[Haskell-cafe] libraries [was GUI haters]

Mads Lindstrøm mads_lindstroem at yahoo.dk
Fri Apr 2 13:22:40 EDT 2010


gladstein at gladstein.com wrote:
> As a working engineer, one of my greatest frustrations is my inability
> to use Haskell in the workplace. The unfortunate fact is that my media
> industry clients use mostly Windows, some Macs, and no linux except for
> servers. The core system works everywhere, but many contributed
> libraries don't. GUIs are the big showstopper.
> One of the reasons Java won out over Common Lisp is that it had huge
> libraries. Franz's libraries were superb but few in number. One diehard
> Lisp user converted his lab to Java because "Java gives you everything
> you want, for free."
> That languages are distinct from their libraries escapes a lot of
> people; they see each language as a package. I met a COBOL programmer
> recently (I'm not making this up) that was looking into Java. He didn't
> see how people could use it, he said, because it had "thousands of
> commands". 

Looking at Wikipedia I can see that COBOL 2002[1] got user defined
functions, but prior it was impossible to define your own functions. You
could define sub-rutines (semantically similar to jsr/gosub in
assembler/basic), but not functions that could be used like the build-in
(intrinsic in COBOL speak) functions. Most COBOL programmers properly
still do not use user-defined functions. So from their perspective, it
is perfectly reasonable to see functions as part of the language.

My point is, that it is properly true that most COBOL programmers sees
functions as part of the language. But you cannot generalize from COBOL
programmers to programmers in say Java, in this particular case.

> I'll stop whining now.


Mads Lindstrøm

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