[Haskell-cafe] Investing in languages (Was: What is your favourite Haskell "aha" moment?)

Tony Morris tonymorris at gmail.com
Thu Jul 12 06:35:55 UTC 2018

 I used to teach undergrad OOP nonsense. I have been teaching FP for 15
years. [^1]

The latter is *way* easier. Existing programmers are more difficult than
children, but still way easier to teach FP than all the other stuff.

[^1]: Canberra anyone? https://qfpl.io/posts/2018-canberra-intro-to-fp/

On 07/12/2018 04:23 PM, Joachim Durchholz wrote:
> Am 11.07.2018 um 16:36 schrieb Damian Nadales:
>> I speak only from my own narrow perspective. I'd say programming is
>> hard, but functional programming is harder.
> Actually it's pretty much the opposite, I hear from teachers.
>> Maybe that's why Java replaced Haskell in some universities
>> curricula
> The considerations are marketable skills.
> A considerable fraction of students is looking at the curriculum and
> at job offers, and if they find that the lists don't match, they will
> go to another university.
> Also, industry keeps lobbying for teaching skills that they can use.
> Industry can give money to universities so this gives them influence
> on the curriculum (and only if they get time to talk the topic over
> with the dean). This aspect can vary considerably between countries,
> depending on how much money the universities tend to acquire from
> industry.
>> https://chrisdone.com/posts/dijkstra-haskell-java. For some reason
>> most programmers I know are not scared of learning OO, but they fear
>> functional programming.
> Programmers were *very* scared of OO in the nineties. It took roughly
> a decade or two (depending on where you put the starting point) to get
> comfortable with OO.
> >
>   I think the reason might be that OO concepts
>> like inheritance and passing messages between objects are a bit more
>> concrete and easier to grasp (when you present toy examples at least).
> OO is about how to deal with having to pack everything into its own
> class (and how to arrange stuff into classes).
> Functional is about how to deal with the inability to update. Here,
> the functional camp actually has the easier job, because you can just
> tell people to just write code that creates new data objects and get
> over with it. Performance concerns can be handwaved away by saying
> that the compiler is hyper-aggressive, and "you can look at the
> intermediate code if you suspect the compiler is the issue".
> (Functional is a bit similar to SQL here, but the SQL optimizers are
> much less competent than GHC at detecting optimization opportunities.)
>> Then you have design patterns, which have intuitive names and give
>> some very general guidelines that one can try after reading them (and
>> add his/her own personal twist). I doubt people can read the Monad
>> laws and make any sense out of them at the first try.
> That's true, but much of the misconceptions around monads from the
> first days have been cleared up.
> But yes the monad laws are too hard to read. OTOH you won't be able to
> read the Tree code in the JDK without the explanations either.
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