Nov 22, 2016

> IME Haskell development has a sort of bell-curve to it. Initially, you're spending a lot of time prototyping, fumbling around trying to find the right abstractions. Here Haskell mostly gets in the way: you have to declare up-front which functions do I/O, etc

There's some evidence Haskell is pretty good at rapid prototyping.

Are you familiar with this '94 paper on rapid prototyping [ ] by Paul Hudak (RIP), sponsored by the Office of Naval Research & ARPA? The paper is a report on an experimental comparison of programmming languages for prototyping, and it's pretty cool because they were asked to implement a portion of a (heavily simplified) AEGIS weapons system! Unfortunately the paper and experiment are dated and have a number of methodological shortcomings (results were self reported; the examining panel didn't look at running code; requirements were very vague and mostly determined by each team, which makes the comparison difficult), but the results are pretty interesting regardless:

- Of all the teams, only the two Haskell teams delivered working code (though the examiners didn't look at working programs). This must be stressed: no other team delivered running code at all, much less on time!

- One of the Haskell prototypes delivered more features than the initial requirements asked for.

- The programmer of one of the Haskell teams had NO experience with Haskell before the experiment.

- Both Haskell prototypes were also the shortest in line count. Way shorter than the C++ prototype, which wasn't even finished or working in time!

I'd like to see the same experiment repeated under more rigorous conditions and with more modern languages, but the results certainly hint at Haskell being more than adequate at prototyping.