[Haskell-cafe] haskell.org

Ertugrul Söylemez ertesx at gmx.de
Mon Apr 20 22:53:43 UTC 2015

Hi everybody,

I'd like to note that the prime "sieve" example that is sitting at the
top of the homepage is not a real sieve and will more likely make people
with number theory experience (like me) feel highly irritated rather
than fascinated.  A real sieve does not only run a million times (!)
faster and consumes far less memory, but is also much longer, even in
Haskell.  Here is a real one:


I don't want to make a mountain out of a molehill, but please note:  If
I'd be new to Haskell, that example would have turned me off, because it
would have hurt my ability to take Haskell programmers seriously.  You
can easily promote your tools when you claim that they can build a car
easily, except in reality it's just a toy bicycle.

It's the same feeling to cryptographers when people call a regular
stream cipher a "one-time pad" and promote it as such.  It rings the
"this is snake oil!" alarm bell.

So I propose to either rename the 'sieve' function to something more
appropriate (like `trialDiv`) or replace the example altogether.  I
would suggest an example that truly shows Haskell's strengths.  Trial
division search is really just a bad substitute for the more common and
equally inappropriate list quicksort example.

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