Programming in Haskell First Edition
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'Two groups of people must consider this book. The first is professors interested in rapidly introducing students to fundamental concepts in functional programming. This book, supplemented with online resources and professorial guidance could easily serve as the textbook for a semester-long course on functional programming. The second group is programmers interested in surveying the functional paradigm as quickly as possible.' Journal of Functional Programming
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As a first text however, it will introduce complications that will mostly impede progress. At this writing, the best, most lucid introduction to Haskell is still "Learn You a Haskell for Greater Good" which has the added bonus of having a free online version.
The book covers the very basics that everyone new to Haskell and new to functional programming needs to understand. However, the book does not cover material enough to become a Haskell developer. It just covers enough to get you started with the language, and most importantly, to enable you to understand other Haskell books out there, which on the contrary, seem to assume that one has a broader understanding on functional programming.
The reason I gave it 4 starts instead of 5 is because it uses a strange symbology in the examples which forces the reader to interpret the symbols when writing Haskell code. You have to read an appendix to interpret symbols as actual Haskell operators.
Nonetheless, rather than define the book for the gaps, I do feel like it is another solid intro to programming in Haskell but nowhere near enough to send a programmer on their way independently. Coupling the book with one of the other two texts is a good idea (Learn You a Haskell ... or the O'Reilly book).
Has very large margins on the pages as well, which seems wasteful. Some of the topics covered seem rather light, for example curried functions. I understand what they are, but had to go elsewhere to really get a good sense of the point of them.
Top international reviews
The organisation of the book is excellent, from rudimentary basics through to simple examples.
It is hard to fault this book.
Trying to learn Haskell, I think this book together with 'Real World Haskell' by Bryan O'Sullican et al. would be ideal.
In a future version it would be great to see some 'real world' examples within this book.
The best 'first book' on Haskell I've come across. An excellent way to very quickly pick up the basics.
The format is nice and encourages annotations. If you have already programming knowledge and want to peek into the world of functional programming I can definitely recommend this book.
The examples are too theoretical. I would like to have seen a more practical example
However these two more recent books offer much more practical information:
On page 77 I was bitten by an error: the parser as defined in the book will not work with "do" notation, because it is not a Monad. For a newbie a faulty explanation about Monads and "do" nation is not funny.
The errata is a must-read: