[Haskell-cafe] Is Haskell a 5GL?

David Curran david.curran at gmail.com
Thu Sep 28 20:47:54 EDT 2006

Sorry if this comes across as the rant it is. If you are interested in
doing useful stuff rather then navel gazing please stop here.

Where are compute languages going?
I think multi core, distributed, fault tolerant.
So you would end up with a computer of the sort envisioned by Hillis
in the 80s with his data parallel programs. The only language that
seems even close to this model is Erlang. What am I missing about the
ability of Haskell to distribute across processors or a network?

Say instead of fault tolerant it is fault avoiding.
Can proving programs correct (with Haskell) really reduce our workload?

Finally is Haskell a language for programming or a mental gymnasium
that might be the proving ground for concepts in the next popular
language? To quote from a post on the topic "Old functional
programming ideas " on programming.reddit.com

"Church-Turing equivalence tells us that all models of recursive
computing have the same formal power. But it tells us nothing about
which models are the most effective way for humans to understand and
express definitions of functions. For some reason I'd expect
researchers in programming languages to have a lot of opinions on this
subject. But they don't seem to talk about it much.

Instead, a cynical and mean-spirited person might come to the
conclusion that PL researchers (such as Wadler) are actually just
mathematicians, who happen to have discovered a new name for their
specialty which comes with a lot more funding. They certainly seem
quite comfortable working in a notation that almost no programmers
understand or seem to be learning.

If a responsible scientist wanted to counter this cynical,
mean-spirited, and generally Luddite and Philistine argument, what
would he or she say?"

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