[Haskell] Re: Newbie: what are the advantages of Haskell?

Al Falloon afalloon at synopsys.com
Fri Apr 27 12:18:34 EDT 2007

Taillefer, Troy (EXP) wrote:
> Java sense (i.e. "cut out any feature that can't be understood in five 
> minutes by a chimp")
> Got to love comments like this they are constructive, objective, mature 
> and accurate.
> Glad we have your expert opinion to give us the gospel.
> Can I get an amen? How about a Hallelujah ?

Admittedly, this is phrased in an inflammatory manner, however, the 
original sentiment is actually pointing out an advantage of Java over 
Haskell. Here is the original paragraph in context:

Sebastian Sylvan wrote:
> I can sometimes feel that Haskell looses out on not being user friendly 
> in the Java sense (i.e. "cut out any feature that can't be understood in 
> five minutes by a chimp"). Some things do take some effort to learn, but 
> there is a huge payoff for it (it's really powerful!). But yeah, there 
> might be plenty of folks who will never bother learning about them, and 
> they won't understand your code.

IOW: Java's advanced features are separable from its basic features. 
I.e. you can teach Java without teaching generics or anonymous inner 
classes. In Haskell, OTOH, you can't even learn how to do IO without 
learning Monads, or at least glossing over oddities like a new syntax. 
And thats not even getting into issues like statelessness and lazy 

So for a new user, Java is the better language. You can get into its 
features slowly and as you see the need for them. Haskell requires you 
to learn a number of mind-bending concepts right up front. Java has a 
gentle learning curve and Haskell has a vertical jump.

But, Sebastian is right. The leap is worth it. Its the same as what 
someone once said about LISP: even if you never get to use Haskell 
regularly, you will be a better programmer when you finally "get it".

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