[Haskell-cafe] Doing some things right

Jon Harrop jon at ffconsultancy.com
Fri Dec 28 22:55:40 EST 2007

On Friday 28 December 2007 11:05:12 Andrew Coppin wrote:
> I thought Lisp and Erlang were both infinitely more 
> popular and better known. Followed by Clean and O'Camal.

According to the Debian and Ubuntu package popularity figures OCaml, Haskell 
and Erlang are the most popular general-purpose functional programming 
languages, followed by Lisp and Scheme:


OCaml, Haskell and Erlang are also growing much more rapidly than Lisp:


However, both F# and Scala have the potential to dwarf all of these languages 
in the not-so-distant future. I believe F# will do so in 2008 but Scala will 
take 2-3 years because they have far fewer resources to develop essential 
tools like working IDE plug-ins.

> [I actually heard a number of people tell me that learning LISP would
> change my life forever because LISP has something called "macros". I
> tried to learn it, and disliked it greatly. It's too messy. And what the
> heck is "cdr" ment to mean anyway? To me, LISP doesn't even seem all
> that different from normal languages (modulo weird syntax). Now
> Haskell... that's FUN!]

OCaml also has macros as well and, yes, forking the syntax of a language is a 
bad idea. I would have said that the metacircular evaluator was the most 
interesting aspect of Lisp/Scheme though, not macros.

Dr Jon D Harrop, Flying Frog Consultancy Ltd.

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