Thursday July 5th

GSoC Day 53 and a glimmer of hope

I’m staying up to work on Haskell

  • Typeclasses still are difficult for me to wrap my head around. It isn’t clear to me exactly the usage of the type, the constructor and how to make the instance type-check. I think that I’ve gotten better at composing types, based on going back to the exercises, but typeclasses are still something I really need to work on. I’m going into whack-a-mole/monkey-mode when I work with typeclasses, which means I don’t understand it, because I’m not reasoning through the problems. So it means I need to slow down and probably also get some assistance.
  • It may sound trivial, but when you’re learning, it’s really not. And the fact that it’s so obvious to people who have already figured it out is just daunting. I still feel like even though I can warble through exercises, it hasn’t clicked yet.
  • This was extremely helpful! I also waded through the internet and found a bunch of people who thought it was sort of a wart of Haskell, and others who thought it was super powerful, so I dunno. I’m just trying to fully understand it, here.
  • Some of it is vaguely reminding me of C++, but I don’t know if that’s just confusing me. Using the word overloading over and over. And constructor. W-H-Y :(

I feel really awful

  • But Haskell legit distracts me from work. So I’d actually say my part-time gig is half-Haskell. All I think about and make notes on is Haskell. The other day I was looking for a clean sheet of paper and all I could find were ones with lambda calculus and notes all over them. :(

I also got some really good advice

  • “Dad-advice” from Gabe. Something really great happened to me today (that I can’t talk about but if it is for real, I’ll talk about it once I can!), but I was conflicted, and he gave me really great advice about the situation. I’m pretty sure he’s a good father. I sort of heard my own father’s voice as he wrote me back; it was weird. Oh no…what if they’re the same person LOL.

What’s “dad” advice?

  • Dad advice is the voice of reason. It’s rooted in reminding you of your values and character. It comes from someone usually with experience and wisdom and maturity. Most of my friends are 2x my age, so they give some solid “dad advice”. It’s the kind of thing you look back on weeks after and you go “hmm..that was kind of profound…there is a whole dimension of this I hadn’t thought of before.” It’s like you have to grow up yourself to really understand what the person is trying to tell you. I don’t really get that from my peers or the general programming community. I think that some of it comes from being worldly. It’s different. And it’s often done with what I can only advise as “selfless guidance”. A really good friend of mine who did that all the time (and wasn’t my dad) was a high-school dropout who started his own business from scratch and was pretty much a multi-millionnaire by the time he was in his 30s (if not before). He just thought about everything differently, and understood people and motivation. I was always super impressed by him because he always had a great work ethic and a sense of purpose about his life. I often have felt like my peers care too much about what other people think; he never had that. He was free and helped so many people and gave them direction in their lives by example. That’s been rare here.

  • A friend of mine was talking about literature today; fascinated by a book. But it was something I had read in school. A few years ago, I would borrow 45 books at a time from the library. I wanted to understand those people, and why they thought what they put to paper was important. I think about that a lot, especially in the world of programming. You can blog, but does that make it important? Does it have permanence?
  • And what is your world really if you just hang out with the same kinds of people?


  • I still have that feeling…like I don’t deserve any of this. I think that maybe everything will fall down like a house of cards, and all the good things that have happened were sort of a fluke, or that they will run thin. I still don’t quite remember how I got here…But I keep going because…Haskell. What’s not to love? :D
Written on July 5, 2018