Functional Programming for the Long Haul
- 2019-02-21 06:44 AM
How do you decide whether a programming language is worth using or not? By necessity, such decisions are usually based on assessments that can be made relatively quickly: the ease of using the language, how productive you feel in the first week, and so on
. Unfortunately, this tells us very little about the costs involved in continuing to maintain a project past that initial phase. And in reality, the vast majority of time spent on most projects is spent in those later phases.
I’m (Michael Snoyman) going to claim, based on my own experience and analysis of language features, that functional programming in general, and Haskell in particular, are well suited for improving this long tail of projects. We need languages and programming techniques that allow broad codebase refactorings, significant requirements changes, improving performance in hotspots of the code, and reduced debug time. I believe Haskell checks these boxes.