[Haskell-cafe] Haskell Propaganda needed
victorsmiller at gmail.com
Sat Jan 14 23:33:05 CET 2012
I'm a research mathematician at a research institute with a bunch of other
mathematicians (a number of whom are also expert programmers). I recently
(starting three months ago) have been learning Haskell. I'm going to give
a talk to the staff about it. Most of the audience are pretty experienced
programmers in C/C+/Python, but with little or no exposure to functional
languages. I'm looking for talks from which I can cannibalize good selling
points. I was led to Haskell by a somewhat circuitous route: at our place,
as with most of the world, parallel programs (especially using GPUs) are
becoming more important. A little googling lead me a few interesting
projects on automatic mapping computations to GPUs, all of which were based
on Haskell. I feel that this will be the way to go. There's one guy on
the staff who's a demon programmer: if someone needs something to be
adapted to GPUs they go to him. Unfortunately I find reading his code
rather difficult -- it's rather baroque and opaque. Thus, I'd like
something more high level, and something amenable to optimization
In my former life I worked at IBM research on one of the leading edge
compiler optimization projects, and learned to appreciate the need for
clear semantics in programs, not just for developing correct programs, but
also to allow really aggressive optimizations to be performed. This is
another reason that I'm interested in functional languages.
I know that I'll get peppered with questions about efficiency. We (our
staff) is interested in *very* large scale computations which must use the
resources as efficiently as possible. One of our staff members also opined
that he felt that a lazy language like Haskell wouldn't be acceptable,
since it was impossible (or extremely difficult) to predict the storage use
of such a program.
So, any suggestions are welcome.
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