Haskell's syntax

David Bergman davidb@home.se
Tue, 22 Apr 2003 12:14:02 -0400

I understand that clarity is vital, but I kind of hoped that Haskell
would grow up to be a combination of a professional language and a
communicative and cognitive tool for testing computer-scientific ideas
in (much) higher education. It is not necessarily the case that clarity
from a well-educated computer scientist's or a professional software
developer's point of view is the same as clarity for beginners.

It is kind of sad that we are stuck with beginners' languages, such as
Java and VB. What works for beginners might not always be the best
choice for us highly experienced engineers and scientists. The problem
is that if you want to make a language popular in actual use, you have
to infiltritate the educative system, since the beginners of today are
the professionals behind systems built in two years. This crazy IT world
makes doctors out of nurses...

The clean and formal touch of Haskell (as well as of Oz and other
declarative languages) makes it highly attractive to (1) highly educated
professionals and (2) computer-science students (via their teachers.)
But beside that "aura," the two groups have different needs.

Maybe we have to invent Haskell++, to obfuscate things just enough to
keep students out of the way, enable the insertion of features viable
for use amongst professionals and in (much) higher education. Or,
perhaps, to go the other way, HaskellScript, as a gift to students :-)

I hope this mail did not sound too negative (re-reading it, it does...),
but I just wonder if anyone else has experienced the conflicting
requirements on this (and other) languages?

Paul, sorry for getting this as a private mail the first time, I hit the
"reply" button -- just shows how professional I am ;-)