Learn You a Haskell for Great Good!
A Beginner's Guide
Publisher: No Starch Press
Final Release Date: March 2011
Pages: 400

It's all in the name: Learn You a Haskell for Great Good! is a hilarious, illustrated guide to this complex functional language. Packed with the author's original artwork, pop culture references, and most importantly, useful example code, this book teaches functional fundamentals in a way you never thought possible.

You'll start with the kid stuff: basic syntax, recursion, types and type classes. Then once you've got the basics down, the real black belt master-class begins: you'll learn to use applicative functors, monads, zippers, and all the other mythical Haskell constructs you've only read about in storybooks.

As you work your way through the author's imaginative (and occasionally insane) examples, you'll learn to:

  • Laugh in the face of side effects as you wield purely functional programming techniques
  • Use the magic of Haskell's "laziness" to play with infinite sets of data
  • Organize your programs by creating your own types, type classes, and modules
  • Use Haskell's elegant input/output system to share the genius of your programs with the outside world

Short of eating the author's brain, you will not find a better way to learn this powerful language than reading Learn You a Haskell for Great Good!

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About the Author
Recommended for You
Customer Reviews

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No Starch PressLearn You a Haskell for Great Good!
 
4.4

(based on 5 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

80%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (4)
  • Well-written (4)
  • Accurate (3)
  • Helpful examples (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate (4)
    • Novice (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Developer (4)

    Reviewed by 5 customers

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    5.0

    Perfect introduction to a new language

    By Garry Cairns

    from Glasgow, UK

    About Me Developer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Concise
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate
      • Novice

      Comments about No Starch Press Learn You a Haskell for Great Good!:

      I read this book to start programming in Haskell coming from a Python background. I wanted a book that gave a solid overview of the language's concepts and syntax and this was perfect.

      I would not recommend it for someone totally new to programming, who I think might find it a touch daunting. Similarly I wouldn't recommend it for someone looking for a 'cookbook' style guide. I don't think either of these are shortcomings because the book is not aimed at these audiences.

      I came away from the book knowing more about Haskell/FP philosophy and, more importantly, a sense of excitement about writing some Haskell code. After working on some project Euler problems to get me into the swing of things I will definitely migrate one of my web apps to Haskell/Yesod from Python/Django.

       
      5.0

      great way to tackle a difficult topic

      By ianai

      from Las Vegas, Nv

      About Me Developer, Mathematician

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Accurate
      • Concise
      • Easy to understand
      • Helpful examples
      • Well-written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate
        • Novice
        • Student

        Comments about No Starch Press Learn You a Haskell for Great Good!:

        This book is well written. It coherently communicates a challenging topic, haskell and functional programming, in an entertaining and informative way. The combination works together very well. It does something very rare in a technical book: pulls the reader in and will keep you reading.

         
        4.0

        Good introduction to the language

        By Aaron

        from Little Rock, AR

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Accurate
        • Easy to understand
        • Fun To Read
        • Helpful examples
        • Well-written

        Cons

        • Could Go More In Depth

        Best Uses

        • Novice
        • Student

        Comments about No Starch Press Learn You a Haskell for Great Good!:

        This book is a good introduction to Haskell for people without much experience in functional programming. It starts with the very basics and introduces the syntax of the langauge first, getting to some of the more interesting code snippets later on in the book. If you find yourself getting bored, just skip ahead to later chapters. Luckily, you can test drive it on the companion website learnyouahaskell.com. The book itself is easy to read with some useful (if silly) examples.

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Learn You a Haskell for Great Good

        By Levon

        from Long Island, NY

        About Me Developer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples
        • Well-written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Intermediate

          Comments about No Starch Press Learn You a Haskell for Great Good!:

          Learn you a Haskell for Great Good is an excellent guide to the Haskell programming language for experienced programmers who have had little exposure the functional programming languages. Most of the important ideas in functional programming are introduced in an easy to understandway and the book is written in a witty style that makes reading it enjoyable.
          Functional programming can be difficult for programmers used to imperative-style languages, like Java and C/C++. This book does an excellent job of introducing these concepts in a way that makes them much easier to understand. For example, monads are traditionally something that is thought of as being very difficult to grasp. After reading this book, however, I now feel I have a solid grasp on the idea of monads. The Haskell type system, another topic that is viewed as being difficult to learn for people with experience with imperative programming languages. Learn You a Haskell introduces the ideas behind the type system in a way that makes it very easy to understand. Finally, the witty style and fun illustrations make the book a very enjoyable read.
          I read through the on-line version of Learn you a Haskell (http://learnyouahaskell.com/) before this was released. The print version has been cleaned up and extended and I fully recommend it to anyone who is curious about functional programming and Haskell.

          (4 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

           
          3.0

          If you like to learn details first

          By John Brady

          from Exeter, RI

          About Me Designer, Developer, Sys Admin

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Easy to understand

          Cons

          • Bottom-up

          Best Uses

          • Intermediate

          Comments about No Starch Press Learn You a Haskell for Great Good!:

          Learn You a Haskell for Great GoodLearn You a Haskell for Great Good is aimed at programmers who have experience with other, imperative languages. The book starts out with a strong introduction, including an exhortation to "stick with it" if you find Haskell a rough learning experience.

          Your mileage may vary, but I understand why that remark needs to live in the first chapter of this book. If you enjoy working through all the elements of a language before dealing with concrete examples or working code, then the book may appeal to you. I found my attention wandering as the author takes a journey through tuples, pairs, list comprehensions, etc.

          My motivation for reading this book was to learn something about functional programming and whether it has any applicability to my work. Unfortunately, that kind of insight won't be forthcoming until far into the text - by which time I had decided to move on to an F# text.

          To the credit of the author, the text itself is relatively clear and written in easily-understood segments. The code snippets I tried worked fine on my ancient GHC version on Ubuntu, so that was a plus.

          I may return to this book after more background reading on functional programming, but for now the return on time invested just isn't high enough.

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