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

Donn Cave donn at avvanta.com
Sat Aug 29 14:23:03 UTC 2015

Quoth Tobias Dammers <tdammers at gmail.com>,
[... re assembly language]
> That doesn't mean, however, that this is the only possible trajectory -
> it's a thorough one, and a very suitable one for people like me who want
> to understand it all before moving to the next level of abstraction, but
> most people, I realize, aren't like me.

Indeed, I think most people would have different reasons for finding
assembly language interesting.  Believe me, we truly wanted to write
programs in assembly language.

If we're out walking in the woods, and I jump up on a fallen log, do
you think I must have done this because I want to strengthen my thighs
and buttocks?  At some primal unconscious level, perhaps that really
is part of the motivation for such behaviors, but if so, we can let
nature take care of itself.

Similarly, some people have a natural compulsion to grapple with bits
that can be combined in certain ways to make something that spins
around and makes noises.  These people (maybe anyone, to some degree)
can satisfy this urge with computer programming.  I can't say for sure
why assembly language would delight such a person, but just guessing,
it's the complete transparency - you aren't making some deal with a
compiler to translate your notional program into instructions, rather
you see exactly what you're doing in the computer's own language.

I think Haskell has a peculiar appeal of its own, at this level,
but of course it's quite different, and shows up in compulsive


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