[Haskell-cafe] I read somewhere that for 90% of a wide class
of computing problems, you only need 10% of the source code in Haskell,
that you would in an imperative language.
andrewcoppin at btinternet.com
Wed Sep 30 03:32:08 EDT 2009
Casey Hawthorne wrote:
> I read somewhere that for 90% of a wide class of computing problems,
> you only need 10% of the source code in Haskell, that you would in an
> imperative language.
> If this is true, it needs to be pushed.
> And if by changing a few lines of source code one can develop a whole
> family of similar applications, that needs to be pushed, also.
As one C++ expert I know is fond of telling me, "Haskell will only
become popular when obscure mathematics becomes popular".
You can argue about whether or not this is true. Myself I think we just
need to start documenting things more clearly. (E.g., Mr C++ apparently
spent half an hour trying to figure out why an expression wouldn't
parse. Turns out you have to write negative numbers in brackets. Which
isn't hard, but you have to already know this.)
I might also point out that 90% of all desktop computers run Windows,
and yet every single C library binding on Hackage fails to compile on
Windows. That really needs to be fixed. (Not to mention some of the
standard I/O functions doing slightly strange things because GHC is
calling POSIX compatibility functions rather than native I/O functions.
For example, doesDirectoryExist "C:\\" = False.)
The lack of a big shiny whizzy-looking IDE probably stops quite a few
people too. (I gather the Leksah guys are working on that one.)
Lack of a good way to write native-looking Windows GUI applications - or
indeed any GUI applications without requiring a stack of DLLs - probably
doesn't help either.
None of these look fundamentally insumountable to me.
(Mr C++ argues that homo sapiens fundamentally think in an imperative
way, and therefore functional programming in general will never be
popular. We shall see...)
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