[Haskell-cafe] Does laziness make big difference?

Nick nick.linker at rambler.ru
Mon Feb 19 01:59:31 EST 2007

Jerzy Karczmarczuk,

> You have strict languages as Scheme or ML, with some possibilities to do
> lazy programming. Go ahead! (But you will pay a price. The laziness in
> Scheme introduced by the delay macro can produce a lot of inefficient
> code, much worse than coded at the base level).
Maybe I am not clear enough, but this is the price I try to measure. :-)
> The question is NOT open. The question has been answered a long time ago
> in a liberal manner. You have both. You *choose* your programming 
> approach.
> You choose your language, if you don't like it, you go elsewhere, or you
> produce another one, of your own.
Yes, I agree, the world of programming is very rich. But you probably 
know, there are quite a few of curious people (at least in the Russian 
community) that begin to be interested in other (than mainstream) 
languages. Of course, one moment they meet Haskell, and get exited of 
its excellent expressive capabilities, but finally ask the same question:

    What advantages does lazy language have?

And you see, it is incorrect to answer: "Relax, no advantages at all, 
take a look at ML or Scheme", because it is just not true. But in order 
to invite new members to the community, we have to answer this question 
(and plus 100 other boring questions) over and over again. Especially it 
is even harder to avoid another holy war, because on the other side 
there are languages with advanced expressiveness features and macrosystem.
> Haskell chose a particular schema, that implied a *very concrete* 
> decision
> concerning the underlying abstract machine model, and the implementation.
> It is a bit frustrating reading over and over the complaints of people 
> who
> never needed, so they dont appreciate laziness, who want to revert 
> Haskell
> to strict. As if we were really obliged to live inside of a specific Iron
> Curtain, where only one paradigm is "legal".
You misunderstood me, I don't try to revert Haskell to strict. I like 
Haskell as is. My motivation is different.

Best regards,

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