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

Ryan Dickie goalieca at gmail.com
Wed Apr 11 17:58:39 EDT 2007

I thought I could resist this thread but I'll bite =:-()

The first language i learned was basic. No real functions, simple step by
step instructions. I then learned hypercard, c, c++, python, assembly, vhdl,
and too many others!

Now i've decided to learn haskell. I view it as a mathematicians language. I
do research in the field of medical imaging.. particularly processing large
cardiac data sets to figure out characteristics, diseases, etc. Why workflow
generally starts out as 1) mathematical idea 2) turn that pure equation into
a numerical recipe 3) implement, debug 5) analyze 6) goto step 1. I find
doing my thinking in the continous domain makes things a lot easier.

But here's where i differ from everyone else. I already have the
mathematical relationships all nice and tidy (hopefully!) in my head before
i start. I literally just implement it. I don't want to care about
threading, IO, message passing, or numerical stability. I have to care about
performance but only so far as it hampers my productivity. Preferably the
language will do it implicitly.

Your average programmer wants a language to do tasks. Having to think about
the math and relationships behind it all is rather sickening to them (and me

I am a new haskell programmer (basically a week into it!). It is by far the
hardest language i've had to pick up. A lot of my code could be structured
in a functional way.. but almost all reply on looping techniques (would take
a lot of work to rethink my gradient descent method and make it fast!).
Regardless of actually using haskell.. i like to transfer these techniques
to c++. Before i even knew of haskell i knew some FP methods and i found
that using these shrunk my code, shrunk the bugs, and did nice things for
performance + concurrency. In fact, I just read a google paper on their
batch system. They use to functions: map and reduce. They can easily split
it up over their cluster etc... these are the ideas of FP that i like! That
and the set-builder notation.

I also hate matlab to death. Is there any possibility of using haskell as a
replacement using ghci? Mostly i care about linalg when it comes to using

ps: sorry if gmail butchered this reply. I had subscribed to the digest and
turns out that was a mistake :D
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