Sunday, December 14, 2008

I am very much enjoying learning Haskell

As I have mentioned, I am learning Haskell to fill a gap in my programming language tool kit: a concise, productive language with great run time performance (low memory use and efficient utilization of multi-core CPUs).

I am experiencing another benefit: a different way to analyze and solve problems. Learning Haskell reminds me of using Prolog. Obviously Prolog and Haskell are very different programming languages so the comparison is really in how different they are from the languages that I usually use in my work (Java, Lisp, and Ruby). It has been over two years since I used Prolog in a consulting job but I used to use Prolog a fair amount. For the near future I am happy learning Haskell for a few specific applications and for giving me a fresh programming perspective. I am also pleased to see the wide range of Haskell libraries and the Haskell community seems interesting. I have been using Planet Haskell as a launch point for reading.

2 comments:

J.F. Zarama said...

Reading your post, I have an observation to make. I do most of my work using Java so it was natural to select Scala to explore functional programming. I found Scala a bit overwhelming at first and tried Haskell for a while given the numerous references to it as Scala's root. I found Haskell easier to follow. But then I did understand the quirks behind Scala. Now I find that I am learning both, Haskell and Scala, something I generally avoid in the effort to keep things simple. On my Ubuntu environment I have Real World Haskell and Programing in Scala open along with Haskell GHCi and JEdit + Scala plug-in open; also, I just tried Netbeans 6.5 + Scala combination that works quite well. Anyway, I have much to read and learn but I wanted to comment on my Scala to Haskell to Scala to Haskell and Scala learning and experimenting experience

Mark Watson, author and consultant said...

Hello J.F.,

Thanks for your comments! I am continuing to find the Real World Haskell book to be useful, and Scala is on my future learning list (I play with Scala but do not really understand the language yet).

I signed a Ruby book contract last week so for at least a few months I am concentrating on Ruby (which I have used professionally for years, but I am still in a learning mode; that said, I have been using Lisp for 25 years and still consider myself as a student of that language also :-)

Best regards,
Mark