"Haskell is a scripting language inspired by Python."

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Re: "Haskell is a scripting language inspired by Python."

Andrew Coppin
On 04/11/2010 08:47 PM, Ketil Malde wrote:

> Andrew Coppin<[hidden email]>  writes:
>
>> On a somewhat tangental note: It seems increadible to me that Haskell
>> was invented in 1990, and Miranda way back in 1985. At the same time,
>> Commodore Business Machines released the iconic Commodore 64 in 1982,
> It is amazing - although as you point out, computers weren't very
> capable, so although it may have been possible to run Gofer on an Amiga,
> it was not what the 1337 hackers used for their demos.
>
> But it shows how incredibly inert the field of computer science really
> is.  Or perhaps, how far software engineering is removed from computer
> science.

Well, mainstream computing seems to be far more driven by economics than
technology. It's weird; on the one hand, every new programming language
(or product, for that matter) must have some astounding new whizz-bang
to make it stand out. And yet, at the same time, it mustn't be too
radical, or people might be scared of it...

> Makes you wonder what the current day developments are that will be
> fighting for a corner of the mainstream in thirty years.
>

Only time will tell.

> -k

"If I haven't seen further, it is by standing in the footprints of giants"

What an oddly apt sentiment...

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Re: "Haskell is a scripting language inspired by Python."

Albert Y. C. Lai
In reply to this post by Jonathan Geddes
On 10-11-03 10:00 PM, Jonathan Geddes wrote:
> It's called "The *Ultimate* Computer Language Guide," and it's on the
> internets, so it must be correct, right?

The correct conclusion: it's on the internets, so it must be LOL.

I also invite you to play with my:
http://www.vex.net/~trebla/humour/lmcify.html
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Re: "Haskell is a scripting language inspired by Python."

Richard A. O'Keefe
In reply to this post by Stephen Tetley-2

On 4/11/2010, at 9:08 PM, Stephen Tetley wrote:
>
>
> Did Haskell get significant whitespace from Python - doubtful as
> Python possibly wasn't visible enough at the time, but you never know.

Python did not originate indentation-based syntax.
Occam has it too.
I first came across the idea in a rather old book
which I *think* was by Reynolds.

> Doesn't COBOL have significant layout anyway as an inspiration to
> both?

Yes and no.  What it actually has relates strongly to punched cards
and is more like assemblers of the day.

Columns 1 to 6 were for the sequence number.
You don't know what a sequence number is?
It's a decimal number punched in a fixed group of columns so that
when you drop a box of 2000 cards you can run them through a
reader/sorter and put them back in the right order.

Column 7 is called the indicator area.
 " " a normal line begins here
 "-" this is a continuation of the previous line
 "*" this is a comment line
Some other characters are allowed here but this gives you the idea.

Columns 8 to 11 are "Area A".  Certain structure keywords
and labels must go in that area.

Columns 12 to 72 are "Area B".  Normal statements go in that
area.  Indentation *within* area B has no significance whatever.

Columns 73 to 80 have a name (the Identification Field) but
no use.  Put anything you like there.  (This is where Fortran
used to put sequence numbers.)

None of the classic IBM languages (BAL, Fortran, COBOL, PL/I, APL)
used indentation-aware syntax.

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Re: "Haskell is a scripting language inspired by Python."

David Fox-7
In reply to this post by Albert Y. C. Lai
On Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 2:41 PM, Albert Y. C. Lai <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 10-11-03 10:00 PM, Jonathan Geddes wrote:
>>
>> It's called "The *Ultimate* Computer Language Guide," and it's on the
>> internets, so it must be correct, right?
>
> The correct conclusion: it's on the internets, so it must be LOL.

The stuff that is *not* on the internets must be really awesome - can
anyone give me a link to that?

-david
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Re: "Haskell is a scripting language inspired by Python."

Lennart Augustsson
In reply to this post by Jonathan Geddes
KRC, Miranda, and LML all predate Haskell and have list comprehensions.

On Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 3:16 PM, Jonathan Geddes
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> Regardless of which languages got which features for which other
> languages, Haskell is surely NOT a "scripting language inspired by
> python"...
>
> Also, it was my understanding that Python got list comprehensions
> straight from Haskell. Unless, of course, some of the pre-Haskells
> also had this feature.
>
> Haskell: [f x | x <- xs, x <= 15]
> Python: [f(x) for x in xs if x <= 15]
>
> The Python version reads the way I would speak the Haskell one if I
> were reading code aloud, though I might say "such that" rather than
> "for"
>
> --Jonathan Geddes
>
> On Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 6:05 AM, Stephen Tetley <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On 4 November 2010 12:03, Stephen Tetley <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> Python is approximately as old as Python and most likely got
>>> indentation from ABC.
>>
>> Apologies that should read - "as old as Haskell"
>>
>> Obviously IDSWIM - (I _don't_ say what I mean).
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Re: "Haskell is a scripting language inspired by Python."

