[Haskell-cafe] Re: Comments from OCaml Hacker Brian Hurt

Paul Moore p.f.moore at gmail.com
Fri Jan 16 08:28:54 EST 2009

2009/1/16 Apfelmus, Heinrich <apfelmus at quantentunnel.de>:
> How to learn? The options are, in order of decreasing effectiveness
>  university course      teacher in person
>  book                   irc
>                         mailing list
>  online tutorial
>  haskell wiki
>  haddock documentation

Reason by analogy from known/similar areas. I think the point here is
that for Haskell, this is more possible for mathematicians than for
programmers. And that's an imbalance that may need to be addressed
(depending on who you want to encourage to learn).

But I agree that reasoning by analogy is not a very good way of
learning. And I think it's been established that the real issue here
is the documentation - complete explanations and better
discoverability[1] are needed. Note that for people who don't want to
(or can't) invest money, and who don't want to take up too much of
others' time, documentation is the most important option.


[1] When I say "discoverability", I mean that no matter how good the
documentation of (say) Monoid is, it's useless unless there's
something that prompts me, based on the real-world programming problem
I have (for example, merging a set of configuration options to use an
example mentioned in this thread), to *look* at that documentation.
That's where names make a difference.

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