[Haskell-cafe] Interesting new user perspective

Andrew Coppin andrewcoppin at btinternet.com
Fri Oct 10 17:49:51 EDT 2008

Jonathan Cast wrote:
> Newcomers flounder because they expect to keep programming the same way
> they always have.

_Some_ newcommers flounder because they expect Haskell to be just 
another VB / C++ / Java / whatever. (Do we really want to encourage 
these people to be learning Haskell in the first place?) Others it seems 
flounder simply because Haskell completely changes almost all the rules 
about programming, and they end up not knowing which way is up. I have 
far more sympathy with these latter people.

As I say, teaching the language syntax and the standard library 
functions it's going to help much on its own. You need to give these 
people some idea of what the high-level game plan is. I think you need 
to show people that you can use Haskell to do normal, ordinary stuff 
before you start showing off the more exotic things. (Obviously, you 
need to choose your examples carefully. Anything moderately complex is 
probably going to be approached from a totally different angle in 
Haskell, so the parallel won't be as helpful.)

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