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The Haskell School of Expression: Learning Functional Programming through Multimedia Hardcover – 28 Feb 2000

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (28 Feb. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521643384
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521643382
  • Product Dimensions: 17.7 x 2.2 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,107,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


'… a rather unusual and very interesting book for the functional programming community. The author's style is wonderful, and he is good at explaining the material … unique in the field of functional programming'. M. Ivanovi´c, Artificial Intelligence

'… a novel and intuitively appealing approach to teaching functional programming … could profitably be used for an advanced undergraduate course focusing on domain-specific languages in this area.' Journal of Functional Programming

Book Description

This book teaches functional programming as a way of thinking and problem solving, using Haskell, the most popular purely functional language. Rather than using the conventional examples commonly found in other programming language books, the author uses examples drawn from multimedia applications, including graphics, animation, and computer music.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By D. Owen on 30 May 2005
Format: Paperback
The Haskell School of Expression shows you how to make interesting applications in Haskell.
Unlike the other Haskell books this one tries to avoid mathematical oriented programs as examples. Instead it gets you writing programs using the haskell graphics and music libraries which are much more interesting.
Frivolous things like that can sometimes over-complicate simple ideas which are trying to be conveyed though. Also the first chapter is very ambitious introducting lots of new ideas which are not easy to link together. Lots of proof techniques are used throughout which may be hard to understand at first.
On the whole the text is fascinating as it shows what a novel and ideal approach functional programming is for making graphics applications.
Very good content, but I'm not sure if it should be your first read if you are new to functional programming.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 July 2001
Format: Paperback
This book provides an interesting approach to learning Haskell which is designed to keep the learner interested through the use of multimedia. Although I feel that sometimes this can cloud the simple principles being taught.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 17 reviews
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
The Haskell School of Expression 28 Jun. 2004
By George Spencer Young - Published on
Format: Paperback
As an experienced programmer new to Haskell I found this book both enlightening and frustrating. The author does a superb job of teaching you how to think like a functional programmer, his stated goal, but occasionally leaps over too many steps for a beginner to follow his implementations. The book is however quite readable and works well in conjunction with the various on-line tutorials on Haskell syntax. I'd recommend the book for anyone looking to get into serious functional programming.
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Interesting but not good for a first book. 1 July 2000
By Wendell - Published on
Format: Paperback
This text is nicely produced and has some interesting examples of Haskell programming. However, the book is mainly examples of Haskell and functional programming rather than explanations of Haskell and FP. The exposition is spotty and assumes a lot. It would best be considered a second book for those learning Haskell.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Inspires investigation of Haskell using great examples 21 Nov. 2005
By calvinnme - Published on
Format: Paperback
C, Java, Pascal, Ada, and so on, are all imperative languages. They are "imperative" in the sense that they consist of a sequence of commands, which are executed strictly one after the other. Haskell is a functional language. A functional program is a single expression, which is executed by evaluating the expression. Anyone who has used a spreadsheet has experience of functional programming. In a spreadsheet, one specifies the value of each cell in terms of the values of other cells. The focus is on what is to be computed, not how it should be computed.
This book is a unique attempt to teach the reader the Haskell programming language by demonstrating how to write programs that perform interesting tasks such as animation, graphics, robot control, and functional music composition. The book succeeds at introducing the reader to the Haskell language and the idea of functional programming, and the book is a fascinating read with unique projects performed in the Haskell language. This is particularly true if you are interested in multimedia programming. However, intermediate features of the language are brushed over. If you are already familiar with Haskell, this book will teach you interesting ways to look at functional programming and give you some ideas for some interesting projects. If you are new to Haskell, you are going to find yourself somewhat confused when you get to the more advanced material. I therefore recommend that you read this book along with "Haskell:The Craft of Functional Programming" by Thompson. That book is not nearly as interesting as this book, but it fills in all of the intermediate details that are missing in a very detailed manner.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Outstanding book! 3 April 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book takes a nice approach to teaching functional programming. Paul Hudak uses fun examples, with applications to multimedia. Early on you are using the graphics library to make shapes in windows, and by the end there is Haskore, a cool way to compose music. However, these examples are not JUST fun, they also serve as nice examples of how to think about and construct functional programs, in domains where functional programs really excel. If you ever thought about learning what this stuff was about, this book is the right choice!
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Not a good first book 14 Jun. 2005
By Tanton Gibbs - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is well thought out and well written, but makes a poor introduction to Haskell. The first few chapters are great as the author spends a lot of time laying the foundation of functional programming and Haskell. However, the author skips the intermediate level items and goes straight to the more difficult aspects without enough explanation. I simply could not follow many of the later examples. Furthermore, some of the chapters did not introduce any new concepts and instead were there only to complete the examples - something I found frustrating as that space could have been used to better describe some of the concepts. All in all this could be a good book for more advanced Haskellers looking for real world examples, but I would shy away from it.
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