[Haskell-cafe] Wow Monads!

David McClain dbm at refined-audiometrics.com
Sat Apr 15 16:56:11 UTC 2017

It’s been about 15 years on/off since I first looked at Monads. This weekend I finally sat down and really learned what they are, how they work. I found what looks like the seminal paper on them by Phil Wadler:

https://page.mi.fu-berlin.de/scravy/realworldhaskell/materialien/the-essence-of-functional-programming.pdf <https://page.mi.fu-berlin.de/scravy/realworldhaskell/materialien/the-essence-of-functional-programming.pdf>

I’m a pretty heavy Common Lisp guy, going on 30 years with it. I also did tons of SML and OCaml programming. But I only dipped my toe into Haskell a few times.

What I was looking for was a more in-depth understanding of Monads and how they work. I remember reading that Wadler paper many years ago, and I was intrigued by the conciseness of changing the interpreter to do different instrumentation. I was hoping to find a magic bullet like that for my Lisp code. And I noticed that Lisp almost never makes any mention of Monads. Surely there is a benefit that could be had…

Anyone else have Lisp experience using Monads? Did it offer some major enhancements for you?

- DM
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