April 15, 2018

Getting started with Haskell

These are my notes on how I got started with Haskell. They don't necessarily contain any advice on how you should do it. But here they are, for what they may be worth.

I had always intended to learn a functional programming language someday. I figured LISP or Scheme would be the thing, but when I discovered Haskell I knew the day had come. So Haskell is the one and only functional language in my repertoire. I am a long time C programmer with a great fondness for Ruby.

Haskell is not a simple language, and is definitely not for everyone. Anyone who tells you otherwise is simply a liar. It is widely accepted that Haskell is hard. Just making the transition from an imperative language like C or Java to a functional language requires significant changes in thinking. No variables or loops? How can you get anything done? Therein lies the value of the whole experience.

The original version is Haskell 98 (see the Haskell 98 report). Now Haskell 2010 adds some uncontroversial features. The next release is expected to be Haskell 2020. On my fedora system in 2018, I get:
ghc --version
The Glorious Glasgow Haskell Compilation System, version 8.0.2
The claim is that GHC supports all of Haskell 2010.
Feedback? Questions? Drop me a line!

Tom's Computer Info / tom@mmto.org