[Haskell-cafe] Tutorial on Haskell
mvanier at cs.caltech.edu
Wed Apr 18 23:46:36 EDT 2007
As one who teaches programming in a lot of different languages, I can
state unequivocally that strong static typing of the Haskell or Ocaml
variety is (in addition to all its other benefits) a godsend to the
instructor. So many incorrect ways of writing programs are simply ruled
out right at the start that it makes it easier to concentrate on what
really matters. The downside is that sometimes you get programmers from
an imperative languages background who cannot figure out why some simple
code is giving them a type error (for instance, by not putting in an
"else" clause in an "if" statement).
Neil Davies wrote:
> Yep - I've seen it in course work I've set in the past - random walk
> through the arrangement of symbols in the language (it was a process
> algebra work and proof system to check deadlock freedom).
> ... but ...
> Haskell even helps those people - if you've created something that
> works (and you are at least sensible to create a test suite be it
> regression or property based) - then there is more confidence that
> they've coded "a" solution (if not a good one).
> Haskell raises the value of formality (both ecomomically and in terms
> of its caché) - changin the mindset of the "masses" - creating the
> meme - that's tricky. Especialy if they're really off the B Ark!
> On 18/04/07, Michael Vanier <mvanier at cs.caltech.edu> wrote:
>> R Hayes wrote:
>> > On Apr 17, 2007, at 4:46 PM, David Brown wrote:
>> >> R Hayes wrote:
>> >>> They *enjoy* debugging ...
>> >> I have to say this is one of the best things I've found for catching
>> >> bad programmers during interviews, no matter what kind of system
>> it is
>> >> for. I learned this the hard way after watching someone who never
>> >> really understood her program, but just kept thwacking at it with a
>> >> debugger until it at least partially worked.
>> > I've seen this too, but I would not use the word debugging to describe
>> > it. I don't think I agree that enjoying debugging is a sufficient
>> > symptom for diagnosing this condition. There are many people that
>> > love the puzzle-box aspect of debugging. Some of them are very
>> > talented developers.
>> > R Hayes
>> > rfhayes<>@</>reillyhayes.com
>> >> Dave
>> I agree with the latter sentiment. I call the "thwacking at it"
>> approach "random programming" or "shotgun programming", the latter
>> suggesting that it's like shooting at the problem randomly until it
>> dies. I prefer not having to debug, but when I do have to I find it fun
>> (up to a point).
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