[Haskell-cafe] about Haskell code written to be "too smart"

Sjur Gjøstein Karevoll sjurberengal at gmail.com
Tue Mar 24 14:18:05 EDT 2009

I know what you're saying, in a way. There is much haskell code that's
completely illegible to me. I would say there is a difference between
Haskell and Perl though, in that Perl code is "too smart" aka. "clever",
while Haskell code is usually simply, well, too smart. This means code
written using aspects of covariant generalized applicative combinators
in a closed Hillbert-space like continuous field ring, and other similar

There was a time when "monadic parser combinator" sounded equally
nonsensical to me. It doesn't anymore, and I'm a better programmer for
it, being able to reduce one of my earliest Haskell programs from 200 to
20 lines using that knowledge alone while making it more comprehensible
and maintainable at the same time.

The difference between Haskell and Perl is that Haskell programmers use
clever ideas while Perl programmers use clever abuse of syntax. Ideas,
at least, you have a hope of understanding sometime in the future.

ty. den 24.03.2009 klokka 18:41 (+0100) skreiv Manlio Perillo:
> Hi.
> In these days I'm discussing with some friends, that mainly use Python 
> as programming language, but know well other languages like Scheme, 
> Prolog, C, and so.
> These friends are very interested in Haskell, but it seems that the main 
> reason why they don't start to seriously learning it, is that when they 
> start reading some code, they feel the "Perl syndrome".
> That is, code written to be "too smart", and that end up being totally 
> illegible by Haskell novice.
> I too have this feeling, from time to time.
> Since someone is starting to write the Haskell coding style, I really 
> suggest him to take this "problem" into strong consideration.
> Manlio
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