[Haskell-cafe] Comments from OCaml Hacker Brian Hurt

Dougal Stanton ithika at gmail.com
Fri Jan 16 08:36:38 EST 2009

On Fri, Jan 16, 2009 at 1:23 PM, Philippa Cowderoy <flippa at flippac.org> wrote:
> On Thu, 15 Jan 2009, Lennart Augustsson wrote:
>> If I see Monoid I know what it is, if I didn't know I could just look
>> on Wikipedia.
> And if you're a typical programmer who is now learning Haskell, this will
> likely make you want to run screaming and definitely be hard to
> understand. We at least need a description that's aimed at people who
> probably don't consider themselves any flavour of mathematician, however
> amateur. One that, while giving the definition, concentrates significantly
> on intuition.

Wikibooks has a patchy book on Abstract Algebra which seemed quite
friendly to me (a non-mathematician and amateur FPer). I take it for
granted there will be parts I don't understand but if I just continue
to spot instances in the wild where they come up then it slowly
becomes obvious. Collecting examples of concrete monoids is fairly
easy fi you read some of the popular Haskell projects: Xmonad, Cabal,

I honestly don't see what all the fuss is about. No one's arguing that
more documentation is a bad thing. But some people seem to think the
mere existence of (a) technical terms or (b) technical terms not
invented by programmers are an affront.



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