[Haskell-cafe] capture of idioms and patterns

Andrew Coppin andrewcoppin at btinternet.com
Thu Sep 23 16:57:22 EDT 2010

  On 22/09/2010 09:14 AM, Luc TAESCH wrote:
> in real life I am doing architecture (appication and system) and I 
> tend to see things differently with my haskell background. when 
> reading what system XYZ does, I see folds, maps, lazy sort, 
> memoisation , monads, etc...ie my mind apply idioms learned at code 
> design level to architecture level

It's interesting to hear you say that. I've heard more than one person 
assert that "Haskell will never be popular", because "people don't think 
functionally". Or, more precisely, "people don't think recursively". It 
is asserted as fact that "people think imperatively".

If you think that sounds silly, ask some random person (not a computer 
programmer, just some random human) how find the sum of a list of 
numbers. I can practically guarantee that most humans will reply "do X, 
then do Y, and then do Z". Almost nobody will reply with "the sum of an 
empty list is defined as zero, and the sum of a non-empty list is 
defined as the addition of the first element and the sum of the 
remaining elements". To a normal human, that almost sounds like a riddle 
rather than an explanation.

Then again, who said that programmers had to be normal humans, or that 
programming had to be easy? Nobody seriously expects everyone to be able 
to dance or play pipe organ, so why should it be trivial for everybody 
to be able to program computers?

(Of course, software giants make more money out of the "we make 
computers EASY!" slogan...)

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