Let us understand the basics of Haskell and Scala with their key features and try to understand which one is better for you to learn as a resolution of this year! Both languages mentioned here are not much known to the corporate world but known and used by many freelance web developers.

Haskell:

It is a general-purpose programming language known because of its purely functional nature. Some languages exist for several years but they become known to the only specific community, and others remain unaware of the nice features. This language is there in a steady state since 2010, and now the community is working on Haskell 2020 release. It will be interesting to know that the type classes first appeared in this language.

Features:

  • Haskell has the main feature of lazy evaluation. It is also called a ‘call-by-need,’ which is a strategy where the programmer can delay the evaluation of an expression until its value is needed. It helps in avoiding repeated evaluations encouraging sharing, which reduces the execution time of functions.
  • Pattern matching in Haskell differs from other logic programming languages. You can consider it as one-way matching.
  • The Haskell language has a base of strong, static type system based inference. Haskell mainly added Type classes, originally conceived as a principled way to add overloading to the language.
  • The Type classes are most powerful features in Haskell, which allow you to define generic interfaces. They are good to provide a common feature set for various types. The features like equality testing and numeric operators make use of the Type classes.
  • The other Haskell features are list comprehension and type polymorphism. It is a purely functional language, which means that the functions in Haskell are supposed to have no side effects on the other parts of your project.
  • Haskell’s main implementation is the Glasgow Haskell Compiler (GHC). It is an interpreter as well as a native-code compiler that runs on most platforms. GHC is known for concurrency and parallelism implementation.

Scala:

It is again a general-purpose programming language, which supports functional programming and. It is designed to be concise and has a static type system. The name Scala has derived from scalable and language, meaning that it is designed to grow with the demands of its users. While reading about Scala, you will always see a comparison with Java, as one of the intentions was to eliminate some of the Java restrictions. The source code gets compiled to Java bytecode, which means that the resulting executable code runs on a Java Virtual Machine (JVM).

The Scala programming has many features of functional languages like Scheme, Standard ML and Haskell.

Features:

  • Scala has a compiling model similar to Java and C#, namely separate compiling and dynamic class loading. It results in Scala code calling the Java libraries.
  • An interesting feature is the Scala code can be decompiled to a readable Java code. The Scala code and Java code are hazy for JVM. What you need is only one extra runtime library named as scala-library.jar.
  • The type and expression writing differences in this language make it cleaner and easy for coding. You will see that many features of Scala are also available in C#. There is the influence of both Java and C# on this language.
  • The other features include immutability and pattern matching. Scala also makes uses of lazy evaluation being a functional language. It supports algebraic data types, covariance, and contravariance including anonymous types. The features like operator overloading, optional and named parameters and raw strings are exceptional.

Haskell vs. Scala:

  • It is an interesting language providing a path for developers from a strong Object Oriented Programming language (Java) to a Functional Programming (FP) Language.
  • Scala runs on the JVM and has concepts from OOP and FP, and an emphasis on interoperability with Java.
  • If you have basic knowledge of coding in any OOP language, you can learn Scala as well as Haskell as functional languages are nor very difficult to understand and the functions can work independently.
  • If you like the functional aspects, but you do not like the way of coding it in Scala, then you can have a look at the Haskell!
  • Haskell is one of the languages that inspired Scala so that you can expect many similar features.
  • Haskell implemented full functional programming making it more convenient for freelance designers and developers working on cross-platform projects.
  • Scala uses a Java-like syntax but avoids a lot of unnecessary jargon by making things easy. You will notice that the modern languages (sometimes jokingly referred as languages of lazy programmers) have no strict rules regarding the use of a semicolon or a specific set of parenthesis.
  • Haskell has gone much ahead in using an easy syntax. You can denote a function as f x instead of f(x) making it somewhat strange for developers working in traditional languages, but very easy for new programmers.
  • Scala and Haskell are both statically typed languages, but Haskell’s type system is more powerful, in the sense that it is more compiler It also has superior type inference, which means that it places a lower burden on the programmer.
  • A strong selling point of Scala is its language interoperability with Java, allowing the re-use of a large pool of existing libraries.
  • You can call C functions from Haskell code, a feature which opens a door of many possible integrations! The C interoperability takes it to C++, Python, and Ruby. A lot of popular C libraries have Haskell bindings using the Foreign Function Interface (FFI). FFI allows a program written in Haskell to call routines or make use of services written in the languages mentioned above. It is also possible to embed snippets of C code directly into your Haskell program.

Summary:

Instead of saying, use whichever language you want to use, based on all features and functions, we can say that Haskell will get more marks than Scala. The Scala big fans may jump on us, but our inference is based on what we see as feedback from several developers and going through different forums. It is still a personal preference, but for people doing freelance work, they may find more features and interoperability with Haskell

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