[Haskell-cafe] Re: "Haskell is a scripting language inspiredby Python."

Ketil Malde ketil at malde.org
Fri Nov 5 04:42:56 EDT 2010

Luke Palmer <lrpalmer at gmail.com> writes:

>  To us, scripting meant short, potent code that rolled off your
> fingers and into the computers mind, compelling it to do your job with
> reverence to the super power you truly are.

Just when I thought, oh, there are two definitions for "scripting
language", another one pops out.  So scripting languages can be three

1) A language for controlling ('scripting') an application (e.g. TCL, VBA)
2) A language for controlling the running of various applications
   (e.g. shell scripts)
3) An agile language for making short programs (e.g. Perl)

Although Haskell is quite expressive, programs tend to need a bit of
'wrap' (module declaration, imports, etc), making it a bit more
heavyweight than Perl or AWK for #3.  For #2, I think running other
programs are a bit too cumbersome, but perhaps this is just a library
problem?  I haven't really looke at #1, I think we lack a small, easily
embeddable interpreter.

So, I wouldn't really call Haskell a scripting language in its current
state in any of these senses, although it's close for #3.  I think you
see more of an advantage for slightly larger programs - ones that you
perhaps need to maintain - though.

More definitions of scripting language:

 a) too slow to do real work
 b) Also they "don't scale well"

I think Haskell can be fast enough to do 'real work', and although I
haven't really written any large programs in Haskell, I don't see why it
should scale worse than other languages.

If I haven't seen further, it is by standing in the footprints of giants

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