[Haskell-cafe] Haskell-Cafe Digest, Vol 93, Issue 58
mokus at deepbondi.net
Thu Jun 9 15:24:46 CEST 2011
On Jun 8, 2011, at 11:17 PM, Gregory Guthrie wrote:
> I rather had the feeling expressed by Robert Harper:
> " Once you're in the IO monad, you're stuck there forever, and are
> reduced to Algol-style imperative programming."
If Algol is as elegant and expressive as IO in Haskell, I'd hardly
consider that a problem. In fact, I would seriously consider learning
There seems to be a lot of IO-hate floating around, but in my opinion
it is largely undeserved. Even if every function in Haskell had to
use IO, Haskell would still be a vastly more expressive language than
most. It would essentially be a lazy dialect of ML with different
syntax and without parameterized modules (and, in GHC, with a lot of
awesome type system extensions). IO has pretty much the same
expressiveness as ML. It has higher-order functions, closures, etc.
You can build higher level abstractions on top of it, and people do -
there are some pretty awesome libraries out there that are nothing
more than "glorified" IO. The CHP library, for example, builds a very
powerful and very un-IO-like abstraction on top of IO. IO is not such
a bad place to be stuck, all things considered.
I think there is a tendency to look at IO as bad because pure code is
so much better. But it's important to keep things in perspective -
the existence of something better doesn't make something bad. IO is
still better than the best of most other languages.
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