
> letting her functions have side-effects.

For the majority of tasks she is likely to undertake, the above simply
doesn't matter.

> Given my circunstances, do you think that's a reasonable approach for 
> teaching her how to program?

Teach her Python. If you try and teach her Haskell she will end up
programming in visual basic :-).

  Erik de Castro Lopo  nospam at mega-nerd.com (Yes it's valid)
"It has been discovered that C++ provides a remarkable facility
for concealing the trival details of a program -- such as where 
its bugs are." -- David Keppel

More information about the Haskell-Cafe mailing list