[Haskell-cafe] Tutorial: Haskell for the Evil Genius

MigMit miguelimo38 at yandex.ru
Sun Sep 16 22:15:00 CEST 2012

Mind if I join you in praising this?

On Sep 17, 2012, at 12:06 AM, Kristopher Micinski <krismicinski at gmail.com> wrote:

> Agreed.  Great.  I still contend that it would be cool to get this to
> be a real thing at something like the Haskell workshop, I think
> hearing the different perspectives would be an interesting insight
> into the many different ways to explain monads.  But I suppose the way
> to start would be to put up a webpage for collecting them..
> kris
> On Sun, Sep 16, 2012 at 3:55 PM, Conal Elliott <conal at conal.net> wrote:
>> Hi Tillmann. Wow. Lovely and spot on! And I almost never hear monad
>> explanations without wincing. Thanks for sharing.  -- Conal
>> On Sun, Sep 16, 2012 at 7:48 AM, Tillmann Rendel
>> <rendel at informatik.uni-marburg.de> wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> Kristopher Micinski wrote:
>>>> Everyone in the Haskell cafe probably has a secret dream to give the
>>>> best "five minute monad talk."
>>> (1) Most programming languages support side effects. There are different
>>> kinds of side effects such as accessing mutable variables, reading files,
>>> running in parallel, raising exceptions, nondeterministically returning more
>>> than one answer, and many more. Most languages have some of these effects
>>> built into their semantics, and do not support the others at all.
>>> (2) Haskell is pure, so it doesn't support any side effects. Instead, when
>>> Haskell programmers want to perform a side effect, they explicitly construct
>>> a description of the side effecting computation as a value. For every group
>>> of related side effects, there is a Haskell type that describes computations
>>> that can have that group of side effects.
>>> (3) Some of these types are built in, such as IO for accessing the world
>>> outside the processor and ST for accessing local mutable variables. Other
>>> such types are defined in Haskell libraries, such as for computations that
>>> can fail and for computations that can return multiple answers. Application
>>> programmers often define their own types for the side effects they need to
>>> describe, tailoring the language to their needs.
>>> (4) All computation types have a common interface for operations that are
>>> independent of the exact side effects performed. Some functions work with
>>> arbitrary computations, just using this interface. For example, we can
>>> compose a computation with itself in order to run it twice. Such generic
>>> operations are highly reusable.
>>> (5) The common interface for constructing computations is called "Monad".
>>> It is inspired by the mathematical theory that some computer scientists use
>>> when they describe what exactly the semantics of a programming language with
>>> side effects is. So most other languages support some monad natively without
>>> the programmer ever noticing, whereas Haskell programmers can choose (and
>>> even implement) exactly the monads they want. This makes Haskell a very good
>>> language for side effecting computation.
>>>  Tillmann
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