[Haskell-cafe] Interesting new user perspective

Jonathan Cast jonathanccast at fastmail.fm
Fri Oct 10 17:31:34 EDT 2008

On Fri, 2008-10-10 at 17:13 -0400, Steve Schafer wrote:
> On Fri, 10 Oct 2008 11:05:43 -0700, Jonathan Cast wrote:
> >No reason not to expose newcomers to Haskell to the thing it does best.
> This is precisely why newcomers flounder.

Newcomers flounder because they expect to keep programming the same way
they always have.  They should be (and *are*) taught better ways of
doing things.

> Yes, there certainly should be
> a "Haskell for experienced Java/C++ programmers : All of the advanced
> things you can do more easily than you ever thought possible." But
> that's not the way to attract Joe Programmer, who has never had to write
> a parser. Joe Programmer needs to be shown how Haskell can solve _his_
> problems. That might mean that you need to start with an extremely
> non-idiomatic Haskell program, one that has some of the "look and feel"
> of what programmers from other languages are comfortable with.

Try it.  I guarantee you, it'll turn people *off* Haskell, and they'll
never see your more elegant replacement, because they'll never read the
fifth chapter where you stop fighting the language and start working
with it.


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