[Haskell-cafe] I am new to haskell

Benjamin L. Russell dekudekuplex at yahoo.com
Thu May 8 02:59:37 EDT 2008

One hint that is not (at least to my knowledge) listed on haskell.org is that, according to at least one user (see "The Programmers’ Stone » Blog Archive » A First Haskell Experience" at http://the-programmers-stone.com/2008/03/04/a-first-haskell-experience/), the online tutorials can "confuse more than they illuminate."

Personally, I would recommend starting with one of the available books (see "Books - HaskellWiki" at http://haskell.org/haskellwiki/Books), instead.  In particular, I would recommend one of the following titles:

* Paul Hudak: The Haskell School of Expression: Learning Functional Programming through Multimedia, Cambridge University Press, New York, 2000, 416 pp, 15 line diagrams, 75 exercises, Paperback $29.95, ISBN 0521644089, Hardback $74.95, ISBN 0521643384.  (See http://www.haskell.org/soe/.)
  - This book uses multimedia examples to motivate learning Haskell, and is extremely interesting to read.  The one drawback I discovered was that some of the exercises assume trigonometry, which I had learned long ago but forgotten by the time I started reading this book.  In my opinion, this book is to Haskell as SICP is to Scheme (i.e., it is the authoritative textbook on this subject).

* Kees Doets and Jan van Eijck: The Haskell Road to Logic, Maths and Programming, King's College Publications, London, 2004, 14.00 pounds or $25.00, ISBN 0-9543006-9-6.  (See http://homepages.cwi.nl/~jve/HR/.)
  - While this book approaches Haskell from a proof-oriented, mathematical perspective guided toward proving program correctness, it assumes only elementary mathematics and is very easy to approach.  Personally, I found it much easier to follow than any of the existing online tutorials.

Another tip is to write your own version of Towers of Hanoi (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_of_Hanoi) in Haskell.  Writing your own original programs is usually a much quicker road to mastering a programming language than just reading books, because it forces you to think in the target programming language.

Benjamin L. Russell

--- On Thu, 5/8/08, Ambrish Bhargava <bhargava.ambrish at gmail.com> wrote:

> From: Ambrish Bhargava <bhargava.ambrish at gmail.com>
> Subject: [Haskell-cafe] I am new to haskell
> To: haskell-cafe at haskell.org
> Date: Thursday, May 8, 2008, 1:37 PM
> Hi All,
> I am new to Haskell. Can anyone guide me how can I start on
> it (Like getting
> binaries, some tutorials)?
> Thanks in advance.
> -- 
> Regards,
> Ambrish
> Bhargava_______________________________________________
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