[Haskell-cafe] Explaining monads

Lanny Ripple lanny at cisco.com
Tue Aug 14 13:30:28 EDT 2007

A very good point.  I even knew that implicitly but wasn't 
thinking in those terms explicitly when writing up my first post 
and it does make a difference in how you view things.


Jeff Polakow wrote:
> Hello,
>  > Look!  You are doing it again!  :)  Does that paragraph even
>  > contain the word "Monad"?  :)
>  >
> Sorry. Your first paragraph led me to believe you were writing about 
> monads.
>  > I'm aware a monad is an abstraction and as such it doesn't *do*
>  > anything.  My point was along the lines that you don't need to
>  > know that your working in a field to be able to learn that
>  >
>  >     3/2 = 1.5
>  >
> I agree.
> I think one of the problem with understanding monads comes from people 
> mistakenly believing monads force an order of evaluation. This is a 
> shortcoming of general Haskell tutorials which fail to convey that the 
> order of evaluation is determined by data dependencies. If new 
> programmers know that monads have nothing to do with forcing the order 
> of evaluation when they start learning about monads, then maybe they 
> will be less confused as they sort out what monads are actually used for.
> -Jeff
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Lanny Ripple <lanny at cisco.com>
ScmDB / Cisco Systems, Inc.

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