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The Haskell School of Expression: Learning Functional Programming through Multimedia [Paperback]

by Paul Hudak
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 28, 2000 0521734940 978-0521734943 4
Functional programming is a style of programming that emphasizes the use of functions (in contrast to object-oriented programming, which emphasizes the use of objects). It has become popular in recent years because of its simplicity, conciseness, and clarity. This book teaches functional programming as a way of thinking and problem solving, using Haskell, the most popular purely functional language. Rather than using the conventional (boring) mathematical examples commonly found in other programming language textbooks, the author uses examples drawn from multimedia applications, including graphics, animation, and computer music, thus rewarding the reader with working programs for inherently more interesting applications. Aimed at both beginning and advanced programmers, this tutorial begins with a gentle introduction to functional programming and moves rapidly on to more advanced topics. Details about progamming in Haskell are presented in boxes throughout the text so they can be easily found and referred to.

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The Haskell School of Expression: Learning Functional Programming through Multimedia + Haskell: The Craft of Functional Programming (3rd Edition) (International Computer Science Series) + Learn You a Haskell for Great Good!: A Beginner's Guide
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"...a rather unusual and very interesting book for the functional programming community...The author's style is wonderful, and he is good at explaining the material...This book is unique in the field of functional programming." Computing Reviews

Book Description

Functional programming is a style of programming that emphasizes the use of functions (in contrast to object-oriented programming, which emphasizes the use of objects). It has become popular in recent years because of its simplicity, conciseness, and clarity. This textbook, aimed at beginning and advanced programmers, teaches functional programming as a way of thinking and problem solving, using Haskell, the most popular purely functional language. Rather than using the conventional (boring) mathematical examples commonly found in other programming language textbooks, this text uses examples drawn from multimedia applications, including graphics, animation, and computer music, thus rewarding the student with working programs for inherently more interesting applications.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 382 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 4 edition (February 28, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521734940
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521734943
  • ASIN: 0521644089
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #376,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Haskell School of Expression June 28, 2004
Format:Paperback
As an experienced programmer new to Haskell I found this book both enlightening and frustrating. The author does a superb job of teaching you how to think like a functional programmer, his stated goal, but occasionally leaps over too many steps for a beginner to follow his implementations. The book is however quite readable and works well in conjunction with the various on-line tutorials on Haskell syntax. I'd recommend the book for anyone looking to get into serious functional programming.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not good for a first book. July 1, 2000
By Wendell
Format:Paperback
This text is nicely produced and has some interesting examples of Haskell programming. However, the book is mainly examples of Haskell and functional programming rather than explanations of Haskell and FP. The exposition is spotty and assumes a lot. It would best be considered a second book for those learning Haskell.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book! April 2, 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book takes a nice approach to teaching functional programming. Paul Hudak uses fun examples, with applications to multimedia. Early on you are using the graphics library to make shapes in windows, and by the end there is Haskore, a cool way to compose music. However, these examples are not JUST fun, they also serve as nice examples of how to think about and construct functional programs, in domains where functional programs really excel. If you ever thought about learning what this stuff was about, this book is the right choice!
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspires investigation of Haskell using great examples November 21, 2005
Format:Paperback
C, Java, Pascal, Ada, and so on, are all imperative languages. They are "imperative" in the sense that they consist of a sequence of commands, which are executed strictly one after the other. Haskell is a functional language. A functional program is a single expression, which is executed by evaluating the expression. Anyone who has used a spreadsheet has experience of functional programming. In a spreadsheet, one specifies the value of each cell in terms of the values of other cells. The focus is on what is to be computed, not how it should be computed.
This book is a unique attempt to teach the reader the Haskell programming language by demonstrating how to write programs that perform interesting tasks such as animation, graphics, robot control, and functional music composition. The book succeeds at introducing the reader to the Haskell language and the idea of functional programming, and the book is a fascinating read with unique projects performed in the Haskell language. This is particularly true if you are interested in multimedia programming. However, intermediate features of the language are brushed over. If you are already familiar with Haskell, this book will teach you interesting ways to look at functional programming and give you some ideas for some interesting projects. If you are new to Haskell, you are going to find yourself somewhat confused when you get to the more advanced material. I therefore recommend that you read this book along with "Haskell:The Craft of Functional Programming" by Thompson. That book is not nearly as interesting as this book, but it fills in all of the intermediate details that are missing in a very detailed manner.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a good first book June 14, 2005
Format:Paperback
This book is well thought out and well written, but makes a poor introduction to Haskell. The first few chapters are great as the author spends a lot of time laying the foundation of functional programming and Haskell. However, the author skips the intermediate level items and goes straight to the more difficult aspects without enough explanation. I simply could not follow many of the later examples. Furthermore, some of the chapters did not introduce any new concepts and instead were there only to complete the examples - something I found frustrating as that space could have been used to better describe some of the concepts. All in all this could be a good book for more advanced Haskellers looking for real world examples, but I would shy away from it.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brings out the "fun" in functional programming January 15, 2003
Format:Paperback
I already knew Haskell when I started reading this book, but it held my interest right through to the end. This is largely due to Hudak's choice of interesting application domains (graphics, animation, robotics, music) and how neatly applications in these domains can be expressed in Haskell. (As an advanced reader, I was particularly interested in the treatment of the design and implementation of his functional animation language.) More than just that, though, the book's success derives from a very nice blending of theory and practice. I especially liked his use of calculational reasoning as a approachable form of program proof. I highly recommend this book if you want to learn functional programming--tastefully--and have fun while doing it.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like programming ... March 1, 2006
Format:Paperback
in general, and if you don't know Haskell, OCaML, ML, or F#, then you really should buy this book and work through it.

