[Haskell-cafe] Re: [Haskell] Another First course in Haskell

Neil Mitchell ndmitchell at gmail.com
Wed Aug 27 10:27:00 EDT 2008


> (*) that's the main problem I see with Hutton's book
> http://www.cs.nott.ac.uk/~gmh/book.html :
> it has "Declaring types and classes" as chapter 10 (of 13 total).
> I think that's way off - and it leaves readers (students)
> with the impression that declarative programming
> basically deals with (functions on) lists.
> This may have been true in the 70s/80s (LISP, Prolog),
> but it certainly shouldn't be true today.

That book is about teaching Haskell, not advertising it. If I wanted
to advertise how cool Haskell was, I probably wouldn't dwell on lists.
But to learn Haskell, I spent the first few years doing either list
processing or very simple algebraic data types, and I think it made me
a better programmer as a result.

If you want to program Haskell, get the basics sorted. Once you have
sorted the basics of functional programming, you can move on to the
Haskell specific bits. The course I learnt from at York left out
things such as modules, type classes (beyond slight Eq/Ord
signatures), monads, IO (other than interact) and anything not in
Haskell 98. What it did cover very well was functional programming and
functional reasoning.



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