[Haskell-cafe] Explaining monads
derek.a.elkins at gmail.com
Tue Aug 14 19:34:54 EDT 2007
On Tue, 2007-08-14 at 12:40 -0500, Lanny Ripple wrote:
> 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."
How about a book? You've never recommended a book? But even so, where
did I say tutorial? The -are- good monad tutorials, they are just
horribly out-weighed by bad ones. Further, having a tutorial as
supplement to person-to-person education is totally different from
trying to learn purely from tutorials. Also, what is wrong with papers
or recommending them? Finally, how often have you been part of a
community where the primary mode of documentation is a research paper...
> > 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.
I'm praising Wadler and bashing the good majority of monad tutorials,
but not all of them. Mostly I'm pointing out an unreasonable aversion
to reading papers, as if a paper couldn't possibly be understandable.
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