[Haskell-cafe] To [] Or Not To []

Doug McIlroy doug at cs.dartmouth.edu
Fri Mar 10 05:41:37 UTC 2017

This stirred ancient memories in praise of wrong programs:

> > * If your program sorts a list, then your program is wrong.
> This seems a very strange claim.
> The whole thing is an abuse of the word "wrong".
> A program can be all of ugly, inefficient, unidiomatic,
> &c &c without being WRONG.

Fifty-plus years ago, when computing was 1000 times slower
and cost $600/hour, it was typical for professional programmers
to mediate between scientists and computers so that
those expensive machines would be used efficiently. At Bell
Labs, though, Dick Hamming insisted on open-shop computing
because "It is more important to have the right problem
done the wrong way, than to have the wrong problem done
the right way."


More information about the Haskell-Cafe mailing list