Paul Bone

Haskell Sucks!

Paul Bone
Melbourne Haskell User Group
April 28th, 2016
PDF Slides, YouTube Video


Now that I have your attention I'd like to say that I like Haskell; unfortunately I feel let-down by two critical problems: monads as a method of controlling state and lazy evaluation. In this talk I will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of both of these design decisions and why their work-rounds are insufficient. I will offer some observations about software development and how I believe those observations relate to Haskell.

This presentation is based on my subjective point of view as someone who has experience with programming language design and implementation but is not currently working with Haskell (but have done in the past). Since this is rather subjective, you can decide whether or not you agree. I am not a Haskell expert but instead I can offer my outside perspective.

Organiser's comments

This month, Paul Bone presents a talk on some of the shortcomings of Haskell.

So, if you've been avoiding coming along to MHUG because you just weren't sure if Haskellers were capable of wallowing in self-pity, then this could be your time to shine! Haskellers have been accused before of being too smug, and dismissing criticism, but not this time!

It should be a fun evening and a great topic. I'm sure the ensuing discussion will be very enlightening and also very entertaining.


I was somewhat nervous about this presentation since the topic was criticism and as much as criticism is helpful, it's seldom fun. Nevertheless I was surprised by the audiences' response both during and after the presentation. Full credit for how well this went goes to the audience who created the right atmosphere for me to deliver this criticism in what seemed to be a fun way. I honestly had fun giving this presentation and meeting more of the Haskell community in Melbourne.


Encouraged by the positive feedback I received at the time, and the modest amount of popularity on r/haskell; I decided to use these slides to make my first screencast.

I'm still experimenting with this technology, so the sound could be a little louder if anyone knows how to avoid the flickering that can be seen in the later half please let me know. I'm using Kazam on Linux Mint (Sarah) with NVidia graphics, the PDF viewer is Xreader.