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

Alexey Muranov alexey.muranov at gmail.com
Sat Aug 29 08:41:52 UTC 2015

IMO, what attracts a big part of kids to programming is the possibility to 
program side effects. It seems to me that Haskell takes a big care to "seal 
off" the side effects and does it in a nontrivial way. This may complicate 
introduction to programming. Telling the kids to "just use the IO monad and 
don't worry want a 'monad' is, it is just a magic word, it comes from 
Category Theory, don't try to understand, just follow me" might not be a 
good way to teach.

I've seen assembly language mentioned here, and what attracted me to it, 
when i was a kid, was the possibility to program "side effects" explicitly. 
Even if i could not observe those side effects, like change of a register 
value, directly, they could be tested indirectly.


On Saturday, August 29, 2015 at 8:10:58 AM UTC+2, Donn Cave wrote:
> quoth M Farkas-Dyck <stra... at gmail.com <javascript:>> 
> > ... I see much praise of 
> > Python, while Haskell mostly performs better, is less verbose, and 
> > catches type errors. Worse yet, I see counsel to learn it as a first 
> > language. 
> Sure - "Programming for Everybody" is practically a Python trademark! 
> It is kind of embarrassing when Haskell enthusiasts see Python as a 
> better language for beginners.  But in either case I think we'd expect 
> only a fairly superficial treatment of the language, right?  I mean, 
> for example, back in the day, one of my colleagues picked up Python 
> for random minor utilitarian purposes, and when I talked to him he 
> hadn't used classes for anything, so for him it was only incidentally 
> OOP inasmuch as some of the built in functions were addressed as object 
> member functions.  A beginning student doesn't need to learn OOP in 
> any kind of depth.  He or she would need to learn about the IO monad, 
> but maybe not monads in general.  I suppose that might somewhat limit 
> one's potential appreciation of Haskell's beauty, if we're still 
> talking about that. 
>         Donn 
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