String != [Char]

Henrik Nilsson nhn at
Mon Mar 26 01:54:09 CEST 2012

Hi all,

Gabriel Dos Reis wrote:

 > Look at the almost permanent damage done by the
 > culture that equated 'char*' to strings.  It may be inconvenient to
 > say, but [Char] isn't any better -- in fact, I'll go further and say:
 > it is spreading the same damage but only with a different syntax.
 > The damage is semantics, no amount of syntax clothing will undo it.
 > I realize that may appear as a strong statement, but think about it.

Reasonable people might choose to disagree with that.

In any case, this is hardly the place to to discuss how to best
teach Haskell or programming in general.

Nor is the Haskell standard a vehicle to prescribe how Haskell
should be taught or for what reasons Haskell should be taught:
that can only be decided by individual educators based in their
experience and given a specific teaching context.

Given intimate knowledge of our specific teaching context
here at Nottingham, I can say that removing String = [Char]
from the language wouldn't be helpful to us.

And we do respect our students.



Henrik Nilsson
School of Computer Science
The University of Nottingham
nhn at

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