the real world of Haskell books (Re: [Haskell-cafe] Online Real World Haskell, problem with Sqlite3 chapters)

John Goerzen jgoerzen at
Fri Sep 5 09:37:40 EDT 2008

On Fri, Sep 05, 2008 at 01:04:03PM +0100, Claus Reinke wrote:
> Now that is "real world" - problems even before release!-)
> Seriously, though, what is the RWH authors' plan for tackling
> the eternal frustration of Haskell book authors, a moving target?

Hope that enough copies are sold that O'Reilly lets us make a 2nd
edition when things change? :-)

More seriously, you do the best you can.  We tried to mostly write
about things that are in the libraries that ship with GHC.  There are
some exceptions, such as HDBC and gtk2hs.  But these things happen in
any language, and you publish errata, or a new edition.

We've already been bitten by this, and we're not even in production
yet.  The regex library included with GHC 6.8.3 can be used in a
[String] context, but the newer regex library on Hackage (which is
shipped by Debian) can't.  Doh.

> I've only scanned RWH briefly, but it seems to be on the other
> end of the spectrum, focussing precisely on the details of stuff
> that is likely to evolve much faster than the book. Is the plan to
> keep someone employed over the years to keep the online
> version updated?

We haven't specifically discussed that, but in general, doing a book
is a *lot* of work, and I suspect all three of us will be wanting to
take a break from book-writing or -maintaining activities for a bit
after O'Reilly starts cutting down trees on our behalf.

That said, we're still maintaining all the infrastructure for the
project, so we could go and update things at any time.

-- John

More information about the Haskell-Cafe mailing list