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Discussion on: Why are you learning Elm?

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khrome83 profile image
Zane Milakovic

I spent some time trying to learn Elm.

What I walked away with was an appreciate for the architecture. But I hated the syntax. It seemed like the syntax was unnecessary. Something more familiar would have been better.

Otherwise the architecture pattern was amazing. Just reading it made me learn more and gave be a clear point of view.

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antonrich profile image
Anton

I actually enjoy the syntax very much. It is so simple.

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khrome83 profile image
Zane Milakovic

I can see the appeal, I just feel that it has some unneeded changes. Too many array structures and hard to follow.

That being said, my biggest issue is the HTML output in arrays. The method and flow part of the architecture makes perfect sense!

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dwayne profile image
Dwayne Crooks Author

It can be difficult to do but I try not to get hung up on syntactic issues especially when other features of the language bring huge benefits.

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khrome83 profile image
Zane Milakovic

I just feel that syntactic and readability is part of the developer experience.

Like I said, I’m the concept has a lot of great benefits. The choice to change the syntactics was stylistic and that I didn’t agree with.

If it ever releases with a cleaner easier to read syntax I would revisit it easily.

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dwayne profile image
Dwayne Crooks Author • Edited

Thinking about it a little more, I feel the same way as well. I guess we just have different tastes when it comes to syntax and readability. But that's fine.

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gdotdesign profile image
Szikszai Gusztáv

You might like Mint then :) It should feel more familiar than Elm, but has the same feeling to it otherwise (typed, quick, safe).

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khrome83 profile image
Zane Milakovic

I will check it out, thank you!

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_gdelgado profile image
Gio

But I hated the syntax

That's bikeshedding, my friend!

Some people like it, some people don't. But should your like or dislike of syntax impact your decision to adopt a language? Not if the distinction between syntaxes doesn't impact productivity, learning curve or other objective criteria.

The syntax is (mostly) unimportant (see point above). It's like telling someone you don't agree with them because of the sound of their voice. It's super subjective. As as engineers, we shouldn't be swayed to make decisions based on subjective criteria!

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dwayne profile image
Dwayne Crooks Author

On point.

I feel the same way as well, i.e. syntax is mostly unimportant. It is the least important part of choosing a programming language.

However, I didn't feel that trying to convince any random person on the internet of that was worth my time so instead I tried to empathize with him because, let's face it, we've all been there (i.e. hating syntax) at one point or another.

It's interesting to note though that in the history of mathematics notation (i.e. syntax) has always been an issue:

  1. We took Leibniz's notation over Newton's for calculus. ref
  2. We dropped Frege's notation for something more convenient. ref
  3. And on and on.

But we always accepted the underlying ideas and concepts when we deemed them worthy of consideration.