[Haskell] Software Engineering and Functional Programming (with Haskell)

Paul Johnson paul at cogito.org.uk
Tue Apr 3 17:40:44 EDT 2007

Sukit Tretriluxana wrote:
> Unfortunately my instructor disagrees that the topic is relevant. In 
> his response, he mentioned that he will accept the topic only if I can 
> prove the following.
> Haskell has been around for quite a while.  To convince me,
> you'll have to give me references that I can read about
> nontrivial examples of significant software systems already
> built exclusively with Haskell which includes the software
> engineering principles applied in this environment and the
> software measures that demonstrate the claims. I
> welcome the opportunity for you to provide me with such
> in-depth research references to support your viewpoint.
For FP in general you could look at Erlang.  Its an functional 
programming language used for telecom systems.  www.erlang.org has a 
bunch of references, including some very significant software systems.

I would suggest broadening your scope to include Erlang, and then look 
at some of the issues with Erlang and the way in which Haskell purity 
helps, like deforestation.  In Erlang you can write a function as a 
pipeline of maps, filters and folds, but it tends to be very inefficient 
because all the intermediate data structures have to be created.  In 
Haskell the compiler can strip out these structures because the order of 
execution does not matter.

I know that Haskell has been used for chip design software.  Simon 
Peyton-Jones' recent paper on the history of Haskell has some references.


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