[Haskell-cafe] Wow Monads!

David McClain dbm at refined-audiometrics.com
Tue Apr 18 17:36:46 UTC 2017

Your’e welcome…

> On Apr 18, 2017, at 10:20, Bryan Richter <b at chreekat.net> wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 18, 2017 at 09:57:10AM -0700, David McClain wrote:
>> <...>
> These posts of yours have been incredibly interesting to me, and I just
> wanted to thank you for sharing them!

I think my point about ecosystem programming is really about the importance of immediate feedback when crafting software. You need a powerful language so that you don’t get torpedoed with your fresh ideas with lots of mandatory scaffolding. In C-like languages the goal becomes one of writing a correct line of code. 

The strongly typed languages, of the FPL variety, don’t force that upon you. But you do get sidetracked by the challenge of getting that last bit of code to type check successfully. And if you aren’t already in an ecosystem with the language, even more distracted by the demands of the edit / compile cycle.

Any distractions from your idea means that, if you happened to have chosen the wrong approach, you aren’t thinking properly about that aspect because the distractions have set up a nearer term goal for you to reach. We become like hamsters on a wheel, and we feel good after doing battle successfully. But the problem is, after all that, did it work the way you hoped? And without immediate feedback, even if you have some distractions that you must put up with, you are using an extended tape measure to flip the light switch on the opposite wall.

I think Haskell does offer some ecosystems. I have one that I installed on my Mac a couple months ago called “Haskell for Mac” by Chakravarty. It seems a pretty nifty little environment, but I have only been in there for about an hour or two. Part of my own push for polygot creds.

Another one that looks possibly interesting is Shen, formerly Qi. I did a fair amount with the old Qi language, even adding / correcting the compiler system to fit my own needs. Mastering the logic system is another challenge ahead of me. I was impressed at the implementation, and the equational reasoning, which I first saw back in the 1990’s with the publication of the SML Language. 

But right off the bat, Haskell will present the bigger challenge to me. There is a huge scaffold of type class hierarchy that comes in the base environment. Reminds me a bit of trying to learn the old MSVC system from yore…

- DM

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