[Haskell-cafe] How did you stumble on Haskell?

Dan Mead d.w.mead at gmail.com
Mon Jan 29 17:09:42 EST 2007

I find it odd when people talk about portability in languages. Form me that
has always been a given (I started my first language, c++ in 2002).

I got into Haskell and FP in general when I took advanced languages at my
uni and I still write haskell java and c++ regularly.

On 1/29/07, David Kirkman <dkirkman at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 1/28/07, Alexy Khrabrov <deliverable at gmail.com> wrote:
> > How do people stumble on Haskell?  I've taught ML at UPenn, and many
> For some diversity ...
> For years I'd been using (and largely happy with)
> pure fortran with a little tcl thrown in for scripting.
> I'd played around with a few other languages for kicks
> (Java, Lisp, c++), but never really found anything
> to pull me away from fortran for good:  it's easy,
> insanely portable, and code I wrote in 1988 still works
> without modification.
> About 2 years ago I ran into a stability problem
> while taking numeric derivatives.  In a moment of
> inspired procrastination, instead of properly fixing
> the problem I decided that I needed 'automatic
> differentiation'.
> Google.
> A series of fantastic papers by Jerzy Karczmarczuk.
> Wow.
> Google.
> GHC.
> Can't get it installed on my mac laptop.
> Stop.
> Months pass. (probably more like a year) In a later
> moment of procrastination, I find John Hughes' "Why
> functional programming matters".  After seeing Romberg
> integration implemented in a handful of lines, I was
> hooked.  But the real kicker was the performance of
> GHC -- after getting it installed I benchmarked the
> Hughes's code against a Fortran integrator.  I don't
> remember the exact numbers, but the execution times
> were within a factor of a few of each other (I was
> expecting 2-3 orders of magnitude).
> While I'm not yet entirely sold on the practicality
> of the language (things move very fast, and it seems
> to be very difficult for me to stick with haskell98),
> it's just too much fun to not use.  I'm now using it
> daily in a scripting role and one-offs, and I'm seriously
> considering using it over fortran in a new workstation
> analysis code. (Actually, the 'fun' aspect of it is
> providing a just a *bit* of motivation ...)
> Cheers,
> -david k.
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