[Haskell-cafe] Re: First steps in Haskell

Charles Hixson charleshixsn at earthlink.net
Sun Jan 22 20:16:50 EST 2006

Wolfgang Jeltsch wrote:

> Am Sonntag, 18. Dezember 2005 17:25 schrieb Daniel Carrera:
>> [...]
>> This is a real problem for Haskell. I expect that a lot of people try
>> Haskell and give up because they can't even write the simplest function.
> Hello Daniel,
> 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.  So I suppose that it's not "a
> lot of people" who experience the problems you do.
> ....
> I suppose that neither the compilers and interpreters nor the
> documentation need(s) fixing, although I might be wrong with the
> documentation.
>> Best,
>> Daniel.
> Best wishes,
> Wolfgang

FWIW:  This is my second or third day with Haskell.  I was totally stumped
until I searched out "Yet Another Haskell Tutorial".  I tried starting with
"A Gentle Introduction...", but it never told me how to get started.  It
talked at great length about the language, and I'm certain that it will be
very useful in a week or so, but it sure isn't the way to get started.

So he's not unique.  I couldn't figure out why Hugs wouldn't interpret what
I was certain were legitimate Haskell statements.  (I'm still not sure why. 
Gentle introduction is a bit of a rough start.  I'm confused between type
declarations and variable assignments, etc.  I'm sure this will work out
over time, but right now the confusion is pretty severe.)  And in "A Gentle
Introduction..." I've yet to encounter a module statement.  Perhaps I
missed it, perhaps it's new, perhaps it's only used in batch compilation? 
Well, I'll find out eventually.  "Yet Another ..." mentioned it right off,
and I got Hello World working within 5 minutes (with my own customizations,
to also append the value of x onto the message). 

A language manual is not a tutorial.  It's important, but first you need a
place to start.

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