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

John Velman velman at cox.net
Wed Apr 11 13:22:18 EDT 2007

On Wed, Apr 11, 2007 at 05:55:08AM -0700, kynn wrote:
> 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.
> 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

My experience is a lot like yours, except I retired 5 years ago, and still
haven't learned Haskell.  Unfortunately, I've had lots of interruptions
that have kept me away from the keyboard.  I've got a few unfinished
projects, including one I started in Perl years ago, moved to Python, then
moved to Haskell.  The only useful thing I've programmed since I retired
was a program to update my checkbook/bank statement postgresql database
using Prolog for parsing entries the way I like to write them in a text
file.  Someday I'll move this to Haskell :-).  I've sworn off other
languages since I don't have any deadlines except my own.

I never really learned Perl, but I used it a lot for simple one to thirty
liners.  The thing was, any thing I wanted to do I could find the bits and
pieces of in "Learning Perl", "Programming Perl", or "Learning Perl/TK".

I have on my shelf "Haskell: The craft...", "The Haskell school of
expression", and "The Haskell road to Logic...".  I've "read" them.  I know
I should sit down with each one at the computer and work through the
exercises.  But..,.

When my current spate of unavoidable interruptions is over, I'll look into
the email on Haskell one-liners, and some of the new tutorials to try to
come back up to speed.  Not in a nursing home yet!

Good luck,

John Velman

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