re: What Elm and Rust Teach us About the Future VIEW POST

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Thanks for the article, really interesting food for thought. I especially liked the reference to "GOTO considered harmful, considered harmful". Seems ridiculous in hindsight.

I really like the ideas of functional languages. I wish people would come to realize that functional and object oriented programming are not opposites; they can form powerful alliances. Immutability and pure (side-effect free, idempotent) functions are extremely useful concepts. However, I do not necessarily need to go as far as Haskell to implement those (neither do I need to go as far as Java to do object orientation).

I have one major pain point with pretty much every functional langauge out there, be it Elm, Haskell, OCaml, you name it: The syntax. "Unreadable" does not even begin to describe it. Sure, the program just has 250 characters (not lines!) in total. But if I need 10 hours to figure out what it actually does, then how does this help anyone? It's about as far away from "literate programming" as you can possibly be. Elm and Rust are nightmares come alive in that regard as well, albeit each for different reasons. I can't help but get the feeling that those languages were not designed to be written, read or interpreted by humans. In that particular regard, they are no better (if not worse) than the assembly code they compile to.

 

You are confusing readability with familiarity here, to the point that it is almost a little bit insulting to people who enjoy ML style syntax. :-)

I do agree though, that (academic) Haskell code can be hard to read: highly abstract, lots of cryptic operators, single letter module imports. But this is a separate issue, not to be equated with language syntax.

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