Trying out Functional Programming: Episode 3

I received my copies of The Haskell School of Expression and Programming in Haskell a few weeks ago. My lax efforts in posting to this blog were definitely aggravated by the soul-seeking that has ensued from looking into Functional Programming (FP). This might sound absurd, but - as software developer who primarily uses Java - the FP approach to design is so fundamentally different from what I have employed for the last 7 years that it caused me to question a lot of things.

Chief among my gripes about FP is that I do not intutively see how to map a problem into a functional program. This is likely a failing of my education more than anything else. On the other hand, it could also be the fact that FP is a terrible match for my current obsession with web design. There are several production quality Haskell web application libraries, but they all seem to possess a common odd trait: they focus on writing page code in Haskell or extended Haskell-based grammars.

I mentioned in a previous post that server-side generation of UI markup is problematic at best and this just seems extreme. It is bad enough that most web frameworks require an exceedingly good understanding of programming, but page design in FP to me just seems to be overkill. I do not need my page layout to be provable or testable and I seriously doubt that many applications have this requirement.

The real strength of FP on the server-side for me would be in handling computationally-intensive aspects of requests. In effect it would be better as a delegate from another web framework. An FP language might also be a good match for developing a RESTful JSON server, but I have not been able to think up a good way to implement such a server.

Since I am much more interested in the presentational rather than the computational aspects of application development I think my foray into FP ends here. Thanks for reading :)