[Haskell-cafe] Why?

Sebastian Sylvan sebastian.sylvan at gmail.com
Thu Dec 10 08:27:49 EST 2009

On Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 12:01 PM, John D. Earle <JohnDEarle at cox.net> wrote:

>  This is a matter that I genuinely at the present time do not grasp and I
> am hoping that some of you who are more familiar with the Haskell language
> may be able to help enlighten me. I feel the question to be an important
> one. What material benefit does Haskell derive from being a "pure"
> functional language as opposed to an impure one? Please provide examples as
> I require instruction.

The killer app for that, IMO, is parallelism these days.In large
applications it's very hard to know for sure that a function truly has no
side effects, so if the language can actually guarantee it for you then that
certainly has immense value if you're trying to run things in parallel.

Of course, various forms of lazy processing is becoming popular even in
mainstream languages (especially with LINQ etc.), which also requires that
the expressions to be pure. Currently mainstream languages rely on
programmers being Very Careful, but again these kinds of assumptions aren't

Sebastian Sylvan
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