[Haskell-cafe] Re: Write Haskell as fast as C. [Was: Re: GHC predictability]

Andrew Coppin andrewcoppin at btinternet.com
Fri May 16 16:19:20 EDT 2008

Don Stewart wrote:
> I don't understand what's ugly about:
>         go s l x | x > m      = s / fromIntegral l
>                  | otherwise  = go (s+x) (l+1) (x+1)
> And the point is that it is *reliable*. If you make your money day in, day out
> writing Haskell, and you don't want to rely on radical transformations for
> correctness, this is a sensible idiom to follow.
> Nothing beats understanding what you're writing at all levels of abstraction.

What sets Haskell apart from every other programming language ever used 
in mainstream programming? You might say conciseness, or the ability to 
use lazy evaluation to structure your code in usual ways, or something 
like that. I would say what sets Haskell apart is "abstraction". There 
are other things, but this is the big one. Haskell allows you to 
abstract almost everything. The result is often highly succinct yet very 
readable programs. It would seem a terribly shame if you always have to 
throw away Haskell's key advantage to get decent runtime performance.

If you're trying to get a real program to work, right now, then yes, you 
may have no choice. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't strive for ways 
to keep code high-level yet performant.

[I'm curios about your other comment. Does anybody, anywhere in the 
world, actually make *money* using Haskell? This seems rather unlikely 
to me...]

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