[Haskell-cafe] Re: Wikipedia on first-class object

Jonathan Cast jonathanccast at fastmail.fm
Sun Dec 30 12:02:11 EST 2007

On 30 Dec 2007, at 10:54 AM, Cristian Baboi wrote:

> On Sun, 30 Dec 2007 18:39:51 +0200, Jonathan Cast  
> <jonathanccast at fastmail.fm> wrote:
>> On 30 Dec 2007, at 10:14 AM, Cristian Baboi wrote:
>>> On Sat, 29 Dec 2007 21:49:16 +0200, Jonathan Cast  
>>> <jonathanccast at fastmail.fm> wrote:
>>>> On 29 Dec 2007, at 5:01 AM, Cristian Baboi wrote:
>>>>> By portable I mean: works on the same machine, with the same  
>>>>> OS, but with different Haskell implementation.
>>>> Ah, you can't.  But, again, what are you trying to do?  Re- 
>>>> compiling your software for each implementation seems like a  
>>>> perfectly reasonable thing to do, given the differences between  
>>>> them.
>>> Recompiling my software will not save a function created by the  
>>> software at runtime.
>> Which is a different problem than the one solved by dynamic  
>> linking.  Again, why do you want to do this?
> I think they are not as different as you think they are.

I think they're very different --- dynamic libraries can be built by  
running the compiler, whatever you're asking for can't.

More generally, dynamic libraries are supported by every production- 
quality compiled language in existence; I know of no language that  
can do what you're asking for.

I think, again, that what you really want is a reason to discredit  

Twenty years ago, Haskell had a laundry list of features few other  
languages had.  Today, you'd be hard-pressed to find a compelling  
feature Haskell has that other languages don't.  But those features  
are an integral part of Haskell's design, and very easy to use; in  
other languages, just producing the syntax required to invoke them is  
like kicking dead whales down the beach.  (I know, I program `Higher  
Order Perl' for a living.  Usually, giving up on HO and settling for  
OO is /easier/ in that language --- but using higher order functions  
in Haskell is easier than either).  But I don't imagine you're  
particularly interested in hearing that.


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