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Programming in Haskell [Paperback]

Professor Graham Hutton
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Price: CDN$ 53.10 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Jan. 15 2007 0521692695 978-0521692694 1
Haskell is one of the leading languages for teaching functional programming, enabling students to write simpler and cleaner code, and to learn how to structure and reason about programs. This introduction is ideal for beginners: it requires no previous programming experience and all concepts are explained from first principles via carefully chosen examples. Each chapter includes exercises that range from the straightforward to extended projects, plus suggestions for further reading on more advanced topics. The author is a leading Haskell researcher and instructor, well-known for his teaching skills. The presentation is clear and simple, and benefits from having been refined and class-tested over several years. The result is a text that can be used with courses, or for self-learning. Features include freely accessible Powerpoint slides for each chapter, solutions to exercises and examination questions (with solutions) available to instructors, and a downloadable code that's fully compliant with the latest Haskell release.

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'The best introduction to Haskell available. There are many paths towards becoming comfortable and competent with the language but I think studying this book is the quickest path. I urge readers of this magazine to recommend Programming in Haskell to anyone who has been thinking about learning the language.' Duncan Coutts, Monad Reader

'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

Book Description

This introduction is ideal for beginners as it requires no previous programming experience and all concepts are explained from first principles via carefully chosen examples. Each chapter includes exercises that range from the straightforward to extended projects, plus suggestions for further reading on more advanced topics.

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4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to Read June 10 2010
Format:Paperback
Extremely helpful for people like me who have no experience with functional programming and recursive programming. Goes in depth enough to understand how to implement the various functions in Haskell's library. Only thing I didn't like is they used a lot of characters in their program description that are not the actual characters you program with. Such as: They would use an actually arrow to write... Int (arrow) [Int] instead of the way it is actually coded... Int -> [Int]... Overall a great book, would recommend it to anyone desiring to learn Haskell.
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction to Haskell Feb. 15 2007
By brad - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Hutton's book is an excellent introduction for programmers approaching Haskell for the first time. Hutton keeps the focus on the core concepts of the language and avoids the advanced topics (of which there are many). The book is fairly light at 171 pages, but for an introductory text I consider this appropriate - a weighty tome might intimidate a reader who just wants a introductory overview. That said, if you are already an intermediate level Haskell hacker, you will likely not find anything of use in this text.
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Text! Feb. 19 2007
By William L. Harrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Graham Hutton has written a wonderful introduction to functional programming in Haskell. I'm using it as part of an undergraduate level course on programming languages and I'm amazed at how fast my students have understood issues with which previous classes of mine have struggled. In my opinion, this is *the* best introductory text available on functional programming in any language. Thanks Graham!!!
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who's the audience? Aug. 26 2010
By Christopher Grant - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I'm a mathematician who decided Haskell would be a good language in which to perform my latest computing task, so I looked around for learning materials. After going through some web tutorials and starting into _Real World Haskell_, I decided that maybe I should try something more basic and systematic, so I read Hutton's book. I'm glad I did, and I think I understand Haskell much better now than I did before.

The form factor of this book is really odd, essentially that of a thick magazine, like _Wired_. It has huge outer margins, with the text compressed into the middle in tiny-looking 9-point type. Thankfully, the printing is crisp, so the text is fairly readable. Choosing to set the code samples in a proportional font seems like a curious choice, especially for Haskell, where spacing matters. For a computing book, the writing is very elegant, although the organization is somewhat less systematic than I was expecting.

The most questionable aspect of this book is its audience. Ostensibly, it is written for a first university course for students with "[n]o previous programming experience", but I'm not sure how good of a fit it would be, especially for a typical U.S. student. Concepts like pointers, parsers, stacks, and compilers seem to be mentioned with the idea that readers would already know what those are. The examples in the book are largely drawn from Hutton's professional publications in functional programming. To me, these were interesting, but it's not clear how much new students would appreciate them. Contrast that with the fact that mathematical induction is discussed at length as if the reader might be unaware of it, and on page 147 the reader is referred back to a previous derivation for justification of the FOIL formula from basic algebra! The selection of exercises seemed kind of sparse for a textbook.

_Programming in Haskell_ is a quick read, and (if you can afford it) is probably a good stepping stone on the way to being a good Haskell programmer.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid Start to Programming Haskell Feb. 2 2012
By Paul B. Monday - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a solid start to grasping Haskell. The first 7 chapters are good, detailed and informative with examples and exercises that are helpful and correct. In Chapter 8, the wheels sort of come off the book with text examples that don't work and extremely important information (Monads) that get glossed over with a sentence or two about purity. Unfortunately, when the detailed example in the chapters didn't work I wandered to the solutions that you can download from the site and realized that the part that was glossed over (Monads) are critical to getting the solutions to work. This sort of gap occurs in other places in the book (the Chapter 11 countdown program can't actually work without declaring "Show" instances, etc ...).

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).
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Introductions March 6 2011
By Edwin Dalorzo Marin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have been a software developer for the past 12 years. However, I had always worked with imperative languages. Learning Haskell is not an easy task. Mostly because it takes time to assimilate the functional paradigm, and secondly because the learning material is not very well organized. It has been practically impossible to learn Haskell using a single book, and I have bought many. However, if I had to recomend a place to start, I would certainly say it is "Programmming in Haskell".

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 ther, 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.
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