[Haskell-cafe] Re: First steps in Haskell

Murray Gross mgross21 at verizon.net
Sun Jan 22 23:02:34 EST 2006

> 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.
The Gentle Introduction is not at all gentle (it is excellent at what it
does, but it assumes a level of sophistication that is well above what
a large portion of beginning Haskell programmers have achieved when they 
begin learning the language).

There are several other tutorial's on the net that are far better at
introducing the neophyte to the language (as you've already discovered),
but my experience in the classroom is that Simon Thompson's book (The
Craft of Functional Programming) is probably just about right as an
introduction (and subsequently as a reference as well), especially for
self study.  

Now, please do not misunderstand: Simply because I suggest Thompson's book
does not mean I am trying to sell it--but over the past 4 years or so, I
have not yet found anything else that got my students writing the language
as quickly, and please be assured that they have demonstrated quite some
skill at ferreting out introductory material on the web (I need to be
quite careful with the exercies I assign to make sure that the answers
can't be copied . . . :)> ). 

Last, you should note that Thompson, like just about everything else on
the subject, is far from complete--there is all sorts of other "stuff"
that you will pick up from the available Haskell system documentation, but
that can wait until you have simple programs running. 


Murray Gross 
CIS Dept., Brooklyn College

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