[Haskell-cafe] First steps in Haskell

Daniel Carrera daniel.carrera at zmsl.com
Mon Dec 19 05:03:26 EST 2005

Wolfgang Jeltsch wrote:
> honestly, I have to say that during my years with Haskell, this seems to be 
> the first time that I see somebody trying to enter a Haskell program via the 
> command line of an interactive environment.

Well, I tried all three (Hugs, GHCI, GHC). The problem is that the 
tutorials I found didn't tell me how to run a Haskell program once it 
was written.

> Did you have a look at the Hugs or GHCi documentation?

I took a look at all the tutorials listed in the "Learn Haskell" page 
(the first one asked me for private information!). If those are not the 
tutorials that a new user should be reading, then the problem is on the 
web page. It should point to the correct tutorials. This is a usability 

> I suppose that neither the compilers and interpreters nor the documentation 
> need(s) fixing, although I might be wrong with the documentation.

I'm sure the compilers and interpreters are doing their job. It's the 
documentation/usability side. You have to tell users how to run a 
program before you show them anything else. Any of the following would 
be an apt solution:

1) Update the tutorials linked to tell the user how to run a program.
2) Update the web page to link to the correct tutorial (if that's the 
3) Update the web page to include a brief (1/2) page tutorial explaining 
this first step.

You see, as a site visitor, I have to assume that the tutorials you are 
giving me are the ones you expect I should read. It is nearly impossible 
for a new user to know to read the GHCI tutorial. Not only is it not 
listed, but since when do you read the GCC tutorial when you want to get 
started with C? You'd expect the GCC tutorial to be relevant when you 
want more advanced compile-time options. The GCC tutorial assumes that 
you know how to write a C program. It doesn't tell you to put a main() 
function. That information is in the "Introduction to C" tutorial.

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