from hell to paradise ; ; ; was: [plt-scheme] Prereqs for robotic programming

From: YC (yinso.chen at
Date: Tue Feb 17 14:21:59 EST 2009

On Tue, Feb 17, 2009 at 10:30 AM, Grant Rettke <grettke at> wrote:

> On Tue, Feb 17, 2009 at 9:44 AM, Matthias Felleisen
> <matthias at> wrote:
> > FP has failed to reach out and demonstrate concretely to such people "how
> _it_ works and is superior to what they have."
> Is that one of the duties of your academic career? Personal philosophy?
> The most popular programming trends today encourage acceptance without
> question and utilization without understanding fueled mostly by highly
> charismatic individuals and/or big corporations. The motto "Thinking
> is not required" sums it up.

IMHO two non-marketing factors for the success of language platforms in the
past decade are 1) vast amount of libraries written in the language to
reduce mundane work, and/or 2) the language fills a niche that hasn't yet
been addressed.  Many FPs suffer #1.  Erlang appears to have momentum behind
them as they tackle multi processing quite well.

> Compared to the mainstream; there is little material that shows why
> "FP is so great"; but the material, and more importantly the people,
> are out there; it just requires a highly motivated individual to take
> the effort to find out why.

Learning FP today is similar to "exercise and floss are good for you", yet
for many it's too much to bother.   Their day jobs and lives are hard enough
as is.

That individual is likely to be a fractional percentage of the overall
> community. *That* is the problem.

But people are motivated toward pleasure and away from pain, so if learning
FP is going to cause too much pain, it's going to be a non starter.

Paraphrasing Joel Spolsky, you can't find customers if you can't explain
what their pains are <>.
So if we want greater adoptions (and a shelf life after school) then FP must
attempt to solve some problems for people in work settings, better than what
they are already familiar with.

Erlang is a good case
how a company adopts and develop FP when other alternatives failed.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

Posted on the users mailing list.