Unit, bind, flatten

I’m 3/4 of the way through my Gold Card day, and I think I can finally tell a monad from a modron, and even from a maenad. Whether this will translate into a presentation anyone else can understand is still an open question.

Meanwhile, I’ve discovered:

  • A whole folder of monad examples in the Scala distribution.
  • That trying to do higher-order functional programming in straight Java does, in fact, really blow. An example that takes 74 lines in Scala takes… well, I don’t really know how many lines it takes in straight Java, because nine classes and 195 lines in, I’m only up to line 37 in the original (single) Scala file. We could extrapolate and guess 390 lines, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Maybe those BGGA closures aren’t such a bad idea after all…
  • James Iry’s “Monads are Elephants,” an introduction to Scala monads that’s got more words and less math than Burak Emir‘s. (Nothing against math — or Dr. Emir — but we language majors like our human-readable variable and function names.)
  • Scala for Java Refugees,” a nice tutorial from Daniel Spiewak.

And, last but not least:

  • That “Introductions to monads are bit of cottage industry on the Internet.” (James Iry again.)

So much for my plan to get rich writing Monads for Dummies.

2 thoughts on “Unit, bind, flatten

  1. So I actually stopped in Borders to see if there was An Idiot’s Guide to Functional Programming. No dice! Man, they’ll sell you a “for Dummies” manual to just about anything… but not that.

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