[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.

Eugene Kirpichov ekirpichov at gmail.com
Thu Oct 1 03:59:41 EDT 2009

2009/10/1 Andrew Coppin <andrewcoppin at btinternet.com>:
> John Dorsey wrote:
>>> Well, try this: Go ask a random person how you add up a list of numbers.
>>>  Most of them will say something about adding the first two together,
>>>  adding the third to that total, and so forth. In other words, the step  by
>>> step instructions.
>> You word the (hypothetical) question with a bias toward imperative
>> thinking.  You're asking "How do you do this action?"
>> Why isn't the question "What is the sum of a list of numbers?", which is
>> biased toward the declarative?
> Sure. But what is a computer program? It's a *list of instructions* that
> tells a computer *how to do something*. And yet, the Haskell definition of
> sum looks more like a definition of what a sum is rather than an actual,
> usable procedure for *computing* that sum. (Of course, we know that it /is/
> in fact executable... it just doesn't look it at first sight.)

Well, we are not writing computer programs directly, even in C, that's
what compilers are for.
That's why I find arguments about the sequential essence of computer
programs to be weak.

> Whatever; I'm leaning more and more towards the concept that FP is only hard
> for people who already learned some other way...
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Eugene Kirpichov
Web IR developer, market.yandex.ru

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