Lennart Augustsson
In reply to this post by Andrew Coppin
It happened at various universities around the world.  Look at the
original Haskell committee and you'll get a good idea where.

The smallest Haskell I know of is Gofer/Hugs; it originally ran on a 640k PCs.
Before that languages like SASL and KRC ran on PDP-11 with 64k memory.
None of these had a compiler that was bootstrapped, but I had a simple
functional language that compiled itself and ran in 64K.
The smallest bootstrapped Haskell compiler is NHC which (I think) runs
in a few MB.

  -- Lennart

On Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 8:54 PM, Andrew Coppin
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> Where the heck did all this
> stuff happen?! Can you actually run something like Haskell with mere
> kilobytes of RAM?
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Re: "Haskell is a scripting language inspired by Python."

Gregory Crosswhite-2
In reply to this post by Lennart Augustsson
  On 11/04/2010 03:30 PM, Lennart Augustsson wrote:
> KRC, Miranda, and LML all predate Haskell and have list comprehensions.

Just because those languages predate Haskell and have list
comprehensions doesn't mean that they still couldn't have gotten the
idea from Haskel!.  After all, I fully anticipate us using the Haskell
language in the near future to build a time machine that will allow us
to beam some of our insights back to influence earlier programming
languages.

Cheers,
Greg
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Re: "Haskell is a scripting language inspired by Python."

Malcolm Wallace-2
In reply to this post by Lennart Augustsson
On 4 Nov 2010, at 22:38, Lennart Augustsson wrote:

> The smallest bootstrapped Haskell compiler is NHC which (I think) runs
> in a few MB.

Originally, it needed to be able to compile itself in the 2Mb  
available on Niklas's Amiga.  Then he got an upgrade to 4Mb, so he  
started to become less disciplined about keeping things small.  :-)  I  
haven't checked how much RAM nhc98 needs for bootstrapping recently,  
but the Makefile suggests 16Mb of heap + 2Mb of stack is more than  
sufficient - it could probably manage with less.

Regards,
     Malcolm
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Re: "Haskell is a scripting language inspired by Python."

Richard A. O'Keefe
In reply to this post by Andrew Coppin

On 5/11/2010, at 8:54 AM, Andrew Coppin wrote:
Can you actually run something like Haskell with mere kilobytes of RAM?

There was a Lisp for PDP-11s (64k).
Henderson's LispKit ran on the Apple II, which was pretty small,
and LispKit was basically a lazy Lisp.
To that degree, yes you *can* run something "like" Haskell with
mere kilobytes.

See ftp://ftp.comlab.ox.ac.uk/pub/Documents/techpapers/Geraint.Jones/PRG-TM-32.pdf

To think that when I met LispKit, I said "oh, it's not a *real* Lisp"
and turned away.  Talk about missing the point!

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Re: "Haskell is a scripting language inspiredby Python."

Donn Cave-4
In reply to this post by Andrew Coppin
Quoth Andrew Coppin <[hidden email]>,
...
> I didn't get to see the Amiga 600 until at least five or six years later
> than that. (It's actually news to me that the Amiga line is that old.)
> And I spent most of my time programming it in Pascal (or AMOS BASIC -
> but that's not really "BASIC" any more). And between that, there was
> Borland Turbo Pascal 5.5 for MS-DOS, if you were forced to use a PC.
> It's scary to think that even way back then, vastly superior languages
> were being used in secret...

I imagine it's the same in most areas of human endeavor.  When the
Amiga came out, I remember a somewhat effusive article in a major
magazine (BYTE, I think?), enough that it sure would have been my
choice (had I the funds and need for a computer.)  But of course,
for all it's obviously vast superiority, never really went anywhere.
Haskell has a lot going for it, too, but that doesn't make much
difference in the big picture.

Is it because merit just doesn't count?  Tough question.  The Amiga
had some great stuff, but also some rough edges, and while it may have
all been about marketing and herd behavior, you can't totally discount
the possibility that people just know what they like, and that wasn't it.
Surely it's the same with Haskell in some ways.

