[Haskell-cafe] Haskell versus Lisp

Creighton Hogg wchogg at login01.hep.wisc.edu
Fri Sep 16 08:19:33 EDT 2005

On Fri, 16 Sep 2005, Mark Carter wrote:

> This is not a troll, honest, so please bear with me ...
> I'm a C/C++/VBA programmer (although the former 2 are several years old 
> for me), with a sprinkling of Python. Needless to say, I was looking to 
> see if there were any better ways of doing things. I've given things 
> like Ruby and Scheme a bit of peck, and failed to get particularly 
> enthusiastic about them. Two very interesting choices, though, appear to 
> be Lisp and Haskell. It struck me that Lisp was, perhaps, the Ultimate 
> Programming Language, the One True Language to rule them all; except 
> that I always kept  abandoning it for one reason or another (fiddly 
> installation, lack of libraries, compatability problems,  cost, possible 
> license issues, etc.). My current foray in Haskell seems encouraging. 
> wxHaskell installed a breeze, and seems quite usable (even though I'm a 
> raw n00b to the language, and admittedly haven't grokked the semantics, 
> and all this  <cid:part1.01000702.09000407 at yahoo.co.uk> IO a -> IO () 
> business). On the one hand, it  seems kinda academic, but on the other, 
> it looks like it wants to be practical, too.
> Bearing this in mind, and hoping you can see where I'm coming from, I 
> think my question is: shouldn't you guys be using Lisp?

As someone else that has been learning both Haskell and 
Lisp, I think you should really look at Haskell as a 
wonderful experiment.  Essentially, while Lisp can do pretty 
much anything, it isn't perfect and shouldn't be the last 
word., I don't think we should be satisfied with a language just 
the way it is.  Haskell is very, very different than most languages.  
It's *purely* functional and lazy evaluating.  The latter is 
most interesting to me from the compiler writing aspect.  
When I have a little more free time and a little more 
experience I'd love to have a deeper look at ghc and 
understand how it works.
In essence though, I think that Haskell is worth learning 
simply because it tries something different.

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