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Learn You a Haskell for Great Good!: A Beginner's Guide Paperback – 21 Apr 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press; 1 edition (21 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593272839
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593272838
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 71,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Miran Lipovaca is a computer science student in Ljubljana, Slovenia. In addition to his passion for Haskell, he enjoys boxing, playing bass guitar, and, of course, drawing. He has a fascination with dancing skeletons and the number 71, and when he walks through automatic doors he pretends that he's actually opening them with his mind.


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By skytreebird on 16 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
The best book on Haskell there is - believe me, I've got them all. There are a lot of intellectually challenging concepts in Haskell that I have never seen explained well - anywhere. This book changes all that. The author has any uncanny knack of answering your questions as you think of them - even the dumb ones. This book should be the de facto text for schools teaching functional programming. I believe that this text is a game changer and the vehicle that will finally bring Haskell to the masses - I just hope it's not too late. If you're thinking about learning Haskell, forget the rest >>= get the best.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Max on 5 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback
I'm quite experienced in imperative languages, however always wanted to get acquainted with functional programming. Web gave me the hint - Haskell. To prepare myself for a journey to Haskell I got 6-7 books and tutorials on topic, browsed through them to pick the 1st... Learn you a Haskell... seem to be the smoothest intro into the language. Author leads us gradually to more complicated constructs by examples and explanations. This is definitely just the 1st book you pick if you're new to functional progeamming, next ones will be Real world Haskell and tutorials from the inet. Style of the book seem to be ok, but some "jokes" could have been omitted, and examples could have been more interesting :-) . Anyway, author did a great job of making Haskell friendly (other authors seem to compete in making it more obscure :-) ). So I recommend the book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Miguel Arregui on 10 May 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I came across the concept of a Monad whilst I was learning Scala and I bought this book with the sole purpose of getting a thorough understanding of the concept. Success.

Haskell is difficult, its concepts are, as you would expect from a language that has been designed by a committee whose sole purpose was to create the ultimate programming language, as close to the world of math as it gets and unconstrained by engineering considerations such as the size of a bus or the width of a processor pipeline. This makes this language a true weapon for problem churning, but it also makes it exceptionally hard to get, specially in what regards to its type system. This book does an amazing job at getting you from zero to being able to code serious things progressively and almost easily.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By acroyear2 on 21 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
The functional programming paradigm is not one that will come instantly to people used to predominantly imperative programming languages like C or Python, and many of the Haskell texts available at time of writing are quite technical, dry affairs. This has changed with "Learn You A Haskell For Great Good", which is a superb introductory text to Haskell and functional programming in general.

The book is not designed for people learning their first programming language (although I feel it's written well enough that a dedicated beginner could get a fair deal out of it), but rather for programmers that have had prior exposure to other languages and want to get to grips with the functional paradigm. You could not wish for a better book - it's concise, clear and sufficiently comprehensive without being dry or overly obtuse. The writing is somewhat quirky and humorous at times- which may not be to everyone's liking- but the author is extremely sympathetic to the reader and is quick to answer questions and highlight topics that many authors would typically brush over.

In summary, this book is the best introduction to Haskell and perhaps functional programming available at the time of writing, and at under 400 pages is an ideal preparation for some of the more formidable texts out there.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. Tavares on 8 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
I must say I learned a lot and it was fun reading this book! It is very well written and presents a lot of material aimed to true beginners. Although it should be noted that it's not a text for beginners in programming, only for those who don't know Haskell. And the text really focuses on the language and skips unnecessary stuff, which is quite good because you start working with Haskell immediately. Another good thing of the book is the actual pace. The information comes at the right speed! You never feel it's going to fast or too slow, or that suddenly things become too complicated. It builds your knowledge of Haskell in the right amount, especially if you take some time to do some coding of your own. Only the last chapters of the book start to become more hard to grasp at a first reading because it deals with advanced concepts that will need more training from a beginner.

The author has a sense of humor while not filling the text with lots of jokes or provocative humor; it just feels natural. The cartoons that populate the book are not comics and just have a figurative role. I must confess that sometimes they just fill space but others they help making the reading more nice. My only complain with the book is the lack of coding exercises at the end of each chapter. This wouldn't be a complain if the book was more structured around mini-projects that would force you to code something larger than small functions. They exist, e.g., the task list, the calculator, but more would be a nice addition.

Did I learn Haskell with the book? Definitely yes! And it was fun! Naturally I'm still at a beginner's level but if I keep coding more in Haskell, I believe I can consolidate what I've learned and be ready to pass to a more intermediate level.
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