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Re: [Haskell-cafe] Why?

Subject: Re: [Haskell-cafe] Why?
From: "John D. Earle"
Date: Thu, 10 Dec 2009 05:29:15 -0700
Magnus, thank you. It at least gives me a lead. I can focus on the significance of laziness and what role it may have on purity. That the language is lazy gives me no anxiety as I see laziness as natural. I see Haskell as having proven that laziness is viable; a language can be lazy and fast and memory efficient. I am trying to put the puzzle pieces together and from what I can gather purity may be a perceived outcome of combinatory logic with Occam's razor. So perhaps the motivation is scientific. Unless you absolutely must don't go there. Science is an evolutionary process. You go from Newtonian mechanics to Relativity. Relativity is more complicated than Newtonian mechanics, but it was proven that the additional complexity was needed.

--------------------------------------------------
From: "Magnus Therning" <magnus@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: 10 Thursday December 2009 0507
To: "John D. Earle" <JohnDEarle@xxxxxxx>
Cc: "Haskell Cafe" <haskell-cafe@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [Haskell-cafe] Why?

On Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 12:01 PM, John D. Earle <JohnDEarle@xxxxxxx> wrote:
This is a matter that I genuinely at the present time do not grasp and I am hoping that some of you who are more familiar with the Haskell language may
be able to help enlighten me. I feel the question to be an important one.
What material benefit does Haskell derive from being a "pure" functional
language as opposed to an impure one? Please provide examples as I require
instruction.

The following is what I believe to be true at the present time. It seems to
be that the decision was made because it was a matter of taste under the
belief that computer scientists can and often are superstitious and their
superstitions can and often do materially interfere with progress. What I am
saying is that at the present time perhaps due to my ignorance I am
unfamiliar with how this benefits the language in a material sense. It
appears to be a philosophical matter, a matter of identity, what Haskell
stands for.

The sort of decision that Apple computer and Microsoft made not to go down
the POSIX road seems relevant. Historically, Apple did not embrace POSIX.
Windows continues to stand for Windows, that is the graphical user
interface.

As I understand it it all started with laziness.  I don't know if
laziness is impossible without purity, but talks and papers tend to
say something like "laziness has kept Haskell pure".

/M

--
Magnus Therning                        (OpenPGP: 0xAB4DFBA4)
magnusïtherningïorg          Jabber: magnusïtherningïorg
http://therning.org/magnus identi.ca|twitter: magthe

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