[Haskell-cafe] Can Haskell outperform C++?

wren ng thornton wren at freegeek.org
Sat May 19 09:30:05 CEST 2012

On 5/16/12 3:57 PM, Bardur Arantsson wrote:
> Comparing languages is a highly non-trivial matter involving various
> disciplines (including various squidgy ones) and rarely makes sense
> without a very specific context for comparison.

Exactly. That's what I was trying to get at re the problems of comparing 
Haskell to C++ (or indeed any pair of dissimilar languages). A 
legitimate comparison will involve far more than microbenchmarks, but 
then a legitimate comparison must always have a specific focus and 
context in order to be able to say anything interesting. The problems I 
see in language comparisons is that by and large they tend not to have 
any such focus[1], and consequently they shed little light on how the 
languages compare and shed a bit of darkness by serving only to confirm 
initial biases.

[1] A nice counter-example to this trend are papers like:


There was another one comparing the expressivity of Java-style 
polymorphism vs Haskell-style polymorphism, based on an analysis of 
in-the-wild code; but I can't seem to pull it up at the moment.

Live well,

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