[Haskell-cafe] Re: [Haskell] Haskell Weekly News: March 12, 2007

Dougal Stanton ithika at gmail.com
Tue Mar 13 08:10:53 EDT 2007

Quoth Conrad Parker, nevermore,
> Besides, <tshirt>If it's not open source, it's not computer
> science</tshirt>. Science demands repeatable results, computer science
> demands literate programming. The solution is not to shy away from
> including code, or else the IP lawyers have won, science is banned and
> we get plunged into another Dark Age.

I'm glad some people agree. I've been reading the reddit comments for
that blog post with a mixture of car-crash fascination and horror, where
the prevailing opinions are a mixture of:

* computer scientists can't program, duh!
* computer scientists aren't in academia for the advancement of
  knowledge, it's all about getting their name known
* you just want to ride on the coat-tails of other people's brilliance;
  or, you're too lazy/stupid to do the work yourself
* if you can't recreate it from the description in the paper then it
  shouldn't have been published

The final point is the only one with any merit at all, and only then in
an ideal world. High level papers are not simple to translate into code,
even if the resulting code is quite simple. (How long did it take for
the monad to make it into programming?)

It's sad that there's such a prevailing culture of anti-intellectualism
even in computer science/software engineering. So I'd like to take the
opportunity to thank all the exciting academic work that gets published
with code that I can read (even better when they are mixed in one
literate document). And also all those contributors to The Monad Reader,
who help to bridge that gap for the rest of us.



Dougal Stanton

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