[Haskell-cafe] IO is a bad example for Monads

Conal Elliott conal at conal.net
Tue Dec 11 13:02:45 EST 2007

> This is at odds with the notion, popular on this list and other haskell
forums, that pure functional programming is the future.

Perhaps a nit-pick, but I don't think we're talking about *pure* functional
programming.  I think we're talking about a mixture of functional and
imperative programming in a functional language.  Haskell offers a cleaner
separation between the two than, say, Scheme or ML.  The idea of pure
functional programming (no explicit IO) for getting real things done is much
more of a lunatic fringe vision, and I'm not sure there are many of us left
pursuing that vision.

  - Conal

On Dec 11, 2007 9:34 AM, Tim Newsham <newsham at lava.net> wrote:

> I haven't been following this thread closely, but would it be rude to
> suggest
> > that someone who doesn't want to put the effort into learning the
> (admittedly
> > difficult) concepts that Haskell embodies shouldn't be using the
> language?
> > Haskell was never intended to be The Next Big Popular Language.  It was
> > intended to be a purely functional language for people who want to use
> purely
> > functional languages and who are willing to learn new concepts if it
> enables
> > them to program in that  style.
> This is at odds with the notion, popular on this list and other
> haskell forums, that pure functional programming is the future.
> Why is it that every time the topic of teaching basic concepts in
> an easier way comes up there are always two or three replies that
> say "should we bother?  lets filter out the idiots?"  These are
> pointless and counterproductive.  Whether or not you like the idea
> of lesser entities sullying your private, pure, functional programming
> language, there are going to be a lot more people learning this
> language, and there will be people trying to make it easier for them
> to learn it.
> > whatever.  That said, of course we should strive to have better teaching
> > materials, but there are a number of good IO/monad tutorials on the web.
> [...]
> > because it enables us to write programs more effectively (in many cases,
> at
> > least) than we can in other languages, but the learning curve is steep
> --
> > there ain't no such thing as a free lunch.
> Many of the best resources for learning Haskell are still academic
> papers published by language researchers.   We've still got a long
> long way to go...  Sure there's no shortcut to learning difficult
> concepts, but right now its more of a nature hike than a freeway...
> > Mike
> Tim Newsham
> http://www.thenewsh.com/~newsham/ <http://www.thenewsh.com/%7Enewsham/>
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