Column on the Snap Framework

January 21st, 2011  |  Published in column, framework, functional programming, haskell, web  |  3 Comments  |  Bookmark on

For the January/February issue (PDF) of “The Functional Web” I’m very fortunate to have Greg Collins and Doug Beardsley as guest authors covering the Snap Framework. Not only is it great to finally have some Haskell code in the column, but Greg’s and Doug’s superb writing style means that the column is both highly instructive and easy to read.

I’m hoping we’ll be able to publish at least a couple more Haskell columns this year as well.


  1. Mohan Radhakrishnan says:

    January 22nd, 2011 at 1:01 pm (#)

    There is a wave of functional programming techniques and languages and it could be overwhelming. Do you think we should choose one language and stick with it or learn as many languages as possible ? Moreover it is not evident to a OO programmer where these functions can be used. It is either explained using Maths or very simple examples. What is your advice to learn practical functional ideas ?

  2. steve says:

    January 23rd, 2011 at 12:59 am (#)

    @Mohan: in the column I try to expose readers to real-world practical web development projects being implemented in languages that offer functional programming (FP) features. The column avoids focusing on just a single language primarily because I think that would bore the readers as well as me. But don’t take that to mean that you need to learn all the FP languages out there. I think it’s a good idea to study multiple languages and try to use them where they make sense, but I also understand that many development shops tend to be monolingual and it’s not always possible or easy to introduce FP. If you work in a place that allows for experimentation, I’d recommend next time you have a project that looks like it might be suitable for tackling with an FP language, choose what you think is the right language and dive in and try to solve it that way. Stick to just that language, unless you quickly learn that it really isn’t suitable, in which case choose another. I think you’ll find that when you’re solving real-world problems, you’ll pick up FP much faster than if you’re just doing educational exercises or toy programs.

  3. Matt says:

    January 29th, 2011 at 6:48 pm (#)

    Being a polygot is a great idea, however I understand that for many folks finding the time to learn many languages is hard. If you were to ask me I’d go with Erlang as a starter in functional languages — especially if you are from the procedural world (C, C++, Java etc). In my opinion it is a less rigid functional programming language than a pure functional language like Haskell. Indeed many people describe the language as being pragmatic rather than functional. You will also learn new ways to design and code software for the concurrent world, new ways to handle software failure etc. Although it is focused on Erlang I think many of those concepts fit into the procedural world too. Once you have become confident in Erlang it is then much easier to pick up a pure functional language like Haskell.