GK at ninebynine.org
Wed May 11 05:17:06 EDT 2005
At 19:02 10/05/05 -0400, Daniel Carrera wrote:
>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?
I think it's benefits are neatly summed up by this comment from Tim
Berners-Lee, "Python is a language you can get into on one battery":
By the way... Python is cool.
I had lamented that it ws a long time since I had a practial hacking
environment, and Dan Connolly suggested Python as something you could start
quickly but which would scale to a large system. One day, 15 minutes before
I had to leave for the airport, I got my laptop back out of my bag, and
sucked off the web the python 1.6 system and the python tutorial, and a
copy of a small notation3 parser Dan had hacked together. I was happy to
find that Python is a language you can get into on one battery! I have been
happily hacking ever since.
I remember Guido trying to persuade me to use python as I was trying to
persuade him to write web software!
I was using Python for much of my work before I came to Haskell. It took
me a long time to learn to use Haskell anything like effectively (partly,
but not entirely, because I'd been corrupted by years of imperative
programming). I now choose Haskell for my work because its greater
formality appeals to me for my desired applications, but I still use Python
and would probably choose it for the kind of use you propose.
To be a "starter language", I think there needs to be some delineation
between the simple, obvious concepts of functional programming and the more
advanced notions that are needed to build programming frameworks. (cf. my
recent posting referring to a comment by Alan Kay and Smalltalk --
I do think that there's a strong role for functional programming for
"non-professional" programmers, but I'm not sure that "raw" Haskell is
it. I think the Vital project (http://www.cs.kent.ac.uk/projects/vital/)
is an interesting take (at the level of function rather than specifically
the visual aspects) but (last time I looked) lacks IO capability.)
More information about the Haskell-Cafe