So, I am not interested in which language is better, because that is a matter of opinion. What I care about is whether making a switch from Scheme to Haskell will directly help me accomplish my goals. What programming language concepts does each language bring to the fore?
So, I am seeking input from folks who have taught using these languages about the kinds of experiences they had. How did the language features of Haskell or Scheme make your students' experience better (or worse)?
For context, my kids come into their junior year knowing Java, C, and Python pretty well. For their junior year, it was decided that there should be a course in theoretical computer science. In order to have labs, I further decided that we should move away from imperative programming and expose the kids to a functional language. So, while the class was not about functional programming, the kids did quite a lot of it.
I used Scheme (DrRacket, to be specific), but over the course of the year, I found that kids were sneaking
set functions into their labs, which ran (to my thinking) counter to the goals of the class. I was also a little displeased with the rather unintuitive way that boolean functions and contracts interacted in the language.
I have, as a result, been thinking about migrating over to Haskell. If I did this, I know that I would need to redesign my labs (and I wonder if the Turing Machines I have them design would suddenly run very slowly!)
But, other than not having a
set function, what other benefits might Haskell bring to my students? I don't mind putting in the work to redesign the course if there is a sufficient benefit.