[Haskell-cafe] Why Perl is more learnable than Haskell

riccardo cagnasso lordphas at gmail.com
Wed Apr 11 09:18:09 EDT 2007

My opinion is that "learnin haskell is difficult" is just for the fact that
when you learn programming, you probably begin with C / C++ or some other
procedural/OO programming language, so you get used to think in these ways,
and when you have to switch to functional paradigm, you find it difficoult.

If you first language is LISP probably you find easy Haskell and difficult

2007/4/11, kynn <kynnjo at gmail.com>:
> Perl is a large, ugly, messy language filled with quirks and
> eccentricities,
> while Haskell is an extremely elegant language whose design is guided by a
> few overriding ideas.  (Or so I'm told.)
> Based on this one would think that it would be much easier to learn
> Haskell
> than to learn Perl, but my experience is exactly the opposite.
> I've been wanting to learn Haskell for years, literally, but it has been a
> case of Sisyphus and the Rock.  Despite my efforts, I never get to the
> level
> of expertise that would make Haskell useful to me.  (I don't need elegant
> factorial or Fibonacci functions in my everyday work.)  Sooner or later
> life
> intervenes: big project due, long trip abroad, etc., and when I finally
> return to learning Haskell, I have forgotten almost everything I learned
> and
> I have to start all over again.  (BTW, I've heard similar stories from
> many
> wannabe Haskell programmers.)
> Arguably, this experience means that I have no business learning Haskell,
> because it's just not relevant to my work.  Maybe so, but I still cling to
> the fanciful notion that if I knew Haskell well enough, I would find
> plenty
> of stuff to do with it in my daily work...
> Anyway, in contrast to my struggle with Haskell, I learned Perl
> incrementally over the years, by using it in daily little projects,
> ranging
> at first from command-line snippets to 100-line self-contained scripts,
> and
> moving on to larger, hairier projects.  This daily reinforcement of the
> little bits of Perl I was picking up was crucial to my being able to
> retain
> it and move forward.
> Perhaps Haskell will never lend itself to something like a Perl one-liner,
> but still I wish that there were books on Haskell that focused on making
> Haskell useful to the learner as quickly as possible...  If such already
> exist and I've missed it, please let me know.
> Or I can always wait until I retire; then I'll probably have a
> sufficiently
> long stretch of free time in my hands (barring any operations, strokes,
> heart attacks, hip fractures, etc.).  I bet I could start a Haskell
> Wannabes
> Club at the nursing home...
> kj
> --
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I invented the term Object-Oriented, and I can tell you I did not have C++
in mind. (Alan Kay)
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