There is no doubt that Python is more popular than Haskell in the grand scheme of things. Besides, Python is easy to learn than Haskell though Haskell is a more modern functional language. This is why it is finding a lot of applications in real-world projects. It is becoming more and more common in the tech industry which is why Python and Haskell are often compared. There are many different parameters where these programming languages are poles apart. The following is a detailed comparison of Haskell and Python that you need to know as a programmer.
Language Type – Haskell is a pure functional language. There are two important features available in Haskell, and they are parametric polymorphism and ad-hoc polymorphism. The parametric polymorphism is similar to that of C++ template, but it is more powerful. The ad-hoc polymorphism is more like operator overloading, and it is applicable to type classes which are similar to Java interfaces.
Python, on the other hand, is a combination of procedural, object-oriented as well as functional language. However, it is a dominating procedural language in comparison to the dominating functional Haskell language. Python has support for functional programming but there are some side effects like optimization is missing which makes it awkward. As a matter of fact, Haskell also has procedural programming support, but there are various side effects which do not make it suitable. Therefore, it is safe to say that Haskell is a functional language while Python is a procedural language.
Typing – It is safe to say that both Python and Haskell are strongly typed languages. This means that a type cannot be cast into another and one has to do explicit conversions. But the difference lies in the fact that Haskell is static typing while Python is dynamic typing. In other words, in Haskell programming language, every variable and every expression is known by the compile time. In Python programming language, variables and expressions do not have a type until runtime.
Therefore, it is safe to say that typing is a fundamental part of Haskell while in Python, it is secondary. However, the syntax is the same in both language and in Haskell, one does not need to explicitly mention the variable type during declaration or assignment. This is because compilers and interpreters are smarter than that of Python as they can infer the types of your variables and expressions.
Speed – Python is an interpreted language while Haskell is a compiled language. Both the languages are high-level languages. However, Haskell has more optimized native-code compilers which make it faster than Python at any given instance. It is one of the reasons for the popularity of Haskell in the corporate world.
Learning Curve – Everyone knows that Python is easy to learn and it is a great choice for learning the first programming language. Haskell has a steeper learning curve especially for those who are not used to functional programming. It will take some considerable amount of time to understand the language. However, once you get used to the functional programming language, you might find it as easy as Python or any high-level procedural programming language. The syntaxes are not very different. But one needs to learn lazy evaluation and type classes. Haskell is quite popular in the academic and universities, and it is widely used to teach algorithm programming.
Libraries – How easy a programming language is, it is determined by the libraries available. There is no doubt that Haskell is more expressive and faster and even safer. But in case of library comparison, Python is far ahead of Haskell. This is why Python finds versatile applications in the industry. Python is also referred to as the glue language as it can incorporate modules of different programming languages.
If you are starting to learn a programming language, you should go for Python as it is much easier to learn. However, you should learn Haskell after python as it is a functional language and it is always better to have a functional language under your control. It makes you a better programmer and think more of algorithms to solve critical problems. It can open up new opportunities for your career and Haskell is the future along with Python in the programming language world.