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

Brandon Allbery allbery.b at gmail.com
Thu Mar 16 22:38:43 UTC 2017

On Thu, Mar 16, 2017 at 6:22 PM, Ben Franksen <ben.franksen at online.de>

> Am 11.03.2017 um 01:42 schrieb JK:
>> *Yes.* I've been teaching not just "data processing" - after all almost
>> everything we program is "data processing", no?... but such concrete
>> stuff as physics simulation (diff. eqs.), some other numerics
>> (asymptotic expansions, etc.) signal processing (including sound
>> generation), and I liked to present several examples in a *dataflow
>> style* with plenty of co-recursive contraptions. Haskell lazy lists were
>> natural, concise, and easy to manipulate.  We enjoyed it, wrong or not.
> Jerzy, i have always liked your style and i am very glad you wrote this
> response, the attitude of which i find refreshingly unconventional. (Note i
> am not free of the sin of, sometimes hastily, condemning what i find
> distasteful.)

I'd just like to add:

- if it gets the job done, it's not wrong.

- it's my opinion that programs are best written for clarity; the
*compiler* should be optimizing, not the programmer, whenever possible.
Yes, there are exceptions. But how many programs really *need* something
like Duff's Device? Save the cleverness for those. This doesn't necessarily
justify using an inherently wrong data structure (e.g. alist for a large
keyed map), but if the flow is best understood via lists, that counts for
more. (Consider that it may be *your* sanity that will be saved a year down
the road when you have to revise it.)

brandon s allbery kf8nh                               sine nomine associates
allbery.b at gmail.com                                  ballbery at sinenomine.net
unix, openafs, kerberos, infrastructure, xmonad        http://sinenomine.net
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