[Haskell-cafe] On finding the right exposition...

Bryan Richter b at chreekat.net
Sat Sep 18 09:15:40 UTC 2021

I started learning Haskell by reading the Report, and I warmly recommend
that strategy. In particular, I just skipped over the terminology that
didn't make sense to me yet, and I didn't try too hard to keep the big
picture in my head (suggestion to future versions: put all the BNF diagrams
in the same place!)

Even with a rudimentary read-through, I was already advanced beyond the
likes of LYAH and ready to start running simple programs in ghci. Even
today I sometimes know things about syntax that surprise my colleagues.

I didn't need to know monads yet. The build tool challenges were a bigger
stumbling block at that point.

But best of all, I was familiar with the reference material, so I could
easily go back and reread things when necessary!

On Fri, 17 Sep 2021, 23.40 Viktor Dukhovni, <ietf-dane at dukhovni.org> wrote:

> On Fri, Sep 17, 2021 at 09:14:23PM +0100, Tom Ellis wrote:
> > On Fri, Sep 17, 2021 at 03:47:19PM -0400, Viktor Dukhovni wrote:
> > > I haven't yet run into a "Haskell the language" book for experienced
> > > programmers that cuts to the chase and covers Haskell concisely a la
> > > K&R, focusing much more on the language than on how to write code (only
> > > as much code as it takes to minimally illustrate a language feature).
> >
> > The Haskell Report is a good start.
> I agree that the report is a useful reference, but it is a
> specification, not a book from which to learn the language.  I wouldn't
> actually suggest that anyone learn C by reading the C11 specication, or
> Haskell by working their way through the report.
> The report would of course be a useful source of topics and material for
> a Haskell the language book.
> --
>     Viktor.
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