[Haskell-cafe] Re: [Haskell] Another First course in Haskell

Johannes Waldmann waldmann at imn.htwk-leipzig.de
Wed Aug 27 10:31:15 EDT 2008

Darrin Thompson wrote:

> If functions on lists isn't the thing, what is the thing? "Data structures"
> isn't a very satisfactory answer for a n00b like me, because it doesn't
> capture Haskell's distinctive. [...]

Well indeed you can (should) have problem-specific (algebraic) data
types in any language. In Haskell it's just a "data" declaration,
while in OO design they call it the "compositum" pattern
(and need some hundred more lines to write it down).

What is "distinctively Haskell"? The focus in teaching could be:
(1) data abstraction (-> functions, -> higher order functions)
(2) type abstraction (-> type constructors, polymorphism etc.)

... and of course all the benefits from abstraction (=> re-usability)
and strong typing (=> safety).


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