[Haskell-cafe] Comments from OCaml Hacker Brian Hurt

ajb at spamcop.net ajb at spamcop.net
Sat Jan 17 21:12:32 EST 2009

G'day all.

Quoting John Goerzen <jgoerzen at complete.org>:

> If I see Appendable I can guess what it might be.  If I see "monoid", I
> have no clue whatsoever, because I've never heard of a monoid before.

Any sufficiently unfamiliar programming language looks like line noise.
That's why every new language needs to use curly braces.

> If you're learning Haskell, which communicates the idea more clearly:
>  * Appendable
> or
>  * Monoid
> I can immediately figure out what the first one means.

No you can't.  It is in no way clear, for example, that Integers
with addition are "Appendable".

I'm not saying that "Monoid" is the most pragmatically desirable term,
merely that "Appendable" is misleading.

And FWIW, I agree with everyone who has commented that the documentation
is inadequate.  It'd be nice if there was some way to contribute better
documentation without needing checkin access to the libraries.

Andrew Bromage

More information about the Haskell-Cafe mailing list