Things to learn... (Functional programming language)

One of the entries on my "things to learn" list is a functional language, that is, a language in which there are no side-effects and everything is basically a data-flow. Just stumbled across the Haskell home-page.

Side note; unlike the Python page, which immediately offers implementation downloads, you need to go to the "learning" page on to see implementation downloads (there may be some other link that gets to it, but I didn't see it). Now, that makes sense in some ways (once you've learned, you'll already know which implementation to choose, so likely only newbies need the list), but it doesn't really seem like something intended to be used so much as something to be studied and learned.

Side-side-note; last time I was on the Java site (which was quite a while ago), it took me close to half an hour to find the download. I wound up going through some byzantine maze of twisty-turney little passages with dozens of dead-ends and loops. Very frustrating when you are accomplishing what is likely the most common operation seen by the web-site.

So, how much is web-site design a reflection of the mind-set of the developers/enthusiasts? There's probably some correllation, but you people have really got to stop reading quite so much into it.


  1. x

    x on 07/19/2004 11:16 a.m. #

    While there may be a sort of serendipitous corelation between the java.sun site and the java language, i don't think it was by (unconscious) design. I think it's the blasted marketting and legal department. Java is especially incredibly infuriating to download for a source based operating system such as FreeBSD and Gentoo... where one is used to simple "portupgrade" or "emerge", or even simply just "make install"... but it can't be done with Java. You have to go and manually download certain things, and then place them certain places. At least with windows once you do find the download you just run it. On the other hand, gentoo and FreeBSD when instructing you on the hoops you must jump through to proceed provide you with the link which is *only* *two* *steps* away from the download... or something like that.<br />
    <br />
    Ho hum.

  2. Mike Fletcher

    Mike Fletcher on 07/19/2004 4:21 p.m. #

    Licensing restrictions can be a serious PITA. However, isn't the Blackdown JDK available as a simple package on Gentoo? Or is it not really ready for prime time? I mean, after all, this is Java, the write-once run-everywhere language, so it really shouldn't matter what JDK you're using, right?

  3. Olifante

    Olifante on 07/20/2004 7:31 a.m. #

    I've been Haskell-curious for a long time, as it seems to be the current best-of-breed among modern functional languages. I bought two books about Haskell, but have delayed reading them, expecting it to be hard work.<br />
    <br />
    I started reading the Haskell School of Expression this weekend, and was surprised to find that I was able to proceed at a brisk pace through the first 100 pages without major difficulties. I guess that Python's lists, lambdas, reduces, filters and maps have already exposed me to many of the cognitive hurdles that Haskell presents to non-functional programmers.<br />
    <br />
    So far, Haskell seems to be wonderfully elegant: the type system and notation is charming, and the whitespace formatting very pleasing to this old pythonista's eye. Of course, I have been mistaken by first impressions before: I actually enjoyed reading "Learning Perl" B-)

  4. Mike Fletcher

    Mike Fletcher on 07/20/2004 2:45 p.m. #

    Good thing you included that disclaimer, I might have taken the recommendation seriously ;) . Wonder if the Toronto Public Library will have it... likely not I suppose.

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