[Haskell-cafe] Comments from OCaml Hacker Brian Hurt

John Goerzen jgoerzen at complete.org
Thu Jan 15 11:51:14 EST 2009

Lennart Augustsson wrote:
> Why do people think that you should be able to understand everything
> without ever looking things up?

I don't.  But looking things up has to be helpful.  In all to many
cases, looking things up means clicking the link to someone's old
academic paper or some article about abstract math in Wikipedia.  It
does not answer the questions:

 * Why is this in Haskell?

 * Why would I want to use it?

 * How does it benefit me?

 * How do I use it in Haskell?

If the docs for things like Monoids were more newbie-friendly, I
wouldn't gripe about it as much.

Though if all we're talking about is naming, I would still maintain that
newbie-friendly naming is a win.  We can always say "HEY MATHEMETICIANS:
APPENDABLE MEANS MONOID" in the haddock docs ;-)

Much as I dislike Java's penchant for 200-character names for things,
I'm not sure Monoid is more descriptive than

-- John

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