[Haskell-cafe] looking for origin of quote on preprocessors and language design

Johannes Waldmann waldmann at imn.htwk-leipzig.de
Thu Jan 7 07:32:03 EST 2010

Dear all,

It's not exactly Haskell-specific, but ...
I am trying to track down the origin of the proverb

"the existence (or: need for) a preprocessor
shows omissions in (the design of) a language."

I like to think that in Haskell, we don't need
preprocessors since we can manipulate programs
programmatically, because they are data.

In other words, a preprocessor realizes higher order
functions, and you only need this if your base language
is first-order.

Yes, that's vastly simplified, and it does not cover
all cases, what about generic programming
(but this can be done via Data.Data)
and alex/happy (but we have parsec) etc etc.

Best regards, J.W.

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