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

Johan Henriksson mahogny at areta.org
Fri Apr 27 18:36:46 EDT 2007

Hash: SHA1

Al Falloon wrote:
> 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
> evaluation.

however, you cannot even print a message without learning a few things
about classes. C++ is even worse in this aspect though, using both
classes and operator overloading for a hello world. I think the haskell
first learning step is quite acceptable if you manage to get the syntax
right (beginners tend to mess up indentation rules for do etc)

> 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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- --
- --
- ------------------------------------------------
Johan Henriksson aka Mahogny aka Stålis
mahogny at areta.org / johen at student.chalmers.se /
johan.henriksson at biosci.ki.se
MSc Engineering
PhD student, Karolinska Institutet
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