[Haskell-cafe] Suggestions For An Intro To Monads Talk.

aditya siram aditya.siram at gmail.com
Mon Aug 9 12:26:36 EDT 2010

Yes I think that showing the Maybe and List implementation of monads is
essential. They're practical and in a lot of ways they represent two
completely different types of computation demonstrating the flexibility of
the Monad abstraction. Thanks for that suggestion.

On Mon, Aug 9, 2010 at 4:33 AM, wren ng thornton <wren at freegeek.org> wrote:

> aditya siram wrote:
>> Thanks all for you suggestions!
>> Upon further reflection I realized that my audience is more pragmatic than
>> theoretical. Instead of emphasizing how monads are constructed and the
>> monad
>> laws I think I want to dive right into the most common and useful monads.
>>> From my vantage point they are (in no particular order) : Reader, Writer,
>> State, IO, ST, STM, Parsec (have I missed any?) and of course the
>> transformer versions. I am debating whether or not to add [] to the bunch.
> Whether you add [] or not, you should definitely include Maybe. Maybe
> captures the most basic kind of fallible computation, so it shows up all
> over the place with pragmatic coding. Compare against null pointers,
> returning -1 to signal error when a positive number is the expected return,
> using 0 to express an infinite limit on some kind of resource, etc. Maybe
> does the same thing, except it does them cleanly and correctly because we
> express the possibility of failure in the type system instead of relying on
> "magic values" to express them. Magic values are even worse than magic
> numbers and other magic constants, IMO.
> Once you've explained Maybe, you can mention (Either a) in passing; they
> should figure out the generalization immediately.
> --
> Live well,
> ~wren
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