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Recommended Reading

Jeremy interviews Professor Simon Thompson from Kent, to find out about several useful Haskell textbooks.
JEREMY: Simon, you’ve got a big pile of books there. Haskell textbooks, to be precise. Would you like to give us some recommendations?
SIMON: Yeah I’ve got four here I was going to recommend. First is ‘Real World Haskell’. This was long-awaitedd. Actually it’s been out a while. It’s been out nearly 10 years. I guess they’re probably about to do the second edition. Came out in 2008. So it’s a brief introduction, somewhat, but they inquire a lot about using Haskell in practice so I think this is the one that the developers will often pick up. It’s for experienced programmers. In a similar way, but it says A Beginner’s Guide is ‘Learn You a Haskell’. An advantage of this is that it’s available free, online. And because it’s more recent, will talk about, in detail, about things like monads, monoids.
I suppose all the books talk about monads, but this goes into more detail about some of the more mathematical end of things. Graham Hutton’s book– one of the advantages is that this is nice and thin. So you’ll get it in 160 odd pages. I know Graham’s writing another edition of this. So by the time– this should be out early 2017, I would guess. So that’s about 10 years after this came out. But a good basic introduction. And I’ll conclude with mine.
SIMON: Let’s have a shameless plug just for mine. I wrote the first edition of this around the late 90s.
JEREMY: What’s your book called?
SIMON: It’s called ‘Haskell: The Craft of Functional Programming’.
This edition is from 2011. I guess I will start thinking about doing another edition. It’s grown. It’s quite thick. I might try and take some material out of the new edition. But I think covers things in quite a lot of depth, quite a lot of examples that you can work through in there. But all of them have a different take so buy them all.

Jeremy visited Simon Thompson at the University of Kent to find out about Haskell textbooks. Simon has a huge collection of programming language books.

Book Recommendations

Simon mentions four textbooks in the video interview. Below are links to the websites for each book.

Real World Haskell

Real World Haskell is a typical O’Reilly programming language book. The content is available online for free, along with reader comments.

Learn You a Haskell

Learn You a Haskell is a very informal introduction, but it does a great job of explaining complex concepts. You can read it online for free. Some people don’t like the author’s sense of humour, but I thought it was mostly ok.

Programming in Haskell

Simon mentioned that Graham Hutton is bringing out a 2nd edition of his textbook. Since the interview, Programming in Haskell has been released. We highly recommend it as a simple and succinct introduction to Haskell programming.

Publishers Cambridge University Press have kindly set up a discount code that will allow FutureLearn Haskell learners to get 25% off the price of the new edition of Programming in Haskell if they purchase from the CUP website. The discount code is PIHMOOC and this is simply entered in the Subtotal and Discount Code section when checking out to get 25% off. This works on both the UK and USA sites from the publisher.

Haskell: the Craft of Functional Programming

Simon was slightly coy about his own textbook in the interview. However we have found it very helpful while we were preparing this course. There are lots of copies of this book in Glasgow University library, so presumably our students find it helpful too!

Other Resources

Haskell Programming from First Principles is a great textbook and increasingly popular in the Haskell community. Christopher Allen and Julie Moronuki are talented teachers of Haskell to novices. The book is content complete and will soon have the final and fully edited release, but you can purchase access to the ebook now. You get immediate access to the latest ‘version’ and updates as the book grows.

Online Help

We hope you find this course to be well-supported, in terms of the learning materials and the interactive comments. We have a team of tutors to support the learning community.

Other online sites also provide advice to Haskell beginners. For instance, the Haskell Cafe mailing list is a friendly place to post queries. There are also sub-reddits like haskellquestions.

In the comments section, please let us know which resources you find most useful.

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