I don't care about whether Python had any influence, but I'd sure
like to stamp out the "scripting language" rumor.  For that matter,
I propose that there is hardly any such thing as a scripting language
per se, but rather that it's a relative notion - if I have an
application X, then I may enhance it with a scripting language Y,
but outside of that context it's a programming language, not a
scripting language.  I know this contradicts common usage to a
considerable extent, but it's an ignorant and foolish common usage.

I suppose the confusion may begin with system scripting languages,
like the UNIX shell or REXX, where the parallel between an OS and
an application may not be as obvious (unless you're an Amiga geek!)
as the resemblance between the shell and other interpreted
programming languages.

        Donn Cave, [hidden email]
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Re: "Haskell is a scripting language inspiredby Python."

Richard A. O'Keefe

On 5/11/2010, at 1:00 PM, Donn Cave wrote:
> I don't care about whether Python had any influence, but I'd sure
> like to stamp out the "scripting language" rumor.

In this case it may be the Haskell community to blame.
Google for Haskell script
and you will find, for example, "Learn you a Haskell for Great Good!"
where the introduction page says
"GHC can take a Haskell script (they usually have a .hs extension)
and compile it".
That author is not alone in habitually calling .hs files "scripts".
I remember trying to get a certain academic to call Haskell
programs *programs*, but he insisted that "scripts" was the only
right word.

That Google search finds plenty of other sites using the same
terminology.  I think I even found it in a book once.  And need
I remind you that www.haskell.org/cabal/proposal/x444.html
calls Setup.lhs "the setup *script*"?

> I suppose the confusion may begin with system scripting languages,
> like the UNIX shell or REXX, where the parallel between an OS and
> an application may not be as obvious

In fact the Korn shell *is* an application scripting language.
The debugger in Solaris uses ksh as a scripting language, and AT&T
used it for many other things.

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Re: "Haskell is a scripting language inspiredby Python."

Luke Palmer-2
In reply to this post by Donn Cave-4
On Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 6:00 PM, Donn Cave <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I don't care about whether Python had any influence, but I'd sure
> like to stamp out the "scripting language" rumor.

You all are talking about calling Haskell a scripting language like
it's a bad thing.

Coming from a Perl background, I learned that when a culture made
stuck-up claims about its language being a "real" programming
language, what it meant was that it would be verbose, dry, and no fun.
 To us, scripting meant short, potent code that rolled off your
fingers and into the computers mind, compelling it to do your job with
reverence to the super power you truly are.  Programming meant a
system with 100,000 lines of boring code that reinvents a broken
dialect of LISP because it was too rigid to get the job done
naturally.

I also have a C++ background and a C# foreground.  This large, inert
culture views Programs with a capital P as large, complete tools like
Photoshop (also with a capital P).  Their #1 stigma against scripting
languages is that they are too slow to do real work.  Also they "don't
scale well", which I guess means that they don't make it inconvenient
to design badly.

Haskell is a language in which it is possible to write short, potent
code (I use it at the command line).  It is fast enough to do real
work.  It is inconvenient to design badly.  It is fun.  It is also dry
sometimes.

"Scripting language" strikes me as one of those terms that is used in
heated arguments despite having no meaning (meaningless terms seem to
proliferate as the heat is turned up).  I dunno, I just don't think it
is a big deal.  Everybody seems to be calling Haskell a "DSL-writing
language", but that can just as easily be taken as a point for and
against it.  If people find Haskell useful for scripting, then it is a
scripting language.  No need to be offended.

Luke
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Re: "Haskell is a scripting language inspired by Python."

Richard A. O'Keefe
In reply to this post by Corentin Dupont

On 5/11/2010, at 4:03 AM, Dupont Corentin wrote:

> Hello,
> reading this thread a question came to me:
> Is there a way of automatically deriving programming languages ascendancy?

According to www.oed.com, "ascendancy" means
"The state or quality of being in the ascendant; [having] paramount influence,
dominant control, domination, sway."

I think you may have meant "descent", "ancestry", "phylogeny" or something
like that.

Automatically?  Probably not.
>
> Like biologist can determine the distance between two genotypes, and determine a hierarchy between species from that.

Until this year I taught some of that stuff.  The distance between two
sequences depends hugely on *what* you choose to measure (which particular
features) and *how* you measure distances (there are similarity matrices
people use, but you have to choose).  Then there are algorithms that give
optimal results but blow up for anything much past 15 species, and people
arguing bitterly about what you should be optimising anyway ("parsimony"
or "maximum likelihood"), and it's much fuzzier than people think.  For
that matter, some of the approaches are valued for providing *many*
plausible trees, and people are advised not to place much trust in an
inferred relationship unless it shows up in a lot of the trees.

