[Haskell wikibook] Re: Anyone around?

Heinrich Apfelmus apfelmus at quantentunnel.de
Fri May 7 05:27:28 EDT 2010

Eric Y. Kow wrote:
> Daniel David wrote:
>> Waiting for your replies ;-)
> Please don't be discouraged if nobody replies.  You could be
> responsible for breathing new life into this list.

Indeed, thanks for your contributions, Daniel! :)

> Where does the Haskell Wikibook fit it in a LYAH and RWH
> age?  What can we contribute?

Good question, but I have a good answer, or rather, a plan.

One of the main differences of the wikibook compared to a paper book is
that it's *modular*: you don't have to read the whole wikibook in order
to understand and profit from a single chapter. Well, the wikibook is
not really structured like that at the moment, but I would like to see
this happen.

In particular, I'd like to keep track of dependencies, for example by
adding a small infobox to each chapter along the lines of

"Before reading this chapter, you have to understand: Basic Haskell,
Lazy Evaluation."

For instance, this would greatly improve the introduction to monads;
it's not uncommon for Haskell beginners to skip over the "easy" stuff
and get stuck at monads because they don't have a good grasp on concepts
like type constructors and higher order functions. By making
dependencies explicit, they can backtrack and patch up their
understanding without having to read the whole book.

Of course, the key point is the skill of the authors to make chapters
fairly independent; i.e. to make dependencies substantially smaller than
"read the whole book". But I already have a structure for the Haskell
wikibook in mind that can do this.

Daniel David wrote:
> I am particularly interested in the Beginner Modules - not only
> because it's the area I, as a newbie haskeller, feel more comfortable
> in contributing to right now, but also because it naturally would
> tend to be kind of overlooked by veterans willing to add interesting
> stuff in the advanced chapters

I admit being mainly interested in the advanced chapters. :D

Heinrich Apfelmus


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