[Haskell-cafe] We tried this functional, higher-order stuff with LISP and look what happened...

Tord Romstad tord.romstad at gmail.com
Wed May 27 16:20:48 EDT 2009

Hi all,

Time to delurk. I'm a Lisper and mathematician who has been reading
this group for about a year, but I haven't posted until now.

On Wed, May 27, 2009 at 8:31 PM, Jason Dusek <jason.dusek at gmail.com> wrote:
>  What can we say to that? I'm well practiced in handling those
>  who reject types outright (Python programmers), those who
>  reject what is too different (C programmers), those who can
>  not live without objects (Java programmers), those who insist
>  we must move everything to message passing (Erlang
>  programmers). It's not too often that I meet an embittered
>  LISP programmer -- one who's well acquainted with a bold and
>  well-supported community of functional programmers whose
>  shooting star soon descended to dig a smoking hole in the
>  ground.

I think you rarely meet embittered Lisp programmers simply because we
Lispers are rarely embittered, but are still Lisping happily, and don't
feel that the picture of a "shooting start descending to dig a smoking
hole in the ground" is an accurate representation of reality.  :-)

>  Who's to say Haskell (and the more typeful languages in
>  general) do not find themselves in the same situation in just
>  a few years' time? Is avoiding success at all costs really
>  enough?

That's funny, because from my perspective the situation looks
diametrically opposite. Haskell is an awesome language, and I
would love to use it, but the community seems so small, and I've never
seen a Haskell job. Lisp, on the other hand, has a thriving community,
several high-quality implementations for all major platforms, and
pays my bills.

My impression has always been that Haskell, unlike Lisp, is little
more than a marginal research language which is only used in
academia and by a few enthusiastic hobbyists. Am I just hanging
around with the wrong people? I hope I am: I would love to have
a Haskell job some day.

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