[Haskell-cafe] [Ann] A new, fun, easy book/tute on Haskell

Julian Leviston julian at getcontented.com.au
Wed Jan 27 05:29:55 UTC 2016

[Ann] A new, fun, easy book/tute on Haskell

Just released this two days ago, roughly. We've released 7 out of 20 sections on the site so far, and the book is up on leanpub ($8 or $4 - $20 set your own price), at about 95% done. We don't want to put it to 100% until we've had at least 20 or more technical people read it and give us feedback, and until we've done a thorough revision for corrections. 

We felt like there's a need for an updated education resource that's both fun and for super beginners who have never programmed before. Essentially a slightly less drawing-focussed and slightly more technically advanced version of the 1980's Usborne Computer Guides http://www.usborne.com/catalogue/feature-page/computer-and-coding-books.aspx something that appeals to people who are more visually focussed as we are.

Our plan is to keep expanding it into more volumes if there's enough interest and paid support. We're also very interested in hearing critical criticism and or praise! :)

Here is a rough breakdown of our take on approaching education:

1. Tackling reading first, then slowly introducing writing when enough examples have been seen to increase confidence, because reading & writing are separate skills
2. Many small, fun examples for each thing to keep interest high: fun examples helps with motivation
3. Gradual, partial introduction of topics, in context at first: graded, less to take in at once, using the writing phase to soldify understanding, will possibly add a revision phase later
4. Not so much theory introduced before the practical has been introduced (examples-first), which gives a concrete context for the theory
5. Pictures. Some of these are visual aides, which are useful as explanations: a picture tells 1000 words, so they say
6. No assumption of previous programming experience. Almost every other guide available assume some programming
7. Smaller sections because completing small things gives a real sense of achievement, which increases motivation
8. Will be tackling how to deconstruct problems using both top down and bottom up approaches: most guides don't tackle this in a simple or basics-first way
9. It's free to read and online, so able to be discussed in public - some guides are, others aren't
10. Not so math focussed including "mathy jargon". We keep away from terms like catamorphism, lambda calculus, monad, until we need them, and these are/will be only introduced when appropriate amounts of concrete practical knowledge are present through repeated exposure to examples, so that it's obvious what is meant

Thanks all!
Julian - (of GetContented)

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