Michael Sproul

The Cult of Haskell

Written by Michael Sproul on October 12, 2015.

Do you remember the joy you felt when you first learnt to program? Do you remember how you felt when you first understood if-statements and for loops? Perhaps you felt that a door was opened into a new world of dreams and wonder. Perhaps you loved this new world so much that you adjusted your figures of speech to reflect it; “if it’s sunny today then I’ll go to the beach, else I’ll stay home”, “for each x in assignments, do x”. Your friends and family undoubtedly thought you were strange. Over the years, your initial enthusiasm has waned - damped by the harsh reality of legacy-code-clusterfucks and AbstractSingletonBrainTumour factories. We’re here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way. New programming delights and delicacies await you in the Church of Haskell. You can be REBORN! Our disciples have already infiltrated your friendship circles, seamlessly folding Haskell references into your daily conversations. Try as you might to filter them out, Truth and Purity will always prevail. Who are you to mock and ridicule those who extract great joy from Haskell? Are they not just like you were when you learnt Java at age 5? Shouldn’t you at least skim the Holy Texts of this bizarre fringe language? Like all good Holy Texts, ours were written by a collection of bearded and eccentric men at some point in the indeterminate past. The ungrammatically-titled Learn You a Haskell For Great Good is our recommended introduction to Haskell’s non-leaky abstractions - best read whilst sipping from a kool glass of Kool-aid. Who knows, you may end up liking Haskell so much that you join our newly formed community for the Haskell faithful – Simon Peyton Jonestown.

Written by Michael Sproul and Andrew Semler for UNSW’s CSE mag, Beta.

Tagged: haskell, functional-programming, religion