[Haskell-cafe] Comments from OCaml Hacker Brian Hurt
jgoerzen at complete.org
Thu Jan 15 10:34:38 EST 2009
Don Stewart noticed this blog post on Haskell by Brian Hurt, an OCaml
It's a great post, and I encourage people to read it. I'd like to
highlight one particular paragraph:
One thing that does annoy me about Haskell- naming. Say you've
noticed a common pattern, a lot of data structures are similar to
the difference list I described above, in that they have an empty
state and the ability to append things onto the end. Now, for
various reasons, you want to give this pattern a name using on
Haskell's tools for expressing common idioms as general patterns
(type classes, in this case). What name do you give it? I'd be
inclined to call it something like "Appendable". But no, Haskell
calls this pattern a "Monoid". Yep, that's all a monoid is-
something with an empty state and the ability to append things to
the end. Well, it's a little more general than that, but not
much. Simon Peyton Jones once commented that the biggest mistake
Haskell made was to call them "monads" instead of "warm, fluffy
things". Well, Haskell is exacerbating that mistake. Haskell
developers, stop letting the category theorists name
things. Please. I beg of you.
I'd like to echo that sentiment!
He went on to add:
If you?re not a category theorists, and you're learning (or thinking
of learning) Haskell, don't get scared off by names like "monoid" or
"functor". And ignore anyone who starts their explanation with
references to category theory- you don't need to know category
theory, and I don't think it helps.
I'd echo that one too.
More information about the Haskell-Cafe