[Haskell-cafe] I read somewhere that for 90% of a wide class of computing problems, you only need 10% of the source code in Haskell, that you would in an imperative language.

Ketil Malde ketil at malde.org
Thu Oct 1 03:51:15 EDT 2009

Andrew Coppin <andrewcoppin at btinternet.com> writes:

> Peter Verswyvelen wrote:

>> I really doubt people tend to think in either way. It's not even
>> sure our thinking can be modeled with computing no?

> Well, try this: Go ask a random person how you add up a list of
> numbers.

Although the question of how we "naturally" think often comes up, I'm
not sure it's a very important one.  In my experience, the natural
thing for humans appear rather to be the absence of thinking, and
instead slouching in front of the TV eating unhealthy food.

After all, we give people who program computers several years of
education to learn about unnatural things like counters and temporary
variables, or recursion and folds.  The question shouldn't be what comes
more natural for average Joe, but rather what skills can we teach a
reasonably bright student in three to five years that will make her the
most effective programmer.

(That's what the question should be, of course what the question really
*is* is what curriculum can we present that looks entertaining,
fashionable, and trivial enough that enough high-school kids will apply
for the department not to be starved of funds... )

If I haven't seen further, it is by standing in the footprints of giants

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