Then we turn to human designs, and suddenly THERE IS NO TREE.

Let's take a language that I designed this year for a software engineering
experiment.  It includes ideas from
        - Algol 68
        - a Lisp dialect described in BIT
        - Algol W
        - Ada 81
        - MARY
        - Euclid
        - SETL
        - Fortran 77
        - Mesa
        - Dijkstra's notation
        - SML
        - Pop-2
        - Euler
        - APL
        - Matlab
        - Aleph (the one from CWI)
Hmm.  This might remind you of Larry Wall's explanation that PERL
stands for Pathologically Eclectic Rubbish Lister, but in fact I've
found the mélange to be pleasantly coherent.

Some of the ideas come from more than one language, e.g., the idea
of listing the variables that a procedure can read, write, and update
just after its heading comes from Euclid *and* Dijkstra's notation
*and* from SPlint and on the way into Chatterton got hybridised with
an idea taken from Mary *and* Ada that got renamed from the Ada
version because of a conflict with a keyword taken from SETL.

*I* know which languages I was thinking about when I did the design,
but I defy anyone else to look at it and figure out where *everything*
came from.

There's a *rich* history behind Python.  I look at a lot of its features
and say "I know older language XYZ that did this bit" and so on, but I'd
hesitate to guess which ones were actually influential.

By the way, phylogenetic reconstruction where you KNOW that it was just
pure binary branching with no horizontal gene flow is a known NP-hard
problem.  Throw in arbitrary amounts of horizontal gene flow and I
don't expect it to get easier.
>
> Are you aware of researchs made in the field?
>
> On the net I found interesting graphs but no comments on the methodology.
> http://www.levenez.com/lang/

That diagram leaves out the heavy influence of Lisp on Prolog.
(Much of it indirect, but definitely there.)
It seems a little odd to see JavaScript and ECMAScript treated as
different languages.

> http://rigaux.org/language-study/diagram.html

That one omits the link from Lisp to Smalltalk.  Smalltalk was VERY much
influenced by Lisp.

The best methodology is
        - ask the language designers
        - read what they have published in the History of Programming
          Languages (HOPL) conferences or elsewhere
        - check the ACM Oral History Interviews
        - similar things for BCS
        .. anything any historian of recent events would do, really
 
>
> Cheers,
> Corentin
>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: "Haskell is a scripting language inspiredby Python."

Donn Cave-4
In reply to this post by Luke Palmer-2
Quoth Luke Palmer <[hidden email]>,
...
> "Scripting language" strikes me as one of those terms that is used in
> heated arguments despite having no meaning (meaningless terms seem to
> proliferate as the heat is turned up).  I dunno, I just don't think it
> is a big deal.  Everybody seems to be calling Haskell a "DSL-writing
> language", but that can just as easily be taken as a point for and
> against it.  If people find Haskell useful for scripting, then it is a
> scripting language.  No need to be offended.

It _does_ have a meaning, if only anyone cared.  Some discussion
here just in the last couple days that explored use of Haskell for
scripting, and it's really quite an interesting notion though
apparently far from practical at this time.

Interesting because, among other reasons, a scripting language
is aimed at people whose expertise is in the scripted application,
not so much the theory and practice of computer programming, and
Haskell seems to the casual observer very heavy on the latter.
My guess is it isn't necessarily that bad - you might have to
understand the type system well enough to implement an instance
of Ord, for example, but you wouldn't need that the first day.
You'd have to get used to the IO monad the first day, though.

        Donn
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Re: "Haskell is a scripting language inspired by Python."

Colin Paul Adams
In reply to this post by David Fox-7
>>>>> "David" == David Fox <[hidden email]> writes:

    David> On Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 2:41 PM, Albert Y. C. Lai <[hidden email]> wrote:
    >> On 10-11-03 10:00 PM, Jonathan Geddes wrote:
>>
>> It's called "The *Ultimate* Computer Language Guide," and it's on the
    >>> internets, so it must be correct, right?
    >>
    >> The correct conclusion: it's on the internets, so it must be LOL.

