[Haskell-cafe] Elevator pitch for functional programming
jim at sdf-eu.org
Tue Jan 20 18:50:44 EST 2009
At Tue, 20 Jan 2009 14:17:10 -0800,
Ryan Ingram wrote:
> I recommend checking out Don Syme's slides from CUFP 2008.
> This isn't Haskell directly, it's F#, but it fits the "functional
> programming generally", and the two languages have, relative to the
> universe of programming languages, more in common than they do
> There's a lot of "would you rather write this?" with a giant chunk of
> C#, followed by "or this?" with a few readable lines of F#.
Hi, those slides look useful and inspiring. Thanks a lot.
> -- ryan
> On Tue, Jan 20, 2009 at 2:07 AM, Jim Burton <jim at sdf-eu.org> wrote:
> > Hi, I will be a TA on a comparative PL course and I'm looking for
> > small examples (ammunition) which motivate the use of Haskell and
> > functional programming generally. The course is for 1st year Software
> > Engineers, none of whom are likely to have used a functional
> > language. They will all have experience programming Java and a little
> > C++, with a few of them knowing Python, Ruby, PHP etc etc too.
> > If anyone has code snippets which are the equivalent of an elevator
> > pitch for FP, I would be very grateful to see them. What I want
> > are some small concrete examples of idioms which are natural and
> > powerful in Haskell but difficult or impossible in, say, Java.
> > So I can produce examples of some of the things that make FP powerful,
> > elegant, expressive etc: higher order functions, polymorphism,
> > composition (ask them to write (.) in Java :-)), partial application
> > and so on. I will point any interested souls to Hughes' great paper
> > . But I have little time and it might be hard to put across why
> > they would want to do these things in the first place. I was looking
> > for something that speaks directly to the kind of problems they face
> > in languages like Java...
> > Types are a good example because Java programmers generally already
> > appreciate the help they get from compiler messages etc, so you can
> > sell a more flexible, enhanced form of this. Purity might appeal to
> > anyone who has longed to be able to reason about nastily complex code
> > with a lot of shared state. Laziness, streams? Hard to do in Java (I
> > presume) but also quite hard to sell the need.
> > The existence of an O'Reilly book will help, especially one that can
> > be sampled online, so I'll point them at RWH for extended concrete
> > examples. They will need to be already sold before they will bother
> > with that though.
> > Thanks,
> > Jim
> >  http://www.cs.chalmers.se/~rjmh/Papers/whyfp.html
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