[Haskell-cafe] How did you stumble on Haskell?

Bob Davison bob__davison at hotmail.com
Mon Jan 29 18:53:36 EST 2007

>From: "Alexy Khrabrov" <deliverable at gmail.com>
>To: haskell-cafe at haskell.org
>Subject: [Haskell-cafe] How did you stumble on Haskell?
>Date: Sun, 28 Jan 2007 19:01:57 -0800
>How do people stumble on Haskell?

-- snip

>What's folks most interesting ways to arrive at FP?

I have been programming other stuff for years (APL, C, Assembly, Visual 
Basic, Java, C#) and a year or two ago I started thinking of going back to 
study computing a bit more formally.  Reading web pages of lecturers on 
courses that looked interesting I found a few whose favorite language was a 
functional programming language called Haskell.  I didn't know anything 
about functional programming so I just moved on.

More recently I started to work my way through 'Modern compiler 
implementation in Java' by Andrew Appel and he seemed keen on functional 
programming and the book covers extending the basic language to a functional 
programming language. (I have have read the relevant chapter but not got as 
far as implementing it yet!)

Just before Christmas I decided to investigate Haskell.  I got hold of a 
copy of Graham Hutton's new book 'Programming in Haskell', which I am 
thoroughly enjoying.  Haskell is great fun but as I dig deeper I am finding 
my lack of mathematical sophistication to be a problem.

This leads me off thread to ask if anyone could recommend reading for 
someone who has done mathematics to college level, but nearly 30 years ago 
when many English schools didn't cover 20th century mathematics.  I thought 
calculus was about differentiation and integration and was very surprised to 
discover that there were such things as 'predicate calculus', 'propositional 
calculus', and various flavours of 'lambda calculus'.  I also have little or 
no idea of set theory, group theory, domain theory, combinatory logic, ...  
(I can just imagine the surprised looks on the faces of the mathematicians 
reading this. You never know computer programmers could be so ignorant, did 

I have no idea how much of this stuff I need to know but I would certainly 
like to be able to learn more of this facinating new world and not just be 
content with learning how to write a Haskell program.   I just don't know 
where to start.

Bob Davison

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