Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I like this post on what monadic parsers are and where they are useful.

This exchange further explains when you need monadic power.

....use the simplest tool which gets the job done. Don't use a fork lift when a dolly will do. Don't use a table saw to cut out coupons. Don't write code in IO when it could be pure. Keep it simple.

But sometimes, you need the extra power of Monad. A sure sign of this is when you need to change the course of the computation based on what has been computed so far. In parsing terms, this means determining how to parse what comes next based on what has been parsed so far; in other words you can construct context-sensitive grammars this way.