A generation ago, Abelson and Sussman wrote "Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs," which brought world-shaping clarity to programming in the form of a generic, functional approach. In the time since then, "types" and "lazy evaluation" have fundamentally improved that overall approach, and Haskell is the rightful successor to Scheme as the best-of-breed of functional programming languages. That said, types and lazy evaluation are somewhat tricky to learn, and this book offers a fun and easy way to do it.

The software needed to run the samples in the book is free and works on Windows platforms (and possibly some others).

Buy it, work through every word of it, you won't regret it :)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative with interesting examples
Informative with interesting examples. The guy who wrote chaired the committee that developed the language. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Skwisgar Skwigelf
1.0 out of 5 stars Whizzbang "Multimedia" Examples Are a Complete Waste of Time
We used this book for a portion of a programming languages course I am currently taking. The book is a classic example of an emerging 21st-century computer science teaching... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Computer Science Student
4.0 out of 5 stars Happy
The concepts in the book are great. It is fairly easy to follow. The problem is most of the examples are based upon a graphics library that doesn't exist any longer. Read more
Published on January 23, 2011 by B. Robidoux
4.0 out of 5 stars Captures the spirit of Haskell
I found this the most Haskell'ish of the Haskell books I have read; succinct, concise, compact, in fact, very much in the spirit of Haskell itself. Read more
Published on June 11, 2010 by PIETER GREYLING
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a good place to start
I have to agree with a variety of reviewers who describe this book as an excellent read but not a good place to learn Haskell. Read more
Published on December 27, 2008 by J. Keene
3.0 out of 5 stars Odd
I admit, I did not read the book very much. I looked through it and the format of everything was really weird. Read more
Published on April 7, 2008 by Max
3.0 out of 5 stars Great idea, execution could use help
Granted I am new to Haskell and to some degree functional programming. I thought this book would be really cool, pretty much an ideal book on a subject matter that I am very... Read more
Published on April 3, 2008 by JH
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book.
This is a good book... However, I wish I hadn't bought it. It seems to focus too much on geometry and multimedia, which is not that interesting to me. Read more
Published on June 5, 2007 by W. Ghost
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