2010-10-05 07:18:59 UTC
I'd like some help to resolve the subject's question...
Let me start with my background...Finished Computer Engineering
studies and during that period was introduced to several programming
languages (including some assembly stuff) starting with Fortran & C, a
little Prolog and did my thesis by programming simulator for coloured
Petri nets using Zortech C++ - that was in 1990 :-)
I also playing with Smalltalk a bit...I'm saying as small emphasis
that D would not be my 1st programming language.
Later, my life went away from programming into totally different area
and today programming is not my occupation, but should serve my hobby
After my 'programming come-back', I explored Ruby a bit, checked Ocaml
shortly (did not like syntax) and wanting something 'new', I ended up
tinkering with Haskell.
For my web purposes I wanted to use Django, but realized that not
being web developer, there is no sense to write so many code, when I
can achieve the same by learning some PHP (which I do these days) in
order to tweak and/or write some missing module for my preferred CMS
Similarly, to create invoices for our startup 'company', I abandoned
GNUCash which requires tinkering with Scheme (Guile) and decided to
use SimpleInvoices (PHP & MySQL web app).
The keyword here is 'pragmatism', iow. understanding that one needs to
make some compromises in order to "get job done".
Now, we're back at D...Saw a Reddit thread yesterday which inspired
me to think (once again) about Haskell vs D...
So, we want a general programming language to work on our open-source
(we plan GPL) hobby project which is desktop GUI application and
besides the need to develop several libs for it, it needs to use C-lib
Are there other alternatives?
Well, I do not like Java, VMs (Scala included)., want something
'modern' to avoid manual memory management, pointers etc.,
higher-level...which eliminates C(++).
Scripting languages (Perl, Python) are too slow and I'm aware of some
projects from the same domain which switched from Python to C++.
I'm not interested in LISP-family ala Clojure, neither inspired by
We want to develop on Linux (running x86_64 I7 cpu) and have app
working on Mac and possibly Windoze.
For a long time I was thinking about gtk2hs bindings, but since Mac
platform became important for us (supervisor of the project recently
switched to it), I abandoned GTK. I was even advised by one dev
working on GTK Mac port that wx(haskell) is better solution if we
However, we would like to write kind of 'desktop-lite' app here idea
to use Qt & Meego was born, since there is no wxQT port.
I was sorry to discover yesterday that QtD project is suspended. :-(
So, let's recap in regards to Haskell vs D.
a) I like Haskell syntax, its type-system, purity and the concept of
separating pure code from non-pure (e.g. IO), HOF. Community is very
friendly and growing (1st time when i visited #haskell it was <100
users, today probably >600), there are lot of packages available on
Hackage, GHC is keeping strong, Cabal build system is nice,
Otoh, many libs/packages are not adequately documented, there is joke
that one needs PhD to use the language, lot of papers but with strong
influence from academia and one has to encounter lot of terminology
from category theory etc. although maybe wanting to 'just get the job
done' - iow, Haskell could become more pragmatic. Moreover, to get
better performance, laziness with its non-determinism might be a
problem and/or profiling to discover leaks is not straightforward
and/or code becomes more ugly. :-)
D, from the other side, is younger language, community is not so
big, language is, afaict, evolving very rapidly and it's not easy to
tell which compiler to use, which libs etc.
Moreover, I'm a bit worried on the state of GUI libs available for D,
especially about QtD.
Moreover, 64-bit is not ready (yet), although I'm told it should come
soon. What about ARM if we want to target MeeGo in the future?
I also did not research what is the state of database support...Now
we're thinking to use sqlite3 as back-end.
Our project will be developed in free time and we want language which
is easy to maintain because the project (with all desired features)
might evolve into a big one during the period of several years.
I also have experience that some potential developers did not join our
team since Haskell was to hard to grok for them (coming from C++), so
D might be an easier path with less steep learning curve, but I also
wonder about myself whether I could pick D quickly enough (I'll buy
book, of course) after long exposure to Haskell and FP.
I read The Case for D article and saw Andrei's Google talk - it was
funny to see Google people being like little children when questioned
by him :-)
So, can you offer some advice, what could be better choice between
Haskell & D for our planned project with the following features:
a) maintainable code
b) decent performance
c) higher-level programming and suitable for general programming tasks
d) good library support (database stuff, data structures, Qt GUI...)
e) vibrant community and active development so that there is some
guarantee that the language won't fall in oblivion if some devs leave
the project, iow. 'bus-factor > 2' ?
(It would be nice if someone familiar with both languages can share...)
Gour | Hlapicina, Croatia | GPG key: CDBF17CA
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