[Haskell-cafe] Re: A rant against the blurb on the Haskell front
wren ng thornton
wren at freegeek.org
Sat Oct 16 20:00:26 EDT 2010
On 10/16/10 11:34 AM, Ben Franksen wrote:
> Christopher Done wrote:
>> To solve this ambiguity that phrase is a link that people can click to
>> find out what it means. "Object oriented", "dynamically typed",
>> "stack-based" are about as meaningful.
> The difference may be that everyone thinks he knows what 'object oriented'
> means. But 'lazyness', 'polymorphic type system', what the heck is that?
Now it's time for my axe grinding (though, tis a wee little axe):
If "polymorphism" is mentioned anywhere in the intro, then it should be
phrased as "parametric polymorphism" (perhaps with a footnote mention of
GADTs). Unfortunately the term "polymorphism" has been co-opted by the
OOP community to mean subtyping and overloading, so there will be many
people who think they know what it means but will be wrong, because
those are entirely different beasts than the kind of polymorphism
Haskell supports. Using the more specific "parametric polymorphism"
should at least give them pause before misinterpreting it.
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