[Haskell-cafe] A rant against the blurb on the Haskell front page

Stephen Tetley stephen.tetley at gmail.com
Sat Oct 16 04:02:48 EDT 2010

On 16 October 2010 08:09, Colin Paul Adams <colin at colina.demon.co.uk> wrote:

> And "purely functional programming language"?
> If they mean anything to many people, it's that the language works
> (i.e. functions). What language wouldn't work?
> I think Ben has a strong point here.

If a "functional language" doesn't mean anything significant then
Haskell probably isn't the language you should be choosing.

In the UK some time before Haskell, I believe there was some effort to
re-brand "functional programming" to "applicative programming" to make
a distinction with functional - "actually works!" - and (first order-)
functions in C or Pascal that were like procedures but returned a
result. This was before my time, but I'm sure I saw evidence in
reports at my old university library for grant proposals / research
awards to put applicative programming on parallel machines.

Caveat - my university didn't do any research on this but it did have
government reports of computer matters stored amongst the programming
books, one obviously with a title "functional" or "applicative" enough
to catch my interest.

On the main topic - I think the blurb is fine. If Python and Ruby want
to do proselytization and value judgements please leave them to it.

Best wishes


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