[Haskell-cafe] learning advanced haskell

John Lato jwlato at gmail.com
Mon Jun 14 14:39:07 EDT 2010

> From: Martijn van Steenbergen <martijn at van.steenbergen.nl>
> On 6/14/10 10:39, Ivan Lazar Miljenovic wrote:
>> By being told that using them would solve some problem you're
>> complaining about on #haskell or the mailing lists, you look at
>> examples, read up on them, etc.
>> Short version: don't worry about advanced concepts until you have to.
>> If all else fails, it doesn't hurt to write out the low-level version
>> yourself and then get told in a code review that it would be "easier" or
>> more elegant with an advanced technique.
> Exactly this. It's happened a few times now that I ran into a problem
> and then a bit later found out that feature XYZ was exactly what I
> needed. A feature I never understood but now suddenly had a good
> intuition for because it is a (or the) solution to a problem I had been
> thinking about for a while.

I sort of agree with this, with some very large caveats.  I would
agree that being faced with an actual problem provides a particularly
good learning environment for several reasons.  For the "pragmatic
programmer", this is probably the way to go.

However, there's a lot to be said for both intellectual curiosity and
learning for the sake of knowledge.  Nearly all of us specialize in
certain problem domains or areas and will likely never work on certain
problems (related to e.g. compilers, web servers, etc.) in anything
like a commercial environment.  Some of us may never work in a
commercial code environment at all.  Just because you may never need
to use a feature doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to understand it.


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