[Haskell-cafe] Why Haskell is beautiful to the novice

Alberto G. Corona agocorona at gmail.com
Thu Aug 27 23:37:19 UTC 2015

a programming -> a programming language

2015-08-28 1:36 GMT+02:00 Alberto G. Corona <agocorona at gmail.com>:

> My impression is that a programming is a tool for solving problems and the
> perceived beauty of a tool is a mix of many impression: One is the personal
> level of mastering of the tool, but also what the tool promises to achieve
> when you reach the next levels. Otherwise when you master it completely, it
> looses his interest.
>  This second part is what makes haskell attractive: it has no limits
> 2015-08-27 23:08 GMT+02:00 Olaf Klinke <olf at aatal-apotheke.de>:
>> Dear cafe,
>> please correct me if questions like this should not go via this mailing
>> list.
>> Presumably everyone on this list agrees that Haskell stands out as a
>> beautiful and pleasant language to have. The recent nitpicking and
>> real-world problems like cabal hell don't change that. However, statements
>> supporting Haskell's beauty usually involve: "In Haskell it is so much
>> clearer/easier/faster to ... than in another language." That is, the beauty
>> of Haskell presents itself to those who can compare it to other imperative
>> or not strongly typed languages that one learned before Haskell.
>> My question is, for what reason should anyone not acquainted with any
>> programming language find Haskell beautiful? Maybe it does not look
>> beautiful at all to the novice. The novice can not draw on the comparison,
>> unless he takes the effort to learn more than one language in parallel. The
>> novice likely also does not have the mathematical background to see the
>> beautiful correspondence between the language and its semantics. (My reason
>> to love FP is because it is executable domain theory.) One might argue that
>> it is not the language itself that is beautiful, but rather the concepts
>> (data structures, algorithms, recursion) and Haskell does a great job to
>> preserve their beauty into the implementation. Do you agree?
>> Disclaimer: I am about to start teaching a first course in computer
>> science in secondary school. I can teach whatever I want, since this is the
>> first CS course the school ever had. I want to teach beautiful things. I
>> love functional programming. I need not start teaching programming right
>> away. But I am reluctant to expose the pupils to something whose beauty
>> escapes them completely.
>> -- Olaf
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> --
> Alberto.

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