We need "Documentation" (Was: Re: Integer to String Conversion?)
Eray Ozkural (exa)
Tue, 4 Dec 2001 11:16:36 +0200
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On Tuesday 04 December 2001 02:51, you wrote:
> On Tue, 4 Dec 2001, Chris wrote:
> > is there a function that converts Integers to Strings and vice versa?
> Prelude> (reads "123 abc") :: [(Integer, String)]
> [(123," abc")]
> Prelude> show 123
That's the reason why I hadn't been able to join some famous programming
contest :) When my brain had already melted I couldn't find how to do this in
the documentation for 30 minutes. I had assumed there would have been a
specific conversion facility... But I think there are other reasons than my
sleepy state at the moment.
Why doesn't an author or two who have written Haskell books consider opening
their books for public use on the Internet? "The Craft Of ..." especially
seems great. I'm sure many coders would appreciate a non-dead-tree version of
that book or a shortened version of the book.
The material we have is simply lacking. What we need is a good tutorial and a
comprehensive reference book. The current state of documentation is far from
that. The tutorial should be a tutorial, it should teach all that is needed
for basic programming, and probably go beyond that, with examples explained
in detail and such. (The tutorial on the web is not like that). The reference
manual again must go ahead with examples, and a logical organization of
programming concepts and language features. Otherwise Haskell is never going
to find too much appeal in application programming; it will remain in
obscurity in research centers and extreme hacker quarters.
For coders who have not written papers about Haskell, the documentation is
I could find only a single decent book in our university's library, it was a
functional algorithms book that gave examples in Haskell. Without that book,
I could never have written the code I wrote within a small amount of time.
There was the Miranda version of "The Craft Of..", but I didn't want to do
too much guessing. So basically, I was left with that book which had an
introductory chapter (I don't remember the exact name of the book) to Haskell
and the online docs. The tutorial chapter of the book, which was an
algorithms book, turned out to be much better than what the online docs had
to offer although its purpose was to teach only a small subset of the
language for algorithm design.
Eray Ozkural (exa) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Comp. Sci. Dept., Bilkent University, Ankara
GPG public key fingerprint: 360C 852F 88B0 A745 F31B EA0F 7C07 AE16 874D 539C
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