Programming in Haskell Paperback – 18 Jan 2007
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'The best introduction to Haskell available. There are many paths towards becoming comfortable and competent with the language but I think studying this book is the quickest path. I urge readers of this magazine to recommend Programming in Haskell to anyone who has been thinking about learning the language.' Duncan Coutts, Monad Reader
'Two groups of people must consider this book. The first is professors interested in rapidly introducing students to fundamental concepts in functional programming. This book, supplemented with online resources and professorial guidance could easily serve as the textbook for a semester-long course on functional programming. The second group is programmers interested in surveying the functional paradigm as quickly as possible.' Journal of Functional Programming
This introduction is ideal for beginners as it requires no previous programming experience and all concepts are explained from first principles via carefully chosen examples. Each chapter includes exercises that range from the straightforward to extended projects, plus suggestions for further reading on more advanced topics.See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
The organisation of the book is excellent, from rudimentary basics through to simple examples.
It is hard to fault this book.
Trying to learn Haskell, I think this book together with 'Real World Haskell' by Bryan O'Sullican et al. would be ideal.
In a future version it would be great to see some 'real world' examples within this book.
The best 'first book' on Haskell I've come across. An excellent way to very quickly pick up the basics.
While it does explain some of the syntactical oddities of Haskell I haven't seen elsewhere (guards, list comprehensions, etc), these are fairly simple things. Halfway through, he starts with a parser example (using monads), but since he doesn't really explain the why and how for the rather strained construction, I feel the point is somewhat lost. Sadly, monads aren't really delved into.
If you have any basic knowledge of functional programming (esp of the SML style), I'd recommend you move along to a move advanced book. But for the simple stuff, the author explains everything well.
The book needs a little updating (such as, n + k patterns have been removed from Haskell), and perhaps a few more chapters would be good for the book.
The downside is the price for the amount of pages. Should be much cheaper for such a short book.
1. It mixes up mathematical notation with code. If I'm reading code then I want to see code. It's irritating and occassionally confusing. I haven't seen any other books do this, and there's a good reason for it.
2. There is not a single example of anything useful! Not how to open a file, or write to a file, for instance.
3. What is there is a duplication of existing libraries. You get to build a parser when there is already the famous Parsec library out there. It would be MUCH more useful to have done this using Parsec. You'll also recreate several standard (Prelude) functions, though the author never makes it clear when this is happening. Other books (The Haskell Road to Logic, Maths and Programming, for example) do not do this and are much better for it.
4. The book does not contain the answers to the exercises. You can only get the answers from Cambridge University Press if you are an instructor of a course. So unless you are a student, you will never see the answers. Perhaps your code will compile. Perhaps it will work. But you'll never get the invaluable insight of seeing a pro's coded answer. Rubbish! Cambridge Press just gave me a big fat "No" when I asked for the answers, and didn't bother to reply to my request for justification, even though I paid the same amount as any student.
All in all, one of the poorest programming books I've come across. If you're a student, then you've been told to buy it because it's on your course. Otherwise, pick a different book, any other book. Real World Haskell looks a lot, lot better (or the Haskell Road...)
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