[Haskell-cafe] Comments from OCaml Hacker Brian Hurt

Andrew Coppin andrewcoppin at btinternet.com
Fri Jan 16 17:20:35 EST 2009

Anton van Straaten wrote:
> Andrew Coppin wrote:
>> Abstraction is a great thing to have. I'd just prefer it to not look 
>> so intimidating;
> What makes it look intimidating?
> If the answer is "it looks intimidating because the documentation 
> consists of nothing more than a mathematical term, without a 
> definition, and a reference to a paper", then I agree with you, and it 
> seems so does most everyone else.
> But if the intimidation factor is coming from preconceptions like 
> "it's mathy, therefore it's scary"; or "it's an unfamiliar term, 
> therefore it's scary", then I think that's something that the reader 
> needs to work on, not the designers and documenters of Haskell.

I guess you're right.

A problem I see a lot of [and other people have mentioned this] is that 
a lot of documentation presents highly abstracted things, and gives *no 
hint* of why on earth these might possibly be useful for something. 
(E.g., "coarbitrary". Wuh??) Perhaps fixing this *would* help make 
Haskell more accessible. (The "other" problem of course is that what 
documentation that does exist is scattered all over the place...)

I still think existential quantification is a step too far though. :-P

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