Lambda the Ultimate

inactiveTopic Miranda
started 3/9/2003; 9:37:37 AM - last post 3/17/2003; 11:03:49 AM
Mike Bibby - Miranda  blueArrow
3/9/2003; 9:37:37 AM (reads: 501, responses: 7)
Miranda seemed to have been the hot language a decade back, featuring in several now out-of-print functional languages books.

Does it still exist? Has it been superseded, or mutated into something else?


Ehud Lamm - Re: Miranda  blueArrow
3/9/2003; 11:34:55 AM (reads: 526, responses: 1)
I am not sure I can recall the exact history off hand, but the language that seems closest these days is Haskell.

I think there's a Miranda(TM) implementation available for download from somewhere, by the way.

Daniel Marlay - Re: Miranda  blueArrow
3/9/2003; 7:44:15 PM (reads: 518, responses: 2)
Yep, about 8 years ago when I was doing CS1 at UNSW, Miranda was the functional language used for the first semester (with modula2 as the second semester language). They ended up changing over to Haskell a year or two after I went through.

I have found it interesting to talk to others who have gone through the same course, there seems to be a general dislike of functional languages in general (and Haskell in particular)

I wonder whether this is on account of the students not believing that you can do useful things (in a real world sense) with functional languages (as opposed to C, Java, etc). I think that this is one of the things that has really impressed me with the DrScheme environment, it provides a set of languages suitable for teaching programming and teaching CS concepts, but still has a decent bunch of libraries that allow you to do some interesting things with the language.

Ehud Lamm - Re: Miranda  blueArrow
3/10/2003; 2:22:24 AM (reads: 543, responses: 0)
I have found it interesting to talk to others who have gone through the same course, there seems to be a general dislike of functional languages in general (and Haskell in particular)

Teaching is hard. Teaching well is harder. Teaching against public opinion is darn near impossible.

Mike Bibby - Re: Miranda  blueArrow
3/10/2003; 11:24:29 AM (reads: 530, responses: 0)
Yes, my lad was taught SML when he did his CS a year or two ago- it was generally disliked amongst his peers. I found it - and the ideas of functional languages, etc. - fascinating.

I get the feeling that an added graphics or GUI package/library combined with more dynamic examples would have engaged their imaginations a bit more...

Mike Bibby - Re: Miranda  blueArrow
3/10/2003; 11:27:24 AM (reads: 528, responses: 0)
Is there? I've tried looking but so far I've come up zilch. I'll renew my efforts and report back if I have any success.

Daniel Marlay - Re: Miranda  blueArrow
3/10/2003; 3:23:44 PM (reads: 462, responses: 0)
When I went through the CS1 course, the main thing I can recall them trying to teach with miranda was to think about data structures and recursion. Recursion was essential to solving the problems presented.

Personally, I had little difficulty in understanding recursion, and so found the problems interesting, but not particularily challenging. However, I believe that recursion is one of those things which students find most difficult to comprehend (and I can see this in practice when I maintain other peoples' code at work).

I've found it interesting going through some of the articles in the education section of LtU to see some of the experiences that various researchers have had in teaching and trying different ways of teaching programming.

Isaac Gouy - Re: Miranda  blueArrow
3/17/2003; 11:03:49 AM (reads: 384, responses: 0)
The old (1993) Functional Programming and Parallel Graph Rewriting book uses Miranda as an example language before moving on to the implementation of the functional language Clean.