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

Alberto G. Corona agocorona at gmail.com
Tue Mar 24 21:09:27 EDT 2009

Perhaps is much easier to create one line compositions of functions in
haskell rather than in C because the type system helps a lot in the process.
However, reusability of source code and maintainability has never been taken
seriously by haskell programmers, simply because there are no industrial
projects in Haskell with dozens of people with different skills that come
and go. Because that, probably the early C programers were far more
exhuberant than the current C++ and Java programmers now. To have a broad
base of users and/or to assure a cheap programmers for your industrial
application has the servitude to "the rule of least power". That is another
reason for the lemma: "Avoid success at all costs"

The rule of least power
written by Tim Berners Lee;. For publishing (and, arguably, for code
reusability) "the best language is the least powerful".

This depressing conclusions can be overcomed if we consider that the rule of
least power  favours turing incomplete DSLs, so every industrial development
can be decomposed in two groups wich demands two different skills: 1)
 DSLs  creation  2) DSL programming

2009/3/24 Manlio Perillo <manlio_perillo at libero.it>

> Zachary Turner ha scritto:
>> [...]
> > but I do understand that one of the primary uses
>> cases and/or motivating factors for using Haskell is when you really just
>> NEED that extra abstraction and power you get from being able to do these
>> types of things.  Someone once said that "simple problems should be simple
>> and difficult problems should be possible".  That doesn't mean the difficult
>> problems become EASY.  One of the best uses for haskell is solving difficult
>> problems.  It's obviously still going to be difficult to solve, and as such
>> the writer (and hence by extension the reader) is going to have to be smart
>> as well.
> I agree with you, and in fact I'm still learning Haskell.
> The reason I'm still learning Haskell is because I like its syntax.
> And yes, I also like the ability to write efficient function by composing
> other function.
> But there is a limit.
> In C you have the ability to write assembler code, but one usually think
> twice before doing so, since it will become unreadable to most of the
> people.
> If you think that writing low level assembler code is the best solution,
> you should at least document it well, instead of assuming that the reader is
> as smart as you.
> As I have written at the begin of the thread, there are people I know
> (*much* more smarter then me), that keep themselves away from Haskell
> because they start to read some code, and they feel something is wrong.
> They *think* "ah, the author wrote code in this way just to show how smart
> he is; how can I learn a language if most of the available code is written
> in this way"?
> Note the use of the verb "think".
> This is only a sensation, and it is wrong; but sensations are important.
> > [...]
> Manlio
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