Ben Nadel
On User Experience (UX) Design, JavaScript, ColdFusion, Node.js, Life, and Love.
I am the chief technical officer at InVision App, Inc - a prototyping and collaboration platform for designers, built by designers. I also rock out in JavaScript and ColdFusion 24x7.
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Ben Nadel at cf.Objective() 2012 (Minneapolis, MN) with:

Seven Languages In Seven Weeks: Haskell - Day 3

By Ben Nadel on
Tags: Haskell

I just finished day 3 of Haskell from Seven Langauges in Seven Weeks and well, the term "finished" is being extremely generous. I am more than a little bit embarrassed but I didn't do any of the homework problems from last night. I've been struggling to make peace with Haskell and then last night, I just hit a complete mental block.

I spent 30 minutes trying to figure out how to create a HashTable; and then once I created it, I spent another 30 minutes trying to figure how to store a value in the HashTable. This latter task, I was not able to do. I kept getting told that I couldn't map some value onto some value. I had not idea what was going wrong. Even when I copied a line from an online example, it failed.

The next problem in the homework then built on top of the previous HashTable. At that point, I was simply disheartened. Plus, this section dealt with Monads and I didn't really understand any of it. In my frustration, I Tweeted this:


I know I'm a Haskell novice, but the concept of a Monad seems to make easy things easy after the language itself has made them hard?  

All in all, I just closed the book last night feeling dazed and confused. It's really a shame that this had to be the last day of homework; I would have much preferred to end on a higher note.

Epic #Fail.

Reader Comments

Hey, it's not a total failure. At least you tried it out and gave it your best shot. Better than not trying it at all :)

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Thanks my man. I appreciate that. I really didn't want to give up; I just was completely stumped. I kept getting errors about not being able to map key value onto [Int] or something. I don't know. I have no idea what was going wrong.

At least it's Friday :D

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The #haskell IRC channel on freenode can be a great way to get answers to questions like that (it currently has over 700 Haskell programmers online!).

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IRC is one of those things like bit-torrents. I know of it, but have never really used it.

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IRC can be a very good resource for Q&A stuff. Hundreds of developers online (well, CFML usually has about 30), quick, interactive chatter to get a problem explained and solved.

#coldfusion is most active on but also present on freenode and efnet (I'm on and freenode).

Pretty much all the other languages have IRC channels on freenode (free, open source languages...). I tend to hang out in #scala and #clojure and several Clojure-related channels (#leiningen, #clojureql, #pallet, #jclouds). I sometimes join the #haskell channel (I used to be on it all the time).

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