[Haskell-cafe] Comments from OCaml Hacker Brian Hurt

Creighton Hogg wchogg at gmail.com
Thu Jan 15 23:39:18 EST 2009

On Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 10:18 PM, Jonathan Cast
<jonathanccast at fastmail.fm> wrote:
> On Thu, 2009-01-15 at 17:06 -0500, Steve Schafer wrote:
>> On Thu, 15 Jan 2009 13:21:57 -0800, you wrote:
>> >Where, in the history of western civilization, has there ever been an
>> >engineering discipline whose adherents were permitted to remain ignorant
>> >of the basic mathematical terminology and methodology that their
>> >enterprise is founded on?
>> Umm, all of them?
> Really.  So the engineer who designed the apartment building I'm in at
> the moment didn't know any physics, thought `tensor' was a scary math
> term irrelevant to practical, real-world engineering, and will only read
> books on engineering that replace the other scary technical term
> `vector' with point-direction-value-thingy?  I think I'm going to sleep
It feels like this conversation is going in circles.  What I'm taking
away from the two very different arguments being made is that

1) math terms have their place when they describe the concept very
precisely, e.g. monoid
2) the Haskell docs _don't_ do good enough a job at giving intuition
for what math terms mean

If we fix #2, then #1 is no longer a problem, yes?

For you folks who work on GHC, is it acceptable to open tickets for
poor documentation of modules in base?  I think leaving the
documentation to the tragedy of the commons isn't the best move, but
if even a few of us could remember to open tickets when new
Haskell'ers complain about something being confusing then it could be
on _someone's_ docket.


More information about the Haskell-Cafe mailing list