[Haskell-cafe] What is a hacker? [was: Mozart versus Beethoven]

Benjamin Franksen benjamin.franksen at bessy.de
Wed Dec 13 19:44:09 EST 2006

Kirsten Chevalier wrote:
> On 12/12/06, Patrick Mulder <pemulder at yahoo.de> wrote:
>> PS  I like the idea of a book "Hakell for Hackers"
> Maybe "Haskell for People Who Want to Be Hackers"? 

I would never buy a book with such a title, even if I didn't have the
slightest clue about programming. However "Haskell for Hackers" is cool.

> (Since, of course, 
> one should never apply the term "hacker" to oneself.)

Who told you that? Calling oneself 'hacker' is a sign of healthy
self-respect; to the contrary, I don't know anyone who would call
themselves wannabe-hacker.

> I'm not sure 
> whether it's best to aim at people who might be already hackers who
> want to learn Haskell, or people who are already programmers who want
> to be Haskell hackers, in particular. I suppose that the first group
> of people is probably larger.

Being a hacker is a matter of attitude and self-definition more than
knowledge and experience. A hacker, even if young and lacking experience,
reads books for hackers (if at all) not 'how do I become a hacker' books.
The attitude is 'gimme the knowledge so i can go ahead and start doing real
stuff', not 'oh, there is so much to learn, maybe after 10 years of study
and hard work people will finally call me a hacker'.


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