[Haskell-cafe] Explaining monads

Lanny Ripple lanny at cisco.com
Tue Aug 14 13:40:24 EDT 2007

Derek Elkins wrote:
> What people need to do is stop reading two page blog posts by someone
> who's "just got" monads and read the well-written peer-reviewed papers

I have taught many people to program in group settings and 
individually in my career.  I have referred them to many 
tutorials.  I have used many examples from tutorials I thought 
were useful.  I can't recall a single time I've ever turned to a 
beginner and said, "And you really should brush up on the 
peer-reviewed papers to learn this part."

> by the people who clearly know what they are talking about.  Luckily,
> for monads applied to Haskell we have Wadler, a witty, enjoyable and
> clear writer/speaker.  All of Wadler's monad "introductions" are
> readable by anyone with a basic grasp of Haskell.  You certainly don't
> need to be even remotely an academic to understand them.  I'm willing to
> bet that many people who say they don't understand monads and have read
> "every tutorial about them" haven't read -any- of Wadler's papers.

I'm confused.  Are you praising Wadler or bashing the tutorials 
(or both)?  *I* was carping about the tutorials (and even 
mentioned that Wadler was my breakthrough) so I suspect we are in 
violent agreement.


Lanny Ripple <lanny at cisco.com>
ScmDB / Cisco Systems, Inc.

More information about the Haskell-Cafe mailing list