[Haskell-cafe] Re: Cal, Clojure, Groovy, Haskell, OCaml, etc.

Ben Franksen ben.franksen at online.de
Fri Oct 2 16:20:34 EDT 2009

Hong Yang wrote:
> Good libraries are not enough for a language to go beyond mere existence.
> There must exist good documents, i.e., good tutorials, good books, and
> good explanations and examples in the libraries, etc, that are easy for
> people to learn and use. In my humble opinion, Haskell has a lot of
> libraries, but most of them offer few examples of how to use the modules.
> In this regards, Perl is much much better.

I wouldn't say 'better' as many, if not most, Perl libraries offer not much
beyond example usage as documentation. Even if they do, the docs are often
ambiguous, corner cases left to the user's imagination -- which is (at
least in my case) regularly different from the library author's -- etc. IMO
this is just the other extreme of the spectrum. It sure gets you started
quite cheaply, but in the long run you pay an ugly amount of interest as
you spend more and more time with debugging due to said ambiguities and
corner cases.

BTW, apparently, Perl library authors like to model their APIs after their
mother language Perl itself, of which one could justly say that its only
exact definition /is/ its implementation.

Which doesn't mean that documentation of many Haskell libs couldn't be
greatly improved...


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