[Haskell-cafe] Re: ANN: "Real World Haskell", now shipping

Don Stewart dons at galois.com
Sun Nov 30 16:27:55 EST 2008

> Ahn, Ki Yung wrote:
> >Andrew Coppin 쓴 글:
> >>Then again, one day I sat down and tried to draw a diagram of the 
> >>essential concepts, techniques and syntax of Haskell and how they're 
> >>related... The result looked like alphabet soup! It's not clear how 
> >>you start to explain anything without immediately needing to explain 
> >>20 other things you just used to explain the first thing. (Somebody 
> >>commented "recursive tutorials for a recursive language". It was 
> >>meant as an insult, but I actually kinda like it...) Given that 
> >>that's the case, I'm not really sure that I could do any better than 
> >>the Three Kings, so maybe I should just shuffle off and keep my 
> >>comments to myself. :-/
> >
> >If one needs introductory Haskell programming tutorial explaining 
> >about the language concepts from first principles, then one should 
> >read a textbook written for that purpose such as "Programming in 
> >Haskell".
> >
> >"Real World Haskell" is a collection of practical tips and know-hows 
> >to get things done at work rather than a step-by-step Haskell 
> >tutorial. And I believe that many other O'Reilly books are like that.
> Quoting the introduction:
> "What will you need to know before reading this book? We expect that you 
> already know how to program, but if you've never used a functional 
> language, that's fine."
> Seems like it's intended to be useful to people who don't know any 
> Haskell at all. And indeed, the subject matter of the opening chapters 
> strongly reinforces this impression. Certainly this doesn't look like a 
> book aimed at Haskell experts who are just looking for tips on how to 
> solve "real world" problems. (Although no doubt the authors intended it 
> for their benefit as well.)

Indeed, we assume you know how to program, or you're one of the many Haskellers looking for
that final 15%.

> Unfortunately, the organisation isn't the clearest. But then, given that 
> I've yet to come up with anything better myself, we should probably 
> leave it at that...

I gather you've only briefly looked at the online draft? The structure
is based on the plan we stated 12 months ago,



    "cover the major techniques used to write serious, real-world
    Haskell code, so that programmers can just get to work in the

Each major domain has a chapter or two, and we build upon earlier
chapters in later ones.

The book is explicitly fast-paced, so perhaps that's what you're
noticing. We explicitly weren't going to leave the "getting things
done"' part to page 711. And the response has been ridiculously
positive, see, e.g. the Amazon reviews,

    "The text is incredibly readable and straightforward. It's set up
    for those who already know how to program imperatively (e.g.
    C++/Java/C, etc), and takes those readers deep into Haskell &
    functional programming."


If the coverage is too varied or too fast for your taste, perhaps one of
the slower-paced intros such as Graham's recent book, "Programming in
Haskell" would be more appropriate.

-- Don

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