Since last September I’ve been thinking again and again about giving Haskell a try. I don’t really know why but I simply always had fun playing around with languages like Lisp and Prolog but never actually gave them a try outside of the classroom. And for now Haskell and Erlang seem to be the most prominent functional languages out there, so why not?! :-)
Back then I looked at some of the larger free books about Haskell and while the first few chapters were always still understandable and, more important, enjoyable for some reason the descriptions and examples mostly around parametrised types or guards kind of lost me. Also, some of the tutorials I read wanted to explain to you the different between the popular Haskell compilers out there right in the intro chapter, which felt kind of weird. Real World Haskell by Bryan O’Sullivan, Don Stewart, and John Goerzen on the other hand is different there. I guess, part of it is that the comments by other readers are really helping and some sections of the book (I’m only in chapter 4 so far) are written like “this is how you do it in Java, Python, etc. and this is how you do it in Haskell and why you’re doing it that way”. This makes it very approachable for people coming from different languages.
As already indicated, this book isn’t targeted at people who’ve never programmed. That’s stated quite explicitly in the intro of the book and also the whole book mostly works on the basis that you know some common procedural or object oriented language like Java, C++ or Python.
So for now I’m really enjoying it and definitely more than any other intro-to-haskell ebook/tutorial I’ve read so far :D Just too bad, that Amazon.de doesn’t have it :-( Thankfully the online edition of the book is very well formated so reading it on my iPod touch works quite well so far :-)