[Haskell-cafe] New slogan for haskell.org

Andrew Coppin andrewcoppin at btinternet.com
Thu Nov 29 16:14:55 EST 2007

jerzy.karczmarczuk at info.unicaen.fr wrote:
> Andrew Coppin writes:
>> Dan Weston wrote:
>>>   [...] and facilitates "borrow-from-the-future" techniques where 
>>> useful with infinite data structures or recursive algorithms.
>> And this, gentlemen, is just one of the reasons why Haskell gets 
>> labelled as "scary".
>> It's very hard to explain what this enigmatic riddle-like statement 
>> actually *means* without a very long exposition. (Heck, *I* haven't 
>> worked out how to "borrow from the future" yet...)
> Scary - schmary...
> If you want to be afraid of, say, Santa Claus, that's OK, you are a free
> man. But, perhaps before saying that you haven't worked out something,
> *try* to work it out.

Oh, I didn't mean *I* am scared of Haskell - I think Haskell is great! 
:-D I meant that other people perceive it as scary. And "infinite data 
structures" and "borrowing from the future" are two examples of things 
that scare them.

And, relatedly, I said I hadn't worked out the latter yet. It doesn't 
"scare" me - I'm more curios than scared. ;-) I believe I did ask about 
it here once, but didn't get much of a clear answer.

> Read something about Richard Bird's circular programs. A nice Web article
> (Lloyd Allison) is here:
> http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~lloyd/tildeFP/1989SPE/
> A really complicated application by Janis Voigtländer
> http://wwwtcs.inf.tu-dresden.de/~voigt/HOSC.pdf
> will probably kill you, so don't. But The Web is full of articles. You 
> can
> even read one or two of my own productions.
> I - sorry for shameless auto-ad - cited this paper *twice*, once it was
> after *your* similar statement...
> http://users.info.unicaen.fr/~karczma/arpap/lazypi.pdf
> It is called "The Most Unreliable Technique in the World to Compute PI",
> and it has been written explicitly for fun and instruction. That's
> a possible answer to your dilemma.
> Another one shows something even worse than borrowing from the future,
> namely "going backwards in time", applied to the Automatic 
> Differentiation
> in Reverse Mode.
> http://users.info.unicaen.fr/~karczma/arpap/revpearl.pdf

Should give me something interesting to read for a while...

> And, please, avoid saying that something is scary or difficult, unless
> you are really sure.

Like I said, I think you're just misunderstanding what I'm trying to 
say, that's all.

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