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

Thomas Hartman tphyahoo at gmail.com
Wed Apr 11 10:35:11 EDT 2007

I am also coming at haskell from a perl background.

While there is some truth to what you say, I do think haskell can be
used for "keeping simple things simple" in a way similar to perl.
Though you have to search harder since the documentation / tutorials
seem to be more optimized for "making hard things possible". (And in
fact, much easier than in perl.)

But back to the easy, here is a thread concerning one liners in haskell


I think if you really have desire the best route is to complement
googling around with asking on #haskell and the newsgroups. It's a
*very* friendly community.

hope this helps!

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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