[Haskell-cafe] Pattern guards seen in the wild?

Anthony Clayden anthony.d.clayden at gmail.com
Fri Oct 1 07:03:16 UTC 2021

Thanks Viktor, you've answered (in the negative) one of my follow-on
q's which was:

isn't the comma just standing for Boolean `&&` ?

> which would otherwise be something like: ...

I would go:

>    smtpGreeting :: Int -> SmtpReply -> SmtpM B.ByteString
>    smtpGreeting _ r =
>        | replyCont r            = pure B.empty

>        | code `div` 100 /= 2    = B.empty <$ modify' bail code
>        | otherwise              = smtpSendHello
>      where

>        code = replyCode r

>        bail code s =

> s { smtpErr = ProtoErr code $ replyText r }

> but I find the pattern guard form to read "declarative",

Hmm? Your `code <- ...` left-arrow doesn't look at all declarative to
me. It's reminiscent of a binding in a do-block, or a 'source' in a
comprehension. Strong imperative/sequential overtones.

> with less "if then else" baggage and nesting getting in the way of seeing the essential conditions.

My suggestion above also avoids "if then else".

I guess a case of de gustibus ...

To my taste, GHC Haskell is just too bloated/there's too many
(equivalent) ways of writing code/there's too many idioms I have to
keep up with to read code. It's not that there's anything particularly
'wrong' with any one of them; it's the sheer number of them. I'd have
to say patterns/matching suffer a low power to weight ratio, where
'weight' means syntactic clutter and gotcha's: View pattern
arrow-from-nowhere, I'm looking at you; pattern signatures
double-forall's, empty forall's, double-constraints, I'm looking at
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