[Haskell-cafe] FW: Haskell

Thomas Schilling nominolo at googlemail.com
Tue Apr 1 08:02:11 EDT 2008

On 1 apr 2008, at 13.02, Bulat Ziganshin wrote:

> Hello Simon,
> Tuesday, April 1, 2008, 2:18:25 PM, you wrote:
>> How can one answer the question--why choose Haskell over Scheme?
> 1. static typing with type inference - imho, must-be for production
> code development. as many haskellers said, once compiler accept your
> program, you may be 95% sure that it contains no bugs. just try it!
> 2. lazy evaluation - reduces complexity of language. in particular,
> all control structures are usual functions while in scheme they are
> macros
> 3. great, terse syntax. actually, the best syntax among several
> dozens of languages i know
> 4. type classes machinery, together with type inference, means that
> code for dealing with complex data types (say, serialization) is
> generated on the fly and compiled right down to machine code

3 and 4 are no convincing arguments for a Scheme programmer.  Syntax  
is subjective and there Scheme implementations that can serialize  
entire continuations (closures), which is not possible in Haskell (at  
least not without GHC-API).

Static typing, though it might sound constraining at first, can be  
liberating!  How that?  Because it allows you to let the type-checker  
work for you!  By choosing the right types for your API, you can  
enforce invariants.  For example you can let the type-checker ensure  
that inputs from a web-application are always quoted properly, before  
using them as output.  A whole class of security problems is taken  
care of forever, because the compiler checks them for you.

If you're used to REPL-based programming, it can be a bit annoying  
that you can't run non-type-checking code, but you get used to it.   
After a while you will miss the safety when you program in Scheme again.

There's more, but I count on others to step in here.

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