    David> The stuff that is *not* on the internets must be really
    David> awesome - can anyone give me a link to that?

pppp://nearly.ubiquitous.org
--
Colin Adams
Preston Lancashire
()  ascii ribbon campaign - against html e-mail
/\  www.asciiribbon.org   - against proprietary attachments
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Re: "Haskell is a scripting language inspired by Python."

David Virebayre
<< Also they "don't scale well", which I guess means that they don't
make it inconvenient to design badly. >>
Luke Palmer

I nominate the above for quote of the week !
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Re: "Haskell is a scripting language inspired by Python."

Ketil Malde-5
In reply to this post by Richard A. O'Keefe
"Richard O'Keefe" <[hidden email]> writes:

> Automatically?  Probably not.

>> Like biologist can determine the distance between two genotypes, and
>> determine a hierarchy between species from that.

I'm going to say the same as Richard, only differently.  For computer
languages, we can't observe the genotype, only the phenotype.  I.e. we
can look at what the language looks like on the surface, but not what
made it so - there are no "genes" available.

This is where biology was before DNA was discovered, and it led to
interesting taxonomies, starting with Genesis's division into animals by
habitat.

> Until this year I taught some of that stuff.  The distance between two
> sequences depends hugely on *what* you choose to measure (which particular
> features) and *how* you measure distances (there are similarity matrices
> people use, but you have to choose).

I think you are referring to edit distance here, where you find
the optimum given penalties for substitutions and gaps - typically
an affine penalty for gaps (exepensive gap opening penalty, somewhat
cheaper gap extension), and a char x char cost matrix for substitution.

Especially the gap costs aren't well founded theoretically, so hopefully
the results aren't varying /hugely/.

> Then there are algorithms that give
> optimal results but blow up for anything much past 15 species,

I.e, edit distance is O(n^k) for k sequences of length n.

> Then we turn to human designs, and suddenly THERE IS NO TREE.

Bacteria can also do horizontal gene transfer, so there is no (single)
tree there either.

-k
--
If I haven't seen further, it is by standing in the footprints of giants
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Re: "Haskell is a scripting language inspiredby Python."

Ketil Malde-5
In reply to this post by Luke Palmer-2
Luke Palmer <[hidden email]> writes:

>  To us, scripting meant short, potent code that rolled off your
> fingers and into the computers mind, compelling it to do your job with
> reverence to the super power you truly are.

Just when I thought, oh, there are two definitions for "scripting
language", another one pops out.  So scripting languages can be three
things:

1) A language for controlling ('scripting') an application (e.g. TCL, VBA)
2) A language for controlling the running of various applications
   (e.g. shell scripts)
3) An agile language for making short programs (e.g. Perl)

Although Haskell is quite expressive, programs tend to need a bit of
'wrap' (module declaration, imports, etc), making it a bit more
heavyweight than Perl or AWK for #3.  For #2, I think running other
programs are a bit too cumbersome, but perhaps this is just a library
problem?  I haven't really looke at #1, I think we lack a small, easily
embeddable interpreter.

So, I wouldn't really call Haskell a scripting language in its current
state in any of these senses, although it's close for #3.  I think you
see more of an advantage for slightly larger programs - ones that you
perhaps need to maintain - though.

More definitions of scripting language:

 a) too slow to do real work
 b) Also they "don't scale well"

I think Haskell can be fast enough to do 'real work', and although I
haven't really written any large programs in Haskell, I don't see why it
should scale worse than other languages.

-k
--
If I haven't seen further, it is by standing in the footprints of giants
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Re: "Haskell is a scripting language inspired by Python."

Tillmann Rendel-5
In reply to this post by Albert Y. C. Lai
Hi,

Albert Y. C. Lai wrote:
> I also invite you to play with my:
> http://www.vex.net/~trebla/humour/lmcify.html

http://www.vex.net/~trebla/humour/lmcify.html?t=this+is+not+an+authorative+source.

   Tillmann
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Re: "Haskell is a scripting language inspired by Python."

Malcolm Wallace-2
In reply to this post by Richard A. O'Keefe
> On 5/11/2010, at 8:54 AM, Andrew Coppin wrote:
> Can you actually run something like Haskell with mere kilobytes of  
> RAM?

I recall running Haskell-like programs (compiled by Gofer, the  
predecessor of Hugs) on a machine with 256Kb of memory, back in the  
early 1990s.  They were smallish programs of course.  The interpreter/
RTS was about 50Kb, the bytecode for the program took up a few Kb, and  
there was about 100Kb of stack and heap combined, so I was not even  
using the full capacity of the machine.

Regards,
     Malcolm


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