[Haskell-cafe] learning advanced haskell

Aran Donohue aran.donohue at gmail.com
Mon Jun 14 01:42:09 EDT 2010

Hi Cafe,

I've been doing Haskell for a few months, and I've written some mid-sized
programs and many small ones. I've read lots of documentation and many
papers, but I'm having difficulty making the jump into some of the advanced
concepts I've read about.

How do people build intuitions for things like RankNTypes and arrows? (Is
the answer "Get a PhD in type theory?") Normally I learn by coding up little
exercise programs, but for these I don't have good intuitions about the
kinds of toy problems I ought to try to solve that would lead me to
understand these tools better.

For systems like Template Haskell and SYB, I have difficulty judging when I
should use Haskell's simpler built-in semantic abstractions like functions
and typeclasses and when I should look to these other mechanisms.

I understand the motivation for other concepts like iteratees, zippers and
functional reactive programming, but there seem to be few entry-level
resources. John Lato's recent Iteratee article is a notable exception*.

Hints? Tips? "Here's how I did it"? _______ is a great program to write to
get to learn ______?

Thanks in advance,

* Even in this article, he busted out (>=>). And it appears that the
iteratee library's actual design is more sophisticated than the design
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