Friday, January 31, 2014

Learning from Haskell (Preview)

I really want to talk about the cool take-aways I got from exploring Haskell. But I want to put this off for just a little bit. The reason is that I went from reading Learn You as Haskell for Great Good! (review) straight into Parallel Programming with Microsoft .NET, a book from the Microsoft Patterns and Practices team (available to read online).

I've heard people talk about how functional programming is a good match for parallel programming, and I'm really seeing that as I read through the recommendations and patterns in the Parallel Programming book. These are things like immutability, avoiding updates to shared objects, repeatability, and the ability to break things up into practical chunks. And I've seen these features in my exploration of Haskell.

So, I'm going to hold off talking about cool things like "Maybe" and higher-order functions until after I finish the latest book. That way, I'll be able to show exactly how these types of things help with parallel programming.

An interesting note about Parallel Programming with Microsoft .NET: the technologies include the Task Parallel Library (TPL) and PLINQ. And LINQ/PLINQ are very functional technologies that have been included in .NET. I'm a huge fan of LINQ, and I've been exploring this for a while.

So, stay tuned, and I'll have some good stuff in a couple of weeks.

Happy Coding!